Current Focus

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thought it would help to put what we're currently working on (or hope to improve) into words :)

Merlin - just chilling out for a while, not doing agility again til Spring. This winter we'll build up to fun play and maybe train some tricks.

Rhymer - ironing out teamwork and getting contacts more consistent, work on weave entries/independence.

Hawk - faster, more consistent weaves. improve distance/gamblers skills.

Cloud - build up teamwork, improve weave consistency, work on looking for obstacles/light distance skills.

Trinket - work on crosses, basic jumping skills, work on 2o2o, re-intro weaves.

Flutter - after recovery from spay, help her build her rear back up with bar-less jumps, tunnels, and dog walk/teeter.

Coyote - teach crosses, intro to tunnels and beginning jump skills. teach 2o2o.

Selkie - teach sit, follow a hand, and come when called :)

and if you're wondering, yes I train 8 dogs :)

FWOTC - Fort Wayne, IN

Thursday, October 25, 2007

GREAT weekend! Hawk and Rhymer were both entered. Hawk needed one more OAJ leg to finish her title, and was in Excellent A Standard for the first time. Rhymer was entered in Excellent B JWW & Standard, needing 2 legs for his MXJ and 3 legs for his MX.


Standard: Oops! Missing your walkthrough may leave the handler disorientated :) My fault on both flubs, but we did about as well as everyone else on that course. I was happy with how well she pulled through that last sequence (pin wheel to the teeter to the end).

JWW: Was really pleased with this run, just need to get faster weaves in trials. :)

Standard: The way I did the lead-out was a little different than most people. A lot of people chose to lead out on the other side, but I thought the left side gave the dog a clearer idea of where to go. I elected to layer the extra jump to better tuck Rhymer into the chute. We could've tightened the exit of the weaves to the tire, but I like his speed through the weaves. Not sure what the stop on the Aframe was for, but we've been kind of off training since his last trial (had some chiropractic work done). Since he was behaving himself, I let him have some fun on the rest of the contacts. I was very pleased with how nicely he tucked in to the approach to the teeter.

JWW: Was very pleased with this run on his part - we need to work weave pole exits apparently! I didn't want to push too hard too soon for the turn but pushed too late - good dog for saving my butt!! He was a little too "YEHAW!" on the large pinwheel and we need to work on tucking in a little tighter. Double Q though! :)


Standard: Mostly could just use tighter turns - I may set up the tunnel - triple - serpentine - aframe sequence to figure out a different way to handle that. I didn't see anyone figure out a smooth way to handle it. Much happier with her weaves this run.

JWW: Fairly happy with this run for a twisty course - could've snugged up a couple places (like the weave entry) or pushed a little more for speed, but I wasn't sure how she'd handle on one of these courses.

Standard: Who knows on the teeter! A lot of dogs were having teeter problems on that course. Same problem as Hawk on the tunnel - triple - serpentine - aframe. I figured since we'd NQ'ed we'd do the 2o2o contacts. Pretty happy with the rest of the run.

JWW: Like how this run went (could've snugged up a few places but twisty is not his forte). I'm kicking myself for how that rear cross went at the end! I think we needed the rear cross to suck him back that way but he sucked too far back and we missed it completely. Oops. :)

Motivation and the Performance Dog

Monday, October 1, 2007

This has been bugging me for a while so I figure I might as well ramble about it.

I was talking with a friend of mine explaining that in my next puppy I would like to get a little more drive.

My friend replied that I am just not being motivating enough -- that there must be something in the world that the dog enjoys enough to give the performance I'd like, and if not then the dog must not be hungry/lonely enough to find it motivating.

Do WHAT? Why on Earth would I want to starve or ignore my dog just to get a faster obstacle performance in a GAME? It's supposed to be FUN for pete's sake! Now I don't mean I don't think you should train when the dog is hungry for breakfast or dinner - but that's very different from withholding several meals on a regular basis, or leaving your dog in a crate for the entire day so they're so happy to see you that they'll do anything for you.

I love my dogs and I love this sport, but BECAUSE I love my dogs I don't want to try to "force" them to love the sport! I do what I can to show them it's a fun game and to reward their best efforts, but if they don't enjoy it why should I ask them to do it? Maybe they find something else more enjoyable, or maybe they just have a laid-back attitude about life and don't get riled up about anything at all.

When it comes down to it, my relationship with my dogs comes first. Some say the above attitude will keep me from "getting anywhere" in agility, but so what? It's a fun game that I play with my dogs -- and as long as my dogs are happy doing it, so am I. :)

Terre Haute Kennel Club report

Yup I still LOVE the facility -- could have done without all the death-trap walnuts though! Despite being attacked by walnuts, a beetle, and the very very loud concert in the building next to the trial it was a VERY fun trial.

Hawk, Rhymer, and my teamwork was all a little "off" this weekend but Rhymer hasn't trialled since about this time last year, and Hawk hasn't trialled since the beginning of July. So being the first time back out in quite a while (and Hawk's 3rd trial ever), I was fairly pleased with how it went overall.

I haven't got the videos uploaded yet, so I'll post a link when I get that up.



  • 9/29/07 - Excellent B JWW - Q - 1st place - 31.28 seconds, 14 MACH points - MXJ leg #7
  • 9/29/07 - Excellent B STD - NQ - did not stop on his Aframe, called the run
  • 9/30/07 - Excellent B JWW - Q - 1st place - 32.16 seconds, 14 MACH points - MXJ leg #8
  • 9/30/07 - Excellent B STD - NQ - did not stop on his Aframe, called the run

(He tests his contact stops every 6-12 mos to see if I'm still serious when I ask him for them. Clearly he knows I am now!)


  • 9/29/07 - Open JWW - NQ - a couple refusals due to my bad timing
  • 9/29/07 - Open STD - Q - 1st place - 69.62 seconds (held contacts) - OA leg #1
  • 9/30/07 - Open JWW - Q - 1st place - 33.58 seconds - OAJ leg #1 - bad timing again
  • 9/30/07 - Open STD - Q - 1st place - 73.88 seconds (held contacts) - OA leg #2

Off to Indiana Collie Club's trial next weekend, and Fort Wayne's trial shortly after that!