A Gallery of Handlers

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Being part of the ring party and putting up poles is a great way to observe different handling techniques.  If you're a good handler and you put up a good performance people will remember you.  If things go wrong they'll forget it as soon as the next dog comes into the ring.  Here are some handlers I observed on beautiful summer's day in Cornwall.

 

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The Ballet Dancer

Beautiful to watch, the ballet dancer makes light work of the most difficult course.  Dog and handler flow like Fonteyn and Nureyev with graceful twirls and perfect crosses.  They are such a team you hardly hear a command.  Hard to beat.

 

The Sprinter

Usually young and energetic the sprinter is always ahead of the dog.  The dog is often happy to let the handler lead and rarely works ahead.  They will  make it in the time it takes the handler to get round rather than the dog.

 

The Cheerleader

"You're enjoying this aren't you boy?"  The round is punctuated by yells of "Yes," "Good boy," "Wee wee wee good boy." The dog has stopped listening half way round.  Lunatics should be locked up.

 

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The Sergeant Major

Lacks confidence in his dog.  He bellows commands at every turn and obstacle which causes the dog to panic and go wrong.

 

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The Ditherer

Wants to get everything right so does a careful weave,  careful  placing at every jump and takes most of the course time on the dog walk.  Usually gets time faults.

 

The Nervous Breakdown

Flaps around the course looking desperate.  Forgets the way and often gets eliminated for going the wrong way.

The Non Runner 1

Puts their heart and soul into the round and tries to keep up but they are fighting a losing battle all the time.  The dog is often left floundering on its own not knowing where to go.

 

The Non Runner 2

Knows they can't run so has made an art of distant control.  Fantastic to watch when it all goes well.  The dog is highly obedient and is hard to beat over a nicely flowing course.

 

The Devil May care

They get round the course but you don't know how they did it.  Jumps sway and poles rattle.  The dog gets just one toe on every contact. The dog often turns the wrong way but gets it right at the last minute.  They don't know if they've gone clear until they ask someone at the end.

 

The Clever Clogs

Runs six dogs and all go clear.  They know exactly what they're doing on every course.  They can also do a right hand weave which isn't fair on those of us who can't

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