Monday, March 26, 2012

Thanks PWDCTC!!

I was up in the Twin Cities over the weekend giving a few workshops on Tricks, Beginning Water Work, and Advanced Water work for the Portuguese Water Dog Club of the Twin Cities.  Working with Great People, and their Great Dogs!!  The weather was so amazing, we could have been in the water!!

The Tricks workshops went very well, I wasn't sure how the 4 weeks 'on line' prep work would go, but all the handles did a nice job of having their dogs 'ready' for the next step.  There was a lot of experimenting with different tricks, and handlers were able to focus on those tricks the 'wanted' most.  Not only that, they got an opportunity to learn how their dogs learn! 

I had a nice group of 'Beginning' dogs that are looking forward to the water season.  After a nice demonstration by Marley of the Junior/Apprentice exercises, we focused on water basics, rules, equipment, etc.  Then we worked dogs using agility pause tables as boats, loading and carrying bumpers.  We ended with some fun recall games. 

The 'Advanced' group was a nice mix of dogs/handlers at Working and Courier level, with a few Apprentice level mixed it.  I loved that!  Why wait until you pass Apprentice to start training for the upper levels.  In this workshop we played some retrieve games, working to increase arousal level, for both handler and dog.  In one game I had them bring out all the equipment that they'd brought and we spread it out around them.  We limited it to 8 'articles', from bumpers, float lines, shoes, whatever.  The game was to have your dog retrieve all these articles and the handler had to put them in their gear bag.  The team that finished first WON!

In both groups we discussed the importance of not just working with one 'brand' if you will of equipment.  Being sure you're dog will retrieve ANYTHING, doG forbid you'd leave one of your bumpers at home and you'd need to borrow one that's NOT like yours!  Also, those change over the years, so you might not be able to find the same one you've been using. 

Of course we worked on some trouble shooting, in regards to the different tasks.  The courier ball drop is always a 'hot' topic.  What a great variety of questions.

Both groups of Dogs/Handlers were Amazing!  The dogs worked in a highly distracting environment, and were all ROCK STARS!! Looking forward to seeing how the training progresses over the summer. 

Thanks for having me!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy 14th Birthday Kruz!!

Enjoying some "Milk Jug" chasing in the yard over the weekend.  
You might think it's 'easy', but it was WINDY outside!

Kruz on his new 'baby bed'!
Yep, a human baby bed makes a GREAT dog bed!
He seems to like it!
Great idea Marsha!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Guaranteed CONTACTS!!!

Thanks Marsha! 

I hope they come in ORANGE!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Set Point Jumps, Grids and a Tire

It was SO nice outside today that the dogs
 went for a run in the pasture!

Seeker likes to let Nettle 'think'
she can outrun him....but it doesn't last.....

It was so windy, that Kruz did a
GREAT "Seeker" intimation!

Then Seeker and Nettle had a contest to 
see who had the longest TONGUE!


I think Nettle wins on 'style'.   
After a bit of a rest I took Nettle out to work her first ever
'Set Point Jumps'.   She's seen a straight jump grid with 
jump bumps, but never a jump with an actual bar. 

So, we started with a jump bump, perfect. 
Then 8", 12", 16" and 8" bar.  She was PERFECT!!
That is a WRAP!

Then we played with the jump grid of 4 jump bumps in
a row.  Her sits/holding position were PERFECT, she waited 
for her release!  Even when I ran as fast as I could to the other end! 
We even had some MAJOR distractions!
Starring a couple cats, (thanks Chemi and Cougar!!)
and Poppa picking up sticks! 

Then we went to the tire, which she saw it for the first time yesterday. 
We started with it on the ground, then a 8",
 and today went to 12" then back down. 
With the tire, I'm using Linda M's jump training.  

Nettle was AWESOME!  
(You IS SMART!!!)
She never left her work, which is HUGE for her. 
Never ran off with the tug, another PLUS!

So.....tomorrow I'm tempted to drag that carpet
back out, and start working on those running contacts!
I've put that on hold, because if Nettle's not staying
engaged in the work, it's counter productive to try to 
train new things.   It's suppose to rain...but, maybe if 
we get it out first thing in the morning.  

I'll need to 'flip it'!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Am I Ready to Trial?

I get this questions quite often, as I'm sure most instructors do.  

It turns into a mini interview, with me being the interviewer.

The questions go something like this......

1. What are your goals and expectations? 

2. Has your dog been successful practicing at different locations. 

3. Will your dog stay with you, or run 'a muck'?

4. Does your dog hold a start line stay?

5. Does your dog fully understand your obstacle criteria?

6. Will you go back and reattempt an obstacle
if the dog should run by it? 

7. What are the consequences to the dog, if any, 
if things don't go according to plan?

8. Will you be able to stay calm, and be the handler
you are in practice for your dog? 

As you can imagine, the answers to these questions will vary for everyone.

I'm not sure if I've ever given someone a straight 'yes' or 
'no' answer to this question.  It becomes more of a discussion on 
what they can 'expect' or 'not' expect to happen, and how they 
will react.  Let's face it, your time on the agility course is short.  
With a green dog, it's extremely important you know in 
advance what you will, or won't do if something unexpected occurs.

Of course, the most important thing is to ....



Friday, March 2, 2012

International Course - For your Viewing Pleasure!

I still haven't decided whether I'll go to the World Team Try-Outs in May.....

(Click To Enlarge)

But this looks like a fun one to set up in the building this weekend!

Okay, maybe it's just #7-#14 that looks like fun!  LOL

This is amazing!  

I love a good challenge!