Slowing Things Down

Posted on 07/22/09 17 Comments

I felt a little badly that my last post was all about Encore while Feature had a great weekend at Canada Cup herself. So to alleviate some guilt, I had to post Feature’s run for you all as well. Just so you know this isn’t just some narcissistic indulgence, I decided to set up the video as a teaching module for everyone.  I have added a slow motion view of both runs. Since I don’t have any fancy software that I can do an overlay you have to go back and forth watching each run.  But if you do,  I think you can pick out a couple of key differences.

Thanks to Susan Royakkers for sending me the course map so I could post it here and thanks to Roger Pierre Cote for an awesome course.  For some reason I could only post it this size or super huge (which meant it over lapped everything on my blog).jumpers final

For your own fun & educaton I would reccomend you watch the video first without reading the rest of my post, pick out what you see are the differences in the dogs or my handling and then read my comments.


Here are some of the things I noticed watching the slo-mo

* Feature in 26″ being a much younger dog (26 months vs 5 years of Encore) is just a hair late in reading and reacting to my handling cues. Thus she isn’t quite as fluid. Going from 3-4 she collects a bit late which means she turns a bit wider which means I have to travel further up 4 in order to cross her line and cue that rear cross.

* Feature having a much bigger body really has to work hard for that finesse work of the push through but she does it very well. Again though reading the serp cue a bit late therefore running into the wing of 9 (also I think she slipped a bit there).

* My front cross for Feature between 12-13 was a tad late as I really expect her (who loves to bounce everything) to bounce this since Encore had.

* Both dogs responded very well to my accel/deccel going from 15-16 and didn’t even look at the off course jump out there (which many handlers had to do a primal scream to keep their dogs away from).

*I really need to remind myself to drive hard across the finish line with both dogs but particularly Feature as she really put on the brakes with me behind her (and not driving as hard as I should).

The following are times that I have taken off my computer in slo-mo I really don’t know what units they are measuring since the total run was 1:04.9 but it gives you a relative comparison between the two dogs.

Interesting times       Obstacle 1-7         Obstacle 7 -12         Obstacle 12-18         Obstacle 18 – 22

Encore at 22″                  17.7                           17.1                                 23.5                                 6.5

Feature at 26″                 17.8                            18.5                               23.5                                 7.5

 In the end I don’t think my handling was too different for the two dogs (other than that one slightly earlier FC with Feature).  I think the difference between the two dogs is the teamwork Encore and I have that Feature is just growing into. Feature knocking that upright on jump 12 slowed down that sequence and me not driving the close as hard as I should also slowed her time down at the end of the course, other wise she would have been giving her big sister a run for her money!

Today I am grateful for both my red girls and the things that make them each uniquely who they are. Every time I lead out, particularly in a big event like Canada Cup, I remind myself of just that fact.


  1. Stacie Enriquez says:
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 4:05am

    I’m new to this, so I may be way off, but on the first run on this video (Feature) it looks like a Blind Cross was made going from jump #9 to jump #10 ? I thought rear crosses were always a big fat NO ?


  2. Shannon says:
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 12:13am

    Okay, beautiful handling, the dogs are reading your cues really nicely and I am totally jealous. BUT, I had a hard time focusing because I was laughing so hard! The slow mo video audio sounds like a walrus party! 🙂 My ADHD had me envisioning walrus agility instead of focusing.


  3. Holly says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 8:09am

    Thanks Susan, love these types of videos done in slow motion. You’re a great handler! Gives me handling ideas as I try to follow the Derrett system somewhat.


  4. Fiona Ferrar says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 7:29am

    Thanks very much for posting these runs Susan. I have also been watching Laura Derrett’s runs that she has put on youtube recently, and in all of these I have been really impressed with the dog’s understanding of the decel cue. My young dog started off reading it well, but now that he is totally confident on a course, he loves to hoon and bounce everything he can – not conducive to a tight turn after a jump. Your videos together with Laura’s have made me review where my decel cue is at, and devise a training plan to improve it.


  5. jane says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 12:18pm

    Great runs susan: My question is: do you think the added 4″ in jump height makes a difference to their time?


    • Susan says:
      Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 6:13am

      Hi Jane, the 4″ jump height yes will make a big difference (approx 1 second on a course) to Encore’s time, she can go much faster at 22″ because she can still turn so tightly. Feature is not much, if any difference in her times in the two heights (she is right on the button just under 21″, I had to wait until dogs were in the pond to get excited enough to measure slightly over 21″ in order to be able jump 26″ as Canada Cup.:))


  6. denise says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 8:08am

    Tried again with the survey and it worked. Cheers.


  7. denise says:
    Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 12:07am

    Sorry, this isn’t relevant to this blog post but I’ve been trying to complete your survey on the Ebook and I keep getting an error message saying “the website is too busy to show the webpage”?? Has anyone else had problems?


    • Susan says:
      Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 10:08am

      Hi Denise, sorry about your struggle can you try again, possibly with another web browser? Thanks for your efforts!


  8. Claire Duder says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 10:15pm

    Susan, why did you choose the decel/RC in the opeining line, vs the FC? Obviously, it worked well, and set you up nicely for the serpentine, but the turn to #4 did look wide, espcially for Feature. I haven’t seen any other runs, so I don’t know if anyone else was faster.


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 10:32pm

      Actually Claire, I think my dogs had the tightest turn of any of the dogs I saw. I chose it for the reasons you stated and because they read decel so well it would give me a nice turn there.


  9. Mary M says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 7:31pm

    I love the way you set this up…keep more coming like this (slow mo comparison)….this is very helpful to me in my handling.

    Thank you!


  10. Meghan says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 3:11pm

    They were both wonderful runs! The difference to me between both runs it looks like you had slight pauses with Feature where with Encore it looks like you were running full out pretty much the whole time? Keep in mind I’m pretty new to this 😉


  11. Nat says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 9:43am

    Hmmm, that was interesting, as I said on YT already. 🙂 It’s a good thing I always see the YT vid first before reading the blog entry because I’m not “biased” by the blog post!



  12. Trudie says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 8:29am

    The truth is, we are not really unbiased viewers because we already know (not always easy to tell at a distance and on a video) which dog is which, which had the fastest time, and their relative ages and experience !
    So, I watched both many times bearing in mind Encore is the more experienced dog. It appears to me she is able to choose perfect timing throughout the whole run — building up confidence, energy is never “wasted” needlessly, like, she can take an extra little stride between some jumps where there is no risk, and then it looks like she has a reserve of energy for placing a bounce where it really counts, and for a confident finish.


  13. Trudie says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 5:55am

    Following your instructions to the letter STOP I am working on this STOP starting with Encore STOP it is taking a lot of time STOP must be the slowest person in the class STOP


  14. denise says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 2:01am

    Fascinating watching both videos. There really isn’t that much difference between the two runs. Encore does take slightly better lines than Feature but Feature really is very impressive considering she is still pretty much a baby in agility competition terms. You must be very proud of both of them and well deserved.


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