a happy picture for a sad week – this is Brody at his first CPE trial .. I just love his expression and his speed!

A quick note for any non agility people who might read this – there are a bunch of ways people can get from one side of the dogs path to the other. It’s important to be able to do this to help your dog find the most efficient way around the course. I use front crosses mostly I think (you cross in front of the dog doing a pivot like thing that can make you feel like a really bad ballet dancer some days). I also use rear crosses. In this move you send the dog ahead of you over an obstacle then switch sides. I tend to use this move only on tunnels, and contacts as Brody finds them demotivating on jumps.
In the wildcard course I ended up using a blind cross to keep Brody out of the back end of what on the map above is marked the 3 tunnel down at the bottom of the page. The wildcard course had you come through the weaves over what on this map is the R at the bottom then do the 2 jump. The tunnel was a VERY loud beacon to the dogs – I watched at least 5 dogs at senior levels happily BLAST through the tunnel and another 3 suffer a VERY HARD call off it. I don’t like yelling at my dogs and Brody HATES a harsh call off. That meant between the weaves (which you may know Brody needs ridiculous amounts of support for) and the jump I had to get to the far side of the jump. I thought I could fit in a front cross but I wasn’t in the right spot. Rather than risk an off course (which to be quite honest I would have allowed) I tried a blind cross. I can’t recommend trying a move for the first time on a course at a trial. But. For us it worked. It actually felt strange, and I wasn’t sure if Brody would be weirded out by it but he just soldiered on. He obviously pays less attention to the ballet moves than I do.
I didn’t love it. I don’t like not seeing my dog. I won’t be practising it. I can see it becoming a very quick way to move around a course and if I practised them it wold feel more natural and perhaps become more tempting to use. I suppose I can imagine a course that I may choose to use one.
It was noteworthy for being new.