Monday, August 30, 2010

USDAA Rule Changes!

If your head is still spinning from the AKC Rule changes, I'm happy to report that USDAA has FEWER!! 

 On July 1, 2010, the USDAA Board released several approved rule changes, which can be read in full on line. Effective dates range from immediate to 2011, depending on the particular change.

Some of the highlights are:

* The weave poles specifications have been expanded. Poles shall be set at 22" (55cm) spacing when measured center to center, with tolerance in construction permitted of +/- 2" (5cm).

* The tire jump definition now permits an option to use a "displaceable" tire. When the tire is displaced or separated, a penalty of five standard fault points shall be assessed. Check the website for the specifications of acceptable displaceable tires.

* All tires should have cabling that does not create a web in which a dog could become entangled.
* The aperture of the tire shall measure approximately 20" (51cm), within standard tolerances (i.e., plus or minus 1" or 2.54cm).

* Title name changes will be made in the Performance Program to more closely align titles between the Championship and Performance Programs (e.g., Performance Dog, Advanced Performance Dog, Master Performance Dog, Performance Dog Champion, etc.). Class names will remain unchanged.

* A new Veterans Program will be introduced for the primary titling classes. Details will be published later.

* The Performance Speed Jumping tournament will introduce Regional Championship classes and a Championship Quarterfinals class in the annual Championship.

* For the 2011 tournament season, a competitor/dog team must qualify in at least two of the three tournaments within a Program (Championship or Performance), in order to advance to the annual Championship event.

A new rulebook that incorporates the changes will be coming soon.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Agility Handling Move! "The Fogt"!

If you're a member of the "Orange Crew" and happen to perform to a new agility move, chances are, it will be named after you.  To be honest, it's only named after you 'if' other "Orange Crew" people have observed it, and feel it was either significantly funny enough, or has reoccurred often enough to deserve the honor. 

For instance, there's the Hartzler.  This is named after Michele, who tends to celebrate 'too early' at the end of a run on a regular basis, thus resulting in dropping the last bar.  While this isn't funny, it has occurred with enough frequency that even she realizes she's completed a "Hartzler".  

Not to be confused with the other Hartzler move, which involves two "cougars" (aka - yellow labs) pulling on a leash, while Jeff is being towed behind.  They come to a cement curb in which the cougars clear, but Jeff does not.  This sent Jeff to the ER, and resulted in ripped pants and stitches to his knee.  Michele, then ran through the trial site in order to drive him to the ER, tripping on a inside curb, sending her to the ER as well.  Although this wasn't funny at the time, they were both fine, thus naming this one on their own.  

There's the full Kittrell, which involves falling down on course with your dog.  This involves totally going down, while your dog successfully completes the obstacle "before" coming back to see if you're okay.

Finally, we have the Wichmann Whirl.  I actually have video of this one, but you'll need to go here - 

to see it.  I no longer have it on my FLIP archives.  This involves loosing sight of your dog on course, only to spin all the way around, only to find he's still on course with you.  Good boy Jamie!!! G

Finally, we get to our NEW Handling Move!  The Fogt!! It's been awhile since we've had a new handling move to perfect!  This one involves a start with an open tunnel, a tunnel obsessed dog, a british slip lead and a handler that either needs MORE HANDS, or less to drink!  G  ENJOY!!!  I know we sure did as it actually happened.  I haven't laughed that hard at an agility trial in a long time!!The part you don't see is that the leash ends up landing about the same time Packer exits the tunnel.  Michele tossed it that high in the air.  Even the judge was laughing!  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our Special Sophie!

Sophie - 6/21/98 - 8/24/10

Sweet Sophie Summerhund, CD, RN, AX, MXJ, U-CD, U-AGI, U-AGII.   

 From Rilda:

Sophie had a good day yesterday.  Helped me mow, Frisbee in tow.  Later in the evening Ryelee tried everything he could to get her to play (totally out of Ryelee's norm).  Play bowed, ran past her, to initiate the chase game.  She would bark at him as he ran by but that was about it.  She seemed so tired and weak by the time we went to bed.  Breathing a little harder.  This morning she ate, promptly threw up and was just really struggling.  I knew it was time.  I knew she would let me know and she did.  She actually died in my arms before Dr. Erin actually administered the 2nd drug.  
Her biggest legacy, (next to that table issue) is that without her - none of you guys (and many others) would be in my life.  All because I had a naughty little schnauzer - I met all of you. 
---and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.   
(Beth Norman Harris). 
I'll miss her so much.
From Smooth Sailin'

