Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If You're Perfect

I was reorganizing my IPOD yesterday and came across this song.
I know Alanis Morissette isn't how you'd think I'd like, but I actually have two of her CDs.

For some reason this song made me think of the Ames Trial coming up this weekend.
We have a couple dogs running for their MACHs, we have newer dogs beginning
their agility careers in Novice, and of course we have our most 'seasoned'
dogs running at various levels.

As you set your 'personal goals' this weekend and set your performance criteria, be sure to keep in mind that you are a team! What happens out on the course is as much your responsibility as your partners. Make sure you are the same handler on the course as you are in practice.
Look for the things you did well together, as well as things you need to polish.

Most importantly, remember we have the BEST dogs in the world!
There will be other days and other trials, so do your best and let the 'bars' fall where they may.
(OR NOT!!! G)

Have fun...but don't feel like you have to be PERFECT!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thank you - Fun Match

Thank you for attending the fun match today!!
It was a beautiful day and the 'sprinkles' held off until we were all done!!

Marsha was there taking pictures, so please check them out at -


Here's one I took of Seeker this afternoon.
He might be white, but he looks GOOD in ORANGE!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Seeker VS. The 'Table'

Seeker, like many other dogs, doesn't find the table to be his 'favorite' obstacle. He does it, however, if he's running with speed he'll often bounce onto it and let his momentum carry him off. I suppose he thinks this is fun? Who knows what's going on inside his head? I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.

We went up to Ann Braun's Training Center on Friday to have a lesson with Michelle Persian. It's a LONG drive and there's just not a good way to get to Eau Claire, WI from Eastern Iowa. Luckily I end up with a lot of training ideas to bring home to work on. Even though I make a list before I go, it seems like I always forget to ask about one thing! G

On the list of things to work on was our 'table issue'. If I can get to the table ahead of him to help him collect he's fine. Obviously that might not always be the case. So we worked sequences in which we knew I would not be able to beat him to the table. It was made up of three tunnels, one of them straight and three jumps in a straight line. It was oval in shape so we could get a lot of speed getting to that table.

The first time, he bounced on and off. Big surprise there. All I was to do was to tell him "oh my", and be sad that we couldn't have a party. Then try it again. It only took a couple times and he was collecting on his own, so he'd 'nail' the table and we could have a HUGE tugging party 'on the table'. It got so that even if I kept running by he'd stay on. GOOD BOY!! So, now I just need to be sure I continue to work with that.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lessons with Michelle Persian - Friday June 5th

Michelle Persian will be available at our place on Friday June 5th. If you're interested in a private, semi-private or mini seminar, please let me know. I'll be setting up a schedule. Cost is listed below. There will be an addition 'approximate' $10 fee per person for her travel expenses. I'll know an exact dollar amount after I know how many people to divide it by. There is not a charge to use the equipment.

Michelle was in the AKC National Championship Finals with her Border Collie, Bria. She also participated in the World Team Try-Outs for the 2009 Team.

See May 3rd post for one of Michelle's runs at World Team Try-outs.

Price list per hour

One person = $50
2 People = $70 (35 per person per hour)
3 - 6 People = $100 (divided by however many people - considered a mini seminar)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Skye's fall on the dog walk

Agility, like any thing else you do can be dangerous, for both handler and dog. I'm not sure which is injured more often, canine or human? You would think it was the dog, but with the the mostly "middle aged" crowd running dogs on uneven surfaces, anything can and does happen. There's been twisted or broken ankles, broken wrists, twisted knees, etc. You hear it more often from the humans as they can TALK!!! I'm sure the dogs have their fair share of aches and pains, especially if they are 'weekend warriors', like their human counter parts. You just don't hear it from the dogs.

Most handlers are very in tune with dogs and behaviors that seem a bit "off" if you will. Maybe they no longer turn one direction as well or they aren't reaching as far. Luckily for our dogs, most of us visit a K-9 Chiropractor on a regular basis. I'm sure the Chiro is happy too!! G

Below is a clip of Lori Michael's and her Sheltie, Skye. They are former World Team Competitors. They were at world team try outs and Skye took a nasty fall off the dog walk. He appeared to be fine and ran again later that day without any hesitation at the dog walk.

It reminds us how often we take things for granted and what sometimes seems like just "fun" can also carry risks. I suppose that goes along with just every day life.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

World Team Try Outs - Austria 2009

Marsha, Carrie, Bill and I made a one day field trip to MN, to watch the AKC World Team Try Outs on Saturday May 2nd.

This was the first day of competition with each height (14/18/26) running 3 times. The winner of those 3 rounds at the end of the day makes the team.

Below are the first 3 2009 World Team Members.

Small - Melanie Del Villaggio and Dara - Shetland Sheepdog - (under 13 3/4") - 14"
Medium - Ashley Deacon and Luka - Pyrenean Shepherd (16 7/8" and under) - 18"
Large - Channan Fosty and Icon - Border Collie (Over 16 7/8") - 26"

Being fairly "local", it was fun to see some people that you trial with on a regular basis. Iowa was represented by Renee and her Yellow Labrador, Belle.

Round Two the the World Team Participants will be decided on Sunday May 3rd using the following criteria. -

World Team spot #2 comes from top placements in all five rounds of competition.

Dogs placing in the top 30% of their jump height in any round get points (5 points for 1st place, 4 points for 2nd place, etc. if there were 16 dogs). Dogs must have a clean round to get points for that round.

The dog with the highest number of points wins spot #2.

If there is a tie in points, the dog that placed in the most rounds wins the spot. If there is still a tie, the dog with the most 1st places wins – if needed, the dog with the most 2nd places wins, etc. If still tied, the dogs with the highest number of seconds under SCT from placing rounds wins.

Michele Persian and Bria were running as a demo dog in the 18" class. Unfortunately, Bria measured slightly above the 16 3/4" measurement and wasn't able to compete for a place on the team. She was able to run the course however and did very well on her 3 rounds.

Michele will be in the area on Friday June 5th. If you would like to have a private lesson or a mini (small group) seminar, please let me know ASAP and I'll set something up.

Below is Michele and Bria's round 3 WTTO run.