Monday, January 10, 2011

Gamblers anyone?

I'll write up a report of the USDAA trial this weekend but for now I'm posting the course map for the Master Gamblers class because nobody in the entire class-Champ or Perf-got it and I've never seen that before.  Admittedly it was a very small trial but still there were 30 people entered in Champ and 16 in Perf.

I wasn't entered in the class so I didn't attempt it and it's not something I teach my dogs so I doubt I would have attempted it even if I was faced with it.

There was only one dog that made it across the #3 jump and it was a huge dog in the Perf. class.  The handler stayed between the #1 jump and tunnel, called the dog to her when it came out of the tunnel and sent him back out over #3.  He had some hesitation but eventually did it.  But this put her too far behind to handle the rest of the gamble and she ran out of time too.  Can't remember if he made it over #4.  Other handlers that attempted that strategy ended up with the #2 end of the tunnel.  Most people tried running downstream of #1 towards the #4 jump and yelling 'Out' while pushing with their left hand/arm.  Every single dog came flying over the #1 jump when they came out of the tunnel, none of them even glanced at the #3 jump.  Those motion and position cues were far too strong to overide the verbal which is my theory about that 'Out' cue in a scenario like this.

Somebody asked the judge how he expected people to handle it and he said he expected people to use their right arm to turn the dog away back to the #3 jump (my  interpretation of her interpretation, it's possible one or both of us misunderstood his explanation so don't quote us too heavily on that).  On paper I can see what he was thinking but in reality those dogs came blasting out of the tunnel with such speed that it would be difficult to get that redirect even if you did have a strong off-arm flip/verbal cue (if that's what you even would call it).  Again, not something I would attempt to train but an interesting challenge nonetheless.  Maybe there are some NADAC folks out there thinking this is easy peasy or maybe it's a good challenge to try to set up even for NADAC folks, I don't know.  I've never seen a 100% NQ rate in Gamblers though so I thought it was worth sharing the course for those who like a good distance challenge to practice.

Also, please don't take this as indicative of this judge's courses.  His tournament courses were very fun and flowing, similar to the stuff I see in DOCNA.  I didn't run any masters titling courses but the advanced/starters courses were very nice.  I've shown under this judge before and as I remember his courses were nice then too.  If anything this masters gamblers course was an anomaly.  


  1. it looks fun- something like we would see here in AAC. I would have used an out for sure, and not moved when my dog came out of the tunnel until the dogs head was turned.. and then just a go on to get the theory of course. :)

  2. Ew.

    Would have been tricky enough without that last jump being set out like that. Yeeps.

    The last trial I was at, in a class of about 60 dogs only 2 dogs got the gamble. Those 2 dogs belonged to the same person/handler and have some pretty kick butt directionals.

    The fun of Gamblers, you never know what you're gonna get!

  3. OMG it's the eternal infernal gamble! We've seen this or something very close to it over and over! Usually some people get it, but then we all say NOW we're going to go home and practice it and then we never do.

    You have to have a good out and you have to have great timing in being able to turn and push at the instant that the dog can see you. Ideally, you should be able to get enough momentum sending the dog over 1 into 2 that you can wait 10 feet from the line so that as soon as the dog can see you, you can turn and race towards the 3.

    Then a good out or Left from 4 to 5 (and/or good speed, which I don't always have). I'll have to see whether I can find some other examples of that same basic gamble.

  4. I believe I've seen a 100% NQ rate on a gamble before, but I don't pay much attention to those things. I'm positive no Ch dogs got it, but not 100% certain no Perf dogs got it (just can't remember).

  5. The only time I've seen anything close to a 100% NQ in masters gamblers was several years back--one dog finally got it, and it was a very fast dog who was basically in the air for the first jump when the whistle blew and didn't take even a single slow-down step anywhere in the gamble. After several dogs missed it who were *approaching* the first jump when the whistle blew and didn't take a wrong step anywhere, it became clear that it was a time issue, and after that, no one even tried--at the 1st whistle, they all went straight to the end to stop the time in hopes of a placement. I've seen lots of gambles where only a tiny handful got it.

  6. I don't normally pay a huge amount of attention to Q rates either but it was a one ring trial and I wasn't entered in the class so I sat in the stands and watched the whole thing.

    A few years ago there was a gamble that was part of the Team tournament and maybe 3 dogs got it (one of them was my teammate) out of the whole class. The gamble was something like a 180 degree redirect off the A-frame or some such thing. That's the only other time I can remember such a low Q rate though I'm sure there have been others.

    Amanda you're right, for this gamble not moving when the dog came out of the tunnel was key. Any forward motion cued that #1 jump and oddly enough most people chose to be running downstream when the dog came out of the tunnel.

  7. I didn't even attempt it (I crossed the line). I don't train the skills needed to get that gamble and wasn't going to frustrate my dog attempting it. We usually get probably 80 percent of USDAA Gambles so I"m pretty happy with that.

    I agree, the judges courses were lovely. Just wished I hadn't had to scratch my dog and actually got to run them.

  8. I wouldn't attempt that gamble either because if I put a jump between myself and my dog, I expect him or her to jump it, not ignore it and go to another obstacle.
    If the gamble is do-able using cues consistent with my handling system, then I attempt it but that doesn't happen more than 50% of the time--especially in Masters.