Since it’s Christmas time, I’m pulling out an old favorite I did for the USDAA website, published back in December of 2009…
Oh Christmas Tree! – by Tania Chadwick
Enjoy some turns around the Christmas tree and may your holidays be merry and bright!
* This is a warm-up through the tree and around the outside.
* Try handling with your dog on your right and left hand and then changing the hand after the table.
* Handle #4 and #8 by pulling your dog on the inside, with a change of hands, and also sending to the outside with a rear cross.
* Experiment with adding distance between you and your dog from #9 – #12. While your dog is on the table, lead out to #6 and release your dog while you take the inside line near #10 and #11. Then, lead out near #6 and send your dog to #10 while you take the inside line near #6 and #3.
* There are a lot of side changes throughout.
* Experiment with front and rear crosses and your lead-out position after the table.
* Try the opening on each side; first with the dog on your right side. Angle your dog at #1 so it faces #4 and upon release, turn your shoulders toward #2 and cross behind for a nice sharp turn to #3. Next, start with a lead out pivot or simply stand slightly closer to #2 and call the dog to your left hand and then push to #2, running with the dog to #3.
* Experiment with front and rear crosses and shaping your dog’s line.
Tania Chadwick, owner of Fortis Agility Sports Training in San Jose, California, is an agility instructor and full-time mother of a 5 year old and an 18 month old. She currently competes with her Border Collie, ADCh-Platinum, LAA-Gold Kidd, a national Steeplechase Finalist and member of the USDAA’s Top Ten in ’03, ’05, ’07. Tania can be reached at email@example.com.