Lake's Tsunami Sally UD was the first Whippet that I trained. She earned her CD title in 4 trials. When we proceeded to Open, it took more than twenty shows to achieve her CDX title, mostly due to my handling.
I've never been very coordinated. As many times as I tried, I was unable to throw the dumbbell with any accuracy. Everyone tried to teach me including my husband and father. "Sally" would patiently sit at my side waiting for the exercise
to begin as I tried again and again to place the dumbbell within the required limits. There was even a judge at a show in Jacksonville, Florida who gave me throwing lessons in the ring after I hit the overhead light!
Placement of the dumbbell for the Retrieve on Flat, and the Retrieve over High Jump, can determine whether your dog qualifies or not in the Open class. Some handlers practice tossing the dumbbell into a basket, or at a target to obtain accuracy. Ideally, the dumbbell should be thrown underhand using a backward spin to prevent it from bouncing out of range. In the Retrieve on Flat exercise, the dumbbell must
be thrown a distance of at least 20 feet. The Retrieve over High Jump exercise requires that the dumbbell be at least 8 feet past the jump. In both exercises the dumbbell may not land too far to one side or too close to the ring edge. If the dog and handler are lined up with a properly placed dumbbell, the dog has a straight path to get to it and a straight path back to the handler. This allows for there to be less chance for distraction and opportunity to make a poor choice. If the judge instructs you to repeat the toss because of poor or improper placement, it causes the dog to wait longer than necessary to
OPEN OBEDIENCE-THE RETRIEVE
by Terry Lerner