Monday, August 31, 2009

Agility Trials are STRESSFUL!!!

Just ask the ORANGE PEOPLE!!!

Yes, that's Jeff and Barb reading their books. Terry, I'm not
sure if he's just watching....or praying?? This was
Sunday after all. G

Back at the hotel, Seeker was trying to get Addie
to wash his face, just like Mad does for him at home.
The problem was, Addie's face is always washed
by her brother, Pauly....So, Addie didn't
really want to wash his face.

Bill, Addie and Kruz....
Enjoying a FOOTBALL game together.

This was just cute. These two showed up on their bikes
with their cocker spaniels in the baskets. They were
such good little dogs. They never moved the whole time.

A good weekend.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rochester Weekend....

Sunday - Final Tally

No DQ's on Sunday, but SO CLOSE!!!

Kruz - Bill - Q Stnd
Rippy - Terry - Q JWW
Jeff - Bea - Q JWW
Barb - Coz - Q Open Stnd - 2nd leg
Carrie - Addie - Q JWW
Michelle - Packer - Q JWW

The heart breaker of the weekend had to be Michelle/Packer. She did a WONDERFUL Table - sit. Although it's a bit questionable on how much of her was truly on the table. Her tail and most of her butt seemed to be hanging off the edge. They barely missed the down side of the Aframe however, UGH!!! They are so close and will be adding up those DQs in no time!

Friday - Excellent Only
Here's the run down of results for Friday.
Running were Carrie - Addie, Bill - Mad Dog, Tammy - Kruz & Seeker, Terry - Rippy, Jeff - Bea, and Michelle and Packer.
Not a lot of Q's on Friday, but some beautiful runs regardless. Q's from Terry and Rip in JWW, and Seeker in Excellent Stnd A.
Saturday - All Levels + FAST
A COLD day for August, people were bundled up!
It was rather funny to see people wearing multiple layers
and even winter coats this time of year.
I think back to last year and it how hot it was!
Today provided us with a couple fun, fast and challenging courses.
We also gained MORE Q's!!! Even some COLOR!!!
Addie and Carrie = DQ
Michelle and Packer = Q JWW Exc B
Terry and Rippy = Q JWW Exc B
Tammy and Kruz = Q JWW Exc B
Barbara and Coz = Open Stnd - 1st leg
Tammy and Seeker = Q Stnd Exc A = AX and Open JWW = 2nd leg
Sunday should be a lot of fun, it's suppose to be
even cooler in the morning.
Luckily Jeff has his Coffee Maker!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Running Contacts.....

Is this where agility is headed?

For Top Competitors, I would have to say - YES!

How could anyone with a '2 on 2 off' compete
head to head with a dog walk like this.
It's just amazing to watch. Gives me goose bumps.

Yes, this will be my winter project. I realize it's still summer, but with the Fall trials upon us, this is something that Seeker and I will need to put on the back burner for now. I feel he's solid enough in his understanding of the 2/2 criteria that I don't think he'd have a problem doing both. It sure does look like a LOT of FUN!! FAST FAST FAST!!!

From all the reading I've done on the 'running contacts', it's not something that can be rushed. You need to build your foundation slowly and be sure they have a solid understanding of criteria - running full tilt through to the end of the board - before moving on to any height.

In fact, a gal that uses running contacts with her own dogs doesn't normally have her students do them as the criteria needs to be very specific and most trainers aren't willing to give it the time that's needed. Could be very challenging and interesting at the same time.

Enjoy the video. I like the music. I've figured out the numbers 'cm' is the height of the board as it moves up. It sure looks like the dog is having a blast! ENJOY!

Monday, August 24, 2009

More NADAC news - 22/23

Dear Nice Lady Who Give Us Treats & Attention, (this would be the agile reporter 'greaser' her sources)

After overhearing my mom and Tammy talking in class on Wednesday night. It appears that there is supposed to be some sort of reporting going on from the “orange crew” NADAC division. So that you are not “terminated” I submit the following information. Please excuse me if I miss someone. I heard that on Saturday Don and Stella completed their Novice Chances title to earn their Novice Versatility Award. Unfortunately that’s all I know about Saturday since we weren’t there.

Today, Becky and Ninya had several Q’s but I don’t know the classes. Carol and Abigail Q’d in Novice Tunnelers. The Ulch crew did pretty well. Emma got her first leg in Open Jumpers and an Elite Tunnelers leg. She NQ’d in both Standard runs because she did just what mom told her to do. Logan completed his Novice Regular and Novice Jumpers Titles and then ran amok very fast in Tunnelers. His run immediately before Carol and Abigail showed them what not to do. I must admit I did pretty good myself, going 4 for 4, finishing my Elite Standard, Open Tunnelers and Novice Jumpers Titles. Hope this helps!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Iowa State Fair - Obedience Report

Here is more info from the obedience side of things. They went to the State
Fair and came home without eating anything on a stick. Something just isn't

Dear Agile Reporter,

Here is some news from that "other" venue. Phoenix and I went to the open
show at the state fair to work on o-bee-jince. Apparently, we need a lot
more work. There were too many shiny objects.

