RFA Greyhound Racing 101 Greyhound Q&A Hand schooling Search     Members  
Hand schooling - What is it? (5680 Views)
GreysGalgos
Posted: Mar 26, 2005 at 4:23 PM - GreysGalgos's 2nd post Copy Link
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As my interest in racing grows and I read more, I've seen this described after a greyohund falls or commits an error of some sort. What is hand schooling?

Carol

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rockingship
Posted: Mar 28, 2005 at 7:31 AM - rockingship's 170th post Copy Link
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Hand slipping a dog is done when a trainer doesn't want to start the dog from the box. Not only is it required in some localities after a fall, but it is very commonplace in the morning, during unofficial, informal schoolings.

Whenever a new dog arrives in the kennel, it is usually not a good practice to school them a full 5/16ths from the box, as they need to acclimate to the track, and get used to the lay of the turns, etc.

So after making sure they are fit enough to school behind the lure, you generally begin them by handslipping from somewhere near the beginning of the first turn, usually from the outside of the lane, so they can read the turn.

Then maybe in 3-4 days, you might bring them back to the wire, and handslip from there....if all goes well, then they should be ready for box schooling.

Rehabbing a dog is a little more painstaking....as if the dog has been off a while, after sufficient preparation, you might want to begin handslipping from the middle of the backstretch, or in front of the 3/16ths box.....then the next time, from the point of the first turn....then from the beginning of the first turn....then from the wire....then into the box.

Sometimes when a dog is racing lethargically, and there is no reason to suspect injury, trainers like to give the dog the "front end"....which is simply to handslip them after the lure alone, so that they really extend themselves, and hopefully, they then "brave-up", and start chasing again with some conviction.

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rockingship
Posted: Mar 28, 2005 at 8:26 AM - rockingship's 171st post Copy Link
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Oh...btw....the mechanics of handslipping involve straddling the greyhound, and controlling him with one arm slipped about his waist, and the other hand gripping the collar. You "slip" the dog, after the lure rolls by and is in the dog's field of forward vision.

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GreysGalgos
Posted: Mar 29, 2005 at 12:49 PM - GreysGalgos's 3rd post Copy Link
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Thanks for the great explanation! I'm sure I'll be back with more questions Grin

Carol

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FullHouseRacing
Posted: Apr 5, 2005 at 9:45 PM - FullHouseRacing's 14th post Copy Link
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Nice Explanation Rock!! Grin

Handslipping is really used on all of the kids. As Rock said, its used for refresher course, falls in turns, and to get a dog used to a track.

When a dog is really lacking competitiveness, a kennel will sometimes "front end" a greyhound. This means that when you straddle them, hold thier collar tight, and wait for the lure to pass, you make sure you let them go as closely as possible so they really see what they are chasing. Making sure the lure operator knows is important too. You should avoid doing this on icy days where the lure will hit spots where it slows down and loses some speed, they dog may actually get ahold of the lure and have a little too much fun.

The front end helps them to see what they are chasing, so when you put them back on for official races, they are ready to get the lure because they have the sense that if they are alert to the lure, they will be as close as last time and maybe get a shot at getting the lure.

When you hand slip them, also known as morning schooling, you can sometimes bring in pups for the first time. Hand slipping them allows you to set the distance you want them to run, as well as concentrate on getting used to the track surface. Usually our kennel does about 3-4 handslips with a puppy before we put them into the box, so they know the fundamentals of the track and such before we add another distraction. When we put them in the box, its just like an offical race with less dogs, you may do only 1 greyhound, or you could do all 8, but isnt recommended. We do this 2-3 times before putting them on for official schooling so when they go on for official schooling and its recorded, we know what thier strengths and weakenesses are and we can see just how they look by official charts, instead of having to "guestimate" how the greyhound is doing. Most trainers can tell you how your pup is running by morning schooling, because he has seen this before and knows by body motion and such how hard they are trying and how fast they seem to be.

Hope this helps! Sorry to kinda steal Rocks thunder, he really did a great job! Grin

Cory Owens
Full House Racing

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brindlehounds
Posted: Apr 6, 2005 at 6:59 AM - brindlehounds's 366th post Copy Link
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Thanks for your insight Cory!

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rockingship
Posted: Apr 6, 2005 at 12:09 PM - rockingship's 189th post Copy Link
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With Irish dogs who are imported, and who are used to the outside lure, the hand slipping process is invaluable and a must----and quite a bit more painstaking.

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brindlehounds
Posted: Apr 6, 2005 at 3:27 PM - brindlehounds's 368th post Copy Link
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Interesting Rock - you know I'd never stopped to think about that!

Presumably you had some Irish imports as a trainer? Did they all adapt to the inside lure? I assume they took a fair amount of hand-slipping to get used to it?

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FullHouseRacing
Posted: Apr 6, 2005 at 4:35 PM - FullHouseRacing's 15th post Copy Link
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Rock,

Great Point! You look at some of the smartest breeders and greyhound handlers of all time, the Daltons. They import a bunch of greyhounds an run them through thier booking at Lincoln and other places. Im sure that takes some work!

Cory Owens
Full House Racing

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Heyboss
Posted: Apr 8, 2005 at 3:49 PM - Heyboss's 17th post Copy Link
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OK, I assume the "outside lure" means it runs around the outside of the track. I have never heard of that. Is it a European or Irish style of lure?

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rockingship
Posted: Apr 8, 2005 at 6:40 PM - rockingship's 191st post Copy Link
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Cory....I worked for Pat Dalton and Don Cuddy for years, and it sure does take some work----and you cannot rush imports, either. Generally, it takes 8 weeks from arrival here to official schooling, even for greyhounds who were experienced, graded racers there. They have a hard time adjusting to the weather as well, as they never experience the sticky humidity and heat of a US summer in cooler IRE. Pat had a kennel in IRE that was set up with crates and turnout pens, so that they were acclimated to that aspect of the US racing experience before they got here, though.


Hey Boss....They use an outside lure in Ireland. And indeed it is a lure that runs on the outer rail of the track. They used to have outside lures at Multnomah, Tampa and Jacksonville, too, years ago. It's a whole different look to a greyhound, the way the lure travels.

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