Sophie was truly a remarkable little dog.  They started obedience classes because Sophie wouldn't let her, Rilda, on the bed!  Can you picture this little 14lb dog, saying "NO" to the Momma!  G  It's true.  One our our "Orange Crews" favorite things to do, was to pass Sophie from one person to the next.  You see, we could all do it and Sophie would be quite as a church mouse.  When Sophie was handed to Rilda however, she'd make that most amazing growling noises.  It was hysterical!  Sophie didn't mean anything by it, I think it was her way of telling Rilda that she loved her.  I will miss that noisy little dog! 
After her first pet obedience class, dog sports just took over!  We all know how that is!  Rilda and Sophie  entered obedience, agility and even Rally trials!  She did very well indeed.   Her nemesis was the table! Sophie could NOT understand why anyone would want to stop a perfectly good run in order to take a 5 second break!  I think she figured if the Momma couldn't run for 45 seconds straight, then they should just DEAL WITH IT!  G

Of course, there was Rilda's birthday one year when we filled her dog crates with Diet Pepsi.  Sophie just went right in, we're still not sure how she fit.  What a good little dog!

She also LOVED to watch animal shows!  Here she is, taking on a Gorilla!  Rilda was safe in her home with Sophie there, that's for sure!  At least from Gorillas!

You're a GOOD GIRL Sophie!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Danielle and PAX 8 Punkin Patootie!!!!!

What a fun pair to watch!!!!  6 year old Danielle and 13 year old Punkin, a Labrador Retriever, DQ'ed AGAIN today to earn Punkin's 8th PAX and Danielle's first!  We were in Burnsville, MN at the Greater Twin Cities Golden Retriever Agility Trials.

(Danielle, Punkin and Paul)

There was the normal 'hush' over the crowd as Danielle took to the line, with Punkin, owned by Paul Young.  Danielle is a 'fill in' handler for Punkin when she's available, and has successfully run her several times before.

I had no idea that this 'could' be the 160th DQ Punkin earned in the preferred classes to earn her 8th PAX!!  As Danielle and Punkin cleared the last jump, the crowd went WILD!!!  Of course, there's always a lot of cheering when they are done, but this was different!  Adults were rushing to the ring gates, telling Danielle to "grab a bar" and do a 'victory lap'.  It was pretty obvious Danielle didn't have any idea what they were trying to tell her.  Finally, she understood, took the bar and she and Punkin did the cutest PAX LAP EVER!!

To make the day even more special for this family, Danielle's Grandmother, Alice Howe and her dog, Zap, finished their MACH earlier in the day!!  How fun is that!!!!!  I'm sure their will be cake at the next trial....I sure hope they bring one to DSM!!  Hint Hint!  

(Danielle and Punkin PAX 8, with her Grandmother,
Alice Howe, and new MACH Zap!)

I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of Danielle in the future.  You might want to get your autographs NOW while they are still FREE!!  She's now running a spit fire of a Papillion that she's trained and it's amazing.   Lucky for me, it's in the 8" class.  Unfortunately for Carrie and Corgi, Marti, as well as Trish and Bichon, Angel, Danielle's little dog is in the 8" class!!  VBG  

Huge Congrats from the Iowa Orange Crew -  
Danielle, Punkin and Paul!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Iowa Weave Pole Challenge - Part 2

Seeker and I have been working on a different weave pole challenges involving, entries, crosses, converging and diverging. All of these challenges are realistic when it comes to running your dog in agility. 

What about those that aren't?  We've covered, cats, birds, handler's body position, and yes, even popcorn!!  Are you ready for another challenge?  How about running "toward" your dog while he's weaving?  Why?  Because you 'can' and it's fun!  Will it help you on an agility course?  Maybe?

What if you have a long 20' straight tunnel and a weave entry immediately following the exit toward you?  Maybe you can just stand and call your dog through the weaves toward you.  Wouldn't that be cool!  While everyone else is complaining about an impossible entry or the inability to 'get there', you are calm cool and collected because YOU'VE done your 'home work'!

Let's face it, everything we 'train', in reality it just a "trick".  Tricks are a BLAST TO TRAIN!  Right!  So, you're performance training shouldn't be any different.  Mix it up and have some fun!

I generally use a toy for training as Seeker finds it more rewarding than food.  That doesn't mean I never use food!  For the video I used a little of both.  He sometimes doesn't even see the food, so for him, a toy is more visual. For the video we used our Orange Wiener Dog he got from Aunt Rilda!  He's well LOVED!!

