24 November 2010

Working on our tight turns-meet our friend, Decel.

In fancy dog agility splaining terms, if you run fast, your dog should run fast. And if you stop, your dog should slow down. And if you've been consistent with this red light green light methodology, your dog should be like a little race car that always goes really, really fast as the light turns yellow and doesn't even carefully look for the nice officer in unironic mirror shades giving his buddy a high five at the other side of the intersection while he flicks the little switch that turns on his blue light and makes the sireny sound.

Put on the gas, everyone goes, put on the brakes, everybody stops. Whiplash! For a nice tight turn, you only want enough stop time for your dog to start a turn, then you got to put on the gas again. Decel and it's friend, accel, the turn and burn.

Please don't confuse decel with desal. In which a large ocean factory, preferably with a nuclear reactor, takes sea water and boils out the salt and renders it a-ok for drinking when all the land water's been used up for things like stonewashing pants or has been trapped into bazillions of plastic, single serving bottles. Or decaff. In which your coffee has been rendered a less jittery impotent by quaffing the beejeezus out of the little green beans with solvents and shoved into single use, paper cups at corporate behemoth coffee shops with branded soundtracks. Or decompose. As in corpses. The rotting kind, who are sometimes actually the undead, and then they're walking around and eating flesh and cannibal apocalypse trumps dog agility every time. Same with denude. Because there's going to be enough of that real soon in airports. When some underpaid, overweight security agent with bad breath is totally going to see you naked.

So you get it now, right? Decel, is our friend. Denude, super embarrassing when they see what you were hiding in your Spanx. Not a bomb. Just a big, sloppy gut. And what if I have Otterpop with me? Am I gonna hold her up over my head when they scream "HANDS UP!" and she isn't even WEARING underpants, so what if they want to grope her private areas before they let her on the plane? Even if I was flying somewhere like Canada?

So anyways. You are now comfortable with your decel? Will work on this for your tight turns? I thought so. Keep calm and don't forget to play with your dog.


Anonymous said...

i am happy my thanksgiving plans only involve driving through big mountains the day after a major winter storm. no full body exposure or wearing of kilts. wait, ladies don't wear kilts, do they? what were we supposed to do to give the finger to the scanners?

Elf said...

Wow, glad otterpop doesn't have to get the full body scan at Heart Dog. I think her skank eye could burn out the xray machine, though.

Jodi, eh? said...

Once at a Greg Darrett lecture, he claimed that the basic concept to his system is that if he goes fast, the dog goes fast and if he slows down, the dog should as well. I asked, "you made 3 DVD's based on this concept???" He smiled and said, "four, actually". Genius, pure Genius.

Anonymous said...

I was going to post earlier in the day that this is a great skill to work on and that Lexi and I have come a long way this year in this area . . . then at class this afternoon Mia was telling me (on multiple occasions) to "decel, decel". I just had to laugh; apparently I still have more work to do too!

Beth & Lexi

Kathleen said...

That's right! There are NO full body scanners here at Heart Dog Agility.

Now back to my decel exercises....

I have one burning question, though: Is a decelerated tight turn ALWAYS faster than a wider speedy turn? IOW, at what point on the turning radius/speed continuum do you get the optimal turning radius while maintaining as much speed as possible for that turn? Hmmm, sounds like a question for your friend, Steve, the agility nerd.

team small dog said...

That is a good question, that's what we're working on with our little handling group, to find out what turns are best for our dogs (using timers) so we can figure out the best lines.

I bet it's different with every dog.

I was amazed though, I've been doing some different turns with him that put him on TOTALLY different lines I would never have used before and getting faster times. Turns out he turns much tighter than I thought and has awesome acceleration out of those little turns. I have a pretty basic way I always walk and look at lines on a course, and looking at new ones is sort of blowing my mind.

Even places where I was all, "But look! I can serp it!." Which I could, and I thought that was the fastest way.

So which way is best? That's the big project to figure out. Because I think some instances the tight decel one might be-for Gustavo. But not all, especially with a big, long strided dog.

Yes, maybe Steve knows a scientific formula to explain it? Or we just have to practice lots of both kinds until we know which one is best in all situations...

A fun project!