On the bright side, he sat quietly on his sit box during Open group
exercises, no wiggling. The 4-H dog show was going on at the same time, at
the same site. I didn't go totally out-of-sight, just milled around in the
crowd outside the ring. One 4-H mom pointed at Phoenix sitting on his box,
looked at her husband and said, "I think these people have different

We ate rib-eye sandwiches and ice cream. Sorry, no food on a stick.

Melinda & very tired Phoenix

Glen Carbon Update - Day THREE!

This Agile Reporter just heard from the group from Glen Carbon. They are headed north after a great week-end. The weather cooperated for St. Louis area weather. That is always a plus.
Here are the results from the Orange Crew on Sunday.
Scamp and Tillie didn't get any Q's today. However, Liz was happy that Scamp hit his weaves.
Jeff had a great standard run with a 4th place. In JWW, Bea dropped a bar. Not sure why but will look at the video to see what caused that to happen.
Emmy did not Q today but ran fast and happy.
Addie - DQ'D (again)!!! Go Addie
Cider and Michele - DQ'd (again)! Go Cider. Michele is attributing her success this week-end to drinking smart water and a new braided leash which happens to be neon orange and neon green. I'm wondering if this is just smart water or smart Blonde water. Whatever it was, it seemed to work.
So if you've been keeping track, it seems that the Orange had a pretty, darn good week-end. Lots of Q's, fun and FOOD! If I were a betting person, I'd say they will find a DQ on the way home to celebrate all the DQ's and all the other Q's for that matter. After all, it is about the food, isn't it.
The Agile Reporter

Glen Carbon Update - Davenport UPDATES Saturday 8/22

Me Again, The Agile Reporter in Marion. I have heard from the group in Glen Carbon. They were sitting at Zapata's Mexican Restaurant with a pitcher of Margs. Yep - that's our group. Now for the important stuff:
Michele and Cider - Q'd in Standards but a little handler error on the Jumpers course, involving the weave poles.
Jeff and Bea - Q'd in Jumpers but didn't get to play long on the Standard course. Bea didn't hold her stay and then a couple other things fell apart. So Jeff decided there would be another day and they left the course.
Addie and Carrie - DQ !!! Carrie is very excited about the starts and all the contacts that Addie is hitting on. Good little dog.
Liz reported that she was still vertical and Tillie got an Open Std. Leg and that was about it today. This is good on both counts.
Meg Cowell and Emmie got her 2nd leg in Ex. A JWW with a first place. Woo Hoo! She also said that on the standard course there was an "episode". After having various "episodes" herself, this Agile Reporter did not ask her to elaborate.
The Orange Crew was joined by some friends from the Quad City area. Aletha and Owen Double Q'd today. Sharon and Rudy did not Q. Sharon mentioned something about "controlled disaster".

Laura Knoll got a DQ with Roxie. Also ran her other two dogs and mentioned she was a little bit tired after 6 runs today. She was refueling however with chips and salsa.

Then there is Norton, our favorite Pug (and Sally of course). Sally wanted to report a DQ on Friday AND ANOTHER today. Good little Pug.
So all in all it was a good day for the Orange Crew and friends. They all sounded very upbeat but I'm not sure if that was due in part to the adult beverages being consumed or just having a great day with dogs and dog friends. I'm guessing probably a little of both. My conversation ended abruptly because the waiter had arrived and I moved way down on the important scale. So once again, at the end of the agility day - there is FOOD! I'm counting on someone in the group to have a Marg and a taco for me.


NADAC in Davenport .....sounds likes a great day!

The following is information from Barb and Terry and the results of the NADAC Trial they were at today. Sounds like they had an awesome trial. Thanks for reporting in to the Agile Reporter.

dogs kicked tail(less) today at the qc nadac trial.
we walked away w/ 9 blues and 2 reds, two novice titles ( coz) and two open titles ( ollie).
rippy tested her lead outs and bottoms and did a fabulous job!! for terry.
coz was tested ALOT and made me very happy:-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Glen Carbon Update - Friday 8/21

GOOD JOB RILDA! Our Agile Reporter!