I also realized after watching this video, how lazy I get when I train with food!   I guess a stagnate reward makes me a stagnate trainer!  Something I need to work on if I'm using food.  See what a great tool video taping yourself is!!

To start, I used 6 poles.  Seeker was at one end and I was at the other.  He had an easy entry, set up about 15' back from the entry.  I was about 5' from the exit of the poles and lateral about 5'.   I tossed the toy on the ground directly lateral to me. I released Seeker and told him to weave.  I didn't move.  Big game of tug!  

I slowly started taking one step forward.   At first, this was difficult for him, he wanted to turn in the direction I was going.  Very understandable!  So, I'd just take a smaller step, or literally just lift one foot up.  Huge game of tug on any successful completion. 

It didn't take long before I could walk slowly, then jog, then run toward him.  It was amazing how fast he caught on!  Short sessions are also the key!  It took me longer to move the pause table and get my flip video camera set up then it did to do this sequence.  We didn't weave more than 6 or 7 times.  That was plenty! 

If you're curious on how Seeker was trained to weave, I used Susan Garrett's 2 X 2s.  We both LOVED IT!  The key, no matter how you train, is to HAVE FUN!!  Challenge yourself and your dog!  It keeps training interesting!  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Poisonous Toadstools??

Poor Seeker!

What started out as a short fun training session,
turned into a not so fun vomiting party.

Gee, just like your ole' college days!!

The Toadstool - top/bottom

We were working on our running A-Frame Foundation work.
He was completing a series of jumps, then running
through his box and I'd toss a mini marshmallow.
(Our treat of choice)

A good toss, with bad placement!
It landed right next to a toadstool.
It was the size of a mini marshmallow.
Seeker ate it!
You would think it was a lab or something!
Sorry Cougars!

It took about 3 minutes for me to decide to grab the hydrogen peroxide.
Do you risk it being poisonous, and freak out for several days, or
do you induce vomiting and have an uncomfortable 15 minutes?

Afterward, I looked through the Internet.
I think it was probably safe,
but I feel better not having to worry.

"When in Doubt, Get it OUT!"

Seeker would have preferred to have waited!
He is still one unhappy little camper!
He's such a sensitive little man.
Poor guy!!

"Leave me alone...I'm not talking to you!"

"Unless you want to play with Squeaky Ball that is!!"

He can have it in the house....for a little while.

Squeaky ball is an OUTSIDE toy!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

You Thought MY Weave Pole Challenge was Tough!

This video is hysterical! At about 3 minutes in, the dogs are weaving through flag poles. A couple handlers are dodging the flags. Just when you thought USDAA jump heights were high! Check out the little dog! The clear tunnels look like fun, it's like they are in running giant hamster houses. Finally, FLYBALL look out! Who needs a box and a ball when you can just use a curved tunnel. Anyone want to try this one at class some night? VBG

Thanks Meme for sending this to me!!

PS - Not a BC in the bunch!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Congrats to - ADCH SHIVER and ADCH RIO!!!!

Don't let this cute innocent face fool you!
Here lies an AGILITY DOG!!

Seeker's littermate, Shiver, is now -


Way to go Shenna!!
I'm sure you had 'something' to do with it!

Their 'baby' cousin, Rio, earned her ADCH last weekend.
She just turned 2 years old last month!

Way to go Carol and ADCH RIO!!!

We're very proud of all of you!!

ADCH - USDAA - Agility Dog Champion

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

USDAA Dog Agility - CYNOSPORT - Entries Open

FINALLY!! The premium list is out for this years big event! This is the first year I'll attend the Cynosport games and I'm looking forward to it. Dogs and Handlers will be traveling from all of the US and Europe. Some will even travel from Spain, Mexico and Japan. Talk about competition!

Seeker will run a minimum of 9 times, so that will make us both happy! He could run more, as long as he runs fast and clean. Since he qualified over the 22" jumps, he'll need to remain in that class. I would have much preferred the 26" height, but we'll live. Lesson learned. He is a totally different dog when you take away 4". Much faster, thus I need to be too.

We'll be running with family members, Shenna - Shiver (litter sister), and Carol - Rio (Cousin) in the DAM Team 3 Dog Championship. Yep, '3 Sheeps To the Wind' rides again! All 3 dogs will also be competing in the Grand Prix Championships and $10000 Steeplechase Championship.

During down time, we'll be able to watch other fabulous dogs run, and visit the Dock Diving, Lure Coursing, and Frisbee competitions. I'm sure there will be PLENTY TO DO!!