Thursday, September 30, 2010

training last night

so rah was supposed to be back in training last night from his foot injury, but he missed all but 10 minutes of utility...

i had a ring rental for berlin to work on agility stuff - hard weave entrances off sides and sticking the table and ignoring the tunnel. she still has a LOT of trouble sticking the table. she doesn't avoid it, but she's not staying on!!!!! worked some exercises to get her to rock back the minute she gets on and collect herself.. .we shall see.

then lydia and i took bunny and berlin over to a new training facility to check it out to see if we want to take classes there for agility, since we still have no agility trainer.

berlin did pretty well - considering she was in a brand new facility (that reeked of variety of smells from vomit to rats), did half the class outside (we don't train outside, ha!) on slippery grass, and new people both tried to touch her and talk to her... not bad at all! im still not sure we will train there for a variety of reasons because i really want to be picked apart as a trainer, not just encouraged - tell me exactly what is wrong! but...

first course was inside - they split the dogs up small to tall and berlin was the biggest there (ha ha ha).

we ran the closing from the excellent standard class this past weekend... main issue was getting the aframe and how we did it. experimented with front crosses, rear crosses, and pulling onto the frame.

of course the ever present block of wrong end of tunnel was fine - she popped off her contacts twice (once teeter, once frame)- i was actually able to pull her (which i didn't think she would) and the front cross worked great. the rear worked, but she slowed down considerably and watched me as i crossed behind her. jeff didn't think the front cross would be really feasible unless you got out of the way- there was a jump past 5 in line with it that i wanted to block though. jeff doesn't like blocking. :)

the next part of class, big dogs went outside and little ones in.
the course outside:

worked some start line issues - did a lead out to 3 - and then the tunnel suck-age came. it took four tries for berlin to come to hand (and here is where i wasnt so happy with the training) - she's a fast dog and she's not picking up the cues (that im not giving?? ha ha) AND she's a tunnel suck. but the trainers weren't helping me work things out, just having me do the same thing over and over and over again until she got it - but what i ended up with was a stressed berlin not understanding why she had to do the same thing repeatedly because she just WANTED TO DO THE TUNNEL. OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

i walked the course with a front cross right before the triple (landing side of 8) but instead i chose to run out and do a landing side front cross after 7 - worked much better IMO and berlin nailed her weave entry EVERY SINGLE TIME even though i didnt babysit the line of jumps, i sent her on a "go".

all in all its a nice facility because its full size, it has outdoor training, and full equipment (multiple sets). essentially we could become members for a nice deal - but i wasnt impressed and im not sure how driven i will be there. they liked berlin and commented that she was a VERY fast dog - and her jumping style. which is another problem - all those dogs were VERY bad jumpers.

i dont want to become a worse handler - i want to become better. im so picky. just want my old agility class :(

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

forever and a day

so its been about forever and a day since i posted - training has been off and on. we still don't have agility class right now (which is killing us, since berlins finally showing), and rah is out of obedience since he sliced his foot open. berlin is still in novice and this coming weekend we are going to the bridget carlsen seminar, and berlin will be working it and im SOOO excited.

this past weekend berlin made her AKC agility debut - no q's, but some big strides made. it ended up being almost 90 degrees and full sun - VERY hot for a black dog. and considering berlin doesn't train outside and has been out of class for 6+ weeks, im not disappointed in the least.

first up was standard - she did really well. the mess ups were MOSTLY mine -

i did a lead out to the tire and she ran it nicely, and i left her in 2o/2o at the dog walk to get a one jump lead out (GOOD STAY and GOOD SLS here!) - unfortunately, when i was releasing her i didnt pay enough attention to the angle that jump 6 was after 5, and when i turned i almost took the jump down - clearly since *i* was running at 6, i pushed berlin right off the jump. called her back and sent her over but she was out of position for the weaves so we had to start that over. then, her big momentum caused her to fall right off the table - got her back on, and did a lead out to the Aframe. this is where i should have stuck with my original plan - i was going to go to the RIGHT of the frame and physically block her off course to the tunnel, but instead i decided to front cross her at the base. however, berlin was a