It's the Agile Reporter here with a short report of results from Glen Carbon, 8/21.
Addie - JWW Q; Std. NQ-bad handler but had great contacts and start line. Got 3rd place behind a little sheltie we all know and love.
Tillie - Open Std. - NQ and EX JWW - Q. Good little girl
Scamp - Ex. Preferred JWW - Q
Standard - NQ

About the time Liz was headed to the ring with Tillie, there was an announcement that vehicles had been broken into and exhibitors should check to make sure theirs were ok. There were policemen there taking statements. Liz had left her purse on the front seat of the House Car. Talk about a distraction.
Bea - JWW - NQ, dropped the first bar.
Std. - Q'd with a 2nd place
Cider - JWW - Q'd
Standard - Q'd
Michele admitted that she was still trying to figure out how the enter the weaves when she was in line waiting to run. This Agile Reporter thinks maybe we should all the the "Natalie Method" of walking the course.
They were all off to eat at the Cracker Barrel which goes to show one more time that at the end of the day, there is FOOD!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weave Pole Spacing - The Debate

(Photo by Marsha Kingsley)

Recently I’ve heard more and more debate on weave poles spacing. It mentioned earlier Spring at an Ann Braue Seminar I was attending; shortly there after in an editorial in Clean Run, and today, it’s a topic on Susan Garrett’s blog. (see editorial link and Susan’s Blog address below).

The discussion seems to center around the larger dogs and the bending of the spine and strain on the shoulders. While I currently don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other on the topic, it would sure be nice if all venues could come to some sort of agreement on weave pole spacing.

If they could narrow it down to 22-24” to me, that would be helpful. WHY? In my opinion it’s much easier for the dog to do the wider spaced weave poles. That being said, if you ask a dog to go from 24” poles to say, 20” poles, they are more than likely going to struggle. It’s pretty obvious why, the dog simply, (or not), needs to bend it's bodies more in order to navigate the closer spaced poles.

From a competitor standpoint I’m not going to set my dog up to fail by working them on 24” poles. At least by practicing them closer together they are 'hopefully' staying flexible in their spine. I have both 20" and 22" poles.

Let’s face it; we practice the weave poles at home or at class a lot more than we actually perform them at a trial. By doing this however, we hurting our dogs? I don’t know? That’s a good question. Obviously, no one is looking to injury their dog or cause him/her pain. In this case it appears there is a solution, although not a simple one.

If you have some time, look at the links provided below.

Susan has a survey listed on her site as well.

AKC and NADAC = 20-24” spacing

USDAA = 18 – 21” spacing

Just some food for thought while you're training and trialing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Peoria, IL - AKC trial - August 16/17

From Meme - Still waiting to hear from Barbara.I

It was a dark and stormy night – just kidding – I missed all the rain – just had to drive in it on the way home.

Saturday, Betty ran AWESOME in jww, but we were running downhill towards the ending and I pushed her out around the next to last jump – RATS. She was all about the “shiny object” in standard – oh well. I am not sure what Frank’s deal was in jww – just kinda weird – NQ. Standard – he ran great and Q’d, got 1st and I moved him up to the B class for Sunday.

Sunday – Betty Q’d in jww and got 2nd – good girly!! She was “riding the unicorn” in standard! Frank Q’d in standard and jww (first in both – I suppose I should tell you that he was the ONLY preferred dog in 12 inch… LOL). So… that should finish both of his “A” titles this weekend, right? Hmmm… not so fast! I entered his info in the computer and realized my error… UGH!! I thought that he was going into this weekend needing one leg each in std and jww for the titles. Guess what? He HAD one leg in each and needed two, so I might be getting the ugly letter from AKC about the leg in standard from the “B” class on Sunday. Just to be on the safe side, I’ll leave him in “A” standard for another leg.

Camping was good, and I’d probably go back there again. It was a nice trial and the site was not too bad – just a little warm this weekend. There were not a lot of people there and Frank really liked that!! It was pretty quiet and he was much more relaxed than he would normally be at a trial. Good boy!!


From Barbara!! (Cozzie's out of JAIL!!! Congrats on your NA/NAJ!!!

we left at 430 am on sat and got there in plenty of time. it was pretty hot that first day, very little breeze. you know how peoria can be in aug:-) ( very low Q rate the whole weekend. they were lovely courses, but again, you
know how peoria can be:-)

terry was Q-less all weekend except sundays open fast, where he took first.
coz nailed both his nov fast runs and took first both times. on sat. he gave me his nov. std. title w/ a first place. and on sun., after waiting one hour for the rain to stop, he gave me his nov. jumpers title w/ a first place. he is still way to obsticle focused, and he really pushes out easy ( needs to work closer to me), but he was drivey and happy all weekend.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Do you Train? Or Complain?

Seeker working on 'Impulse' control.

Do you find yourself at performance events 'complaining' because conditions aren't perfect.

Maybe someone moved a chair while you were recalling your dog during the obedience recall exercise. Or a tent is being taken down, right as your dog is entering the weave poles in agility.

Let's face it....things are going to happen!!!

So, here's the question.
Do you Train? Or Complain?

Next time you find yourself at a trial wanting to complain, STOP!!
Take a breath and look at this as a learning opportunity for you and your dog.

I understand that you may have driven a long way and entry fees are NOT cheap.
However, if a moving chair or the disassembling of a tent are distracting your dog from
it's work, they are more than likely not as engaged as they should be.

You will also want to be sure you are being fair to your dog when doing distraction training.
Don't set him up to fail and then punishing him for doing so.
Give him the opportunity to correct his error and reward him!

Granted, there will ALWAYS be things that happen that
you could NEVER proof for. Here's a picture from a
recent PWD Water Trial in which a 'school' of scuba divers
were swimming around the outside of the test area.

However, if you had been able to practice at a busy beach, or
had the opportunity to work around a few flocks of ducks or
geese, this distraction might not be all that bad.

I use my chickens for distractions. They are very gullible, and if you just toss some grain around on the ground, they make make a wonderful, flapping, squawking distraction.

Here's Mad practicing her Apprentice Level Retrieve several years ago.
Yes, that's corn on the cob 'left overs' on the ground.

Look for places to practice with distractions.

Don't continue to practice in sterile environments and
then become upset when your show site is not.

Have fun with your distractions.

Most importantly!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dog Names!

Since we haven't had any Agility results to post lately, so I thought it might be fun to talk about your dog's registered names and how you came up with them.

Seeker was suppose to be called "Syzygy", guess I lost that battle! I thought Syzygy would be great because his face is all white, like a total eclipse. Bill had other ideas. So, I was outside running the dogs one day and Seeker (puppy), kept running to the shade. It was July after all and apparently he wasn't stupid. I called Bill and asked about using "Shady" as a name. (Hey, it's in a BIGGIE song and a girl's gotta try!!). NO! So, what about Seeker, as in 'shade seeker'. He liked it and that's how he got his call name. Or course, everyone thinks it's Harry Potter related or from the movie "The Seeker", which came out a few months after Bill got him.

The Registered name was a little tougher. I've learned, you must NOT rush these decisions. They are IMPORTANT!!!! A name needs to be 'thought' out and have some true meaning to go with the dog's personality. His registered name I came across totally by accident. It belonged to a horse, a 'former' wild mustang to be more specific. This horse, known as "Hail Yeah", won the 100 day, 100 rider - extreme mustang challenge contest. I thought this was amazing and since Seeker's "Kennel Name" is Lytnstrke, it seemed to fit.

It didn't hurt that Seeker's attitude was exactly the same. Anything you wanted to do Seeker's attitude was always, HAIL YEAH!!!!

A little more searching and I located a theme song for the little guy. It sealed the deal, as even Bill agreed, it FIT!

Care to share how your dogs got their names?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lessons to be learned at the County Fair

I know, this an Agility BLOG!!!

As I sat watching the kids show their cattle over the weekend I learned a LOT of valuable lessons.

#10 - Dogs spend down time in a crate - Cattle get tied to the wall.
#9 - Dogs go to the hotel with you - Cattle get tied outside so the building can air out.
#8 - Dogs walk nicely on a leash - Cattle go when and where they want to!
#7 - Dog's tails tell you when they are happy - Cattle's tails are used as a steering wheel and are cranked on when they won't move forward. Which is quite often.
#6 - Dog's are groomed on a table when their heads in a noose - Cattle are 'fitted' in a chute and their head is wedged so it can't move backwards.
#5 - Dogs bark - Cattle bawl.
#4 - Dogs ride inside your van - Cattle ride in a trailer pulled by your truck.
#3 Dogs have micro chips - Cattle have ear tags.
#2 Dogs ask to go outside to potty - Cattle just GO!
#1 Dog poop easily fits in a baggie - Cattle poop....DOES NOT!

I can honestly say I never saw any of the kids reach into their pocket for a
baggies after the steer pooped!!! LOL

I did watch the part of the lamb show.
The judges speech at the end of the class was very nice.
I guess it was a plus that you could actually UNDERSTAND what
he was saying! I think the cattle judge needed to take
microphone lessons from that guy!

He talked about the kid that took last place in could learn from the kids
that placed above him in the class. It wasn't said as a put down, but more
of how much further he could grow than those that were winning.
Those that were winning, he stated, needed to move on to bigger
shows, so they could continue to learn and grow too.

It made perfect sense, although I don't suppose many of it look at it that way.
Who wants to be at the bottom?

But, if you're always at the top, you have no where to go but down.
If you're at the bottom, you have no where to go but up.
Where do you think that you'll learn the most?

We always need to be sure we're getting better.
That might mean trying new things that are outside our comfort zone.
Doing a bit more research to see what works best for you and your dog.
Asking questions of those we feel are doing a great job and trying those out.

Always looking to IMPROVE!!

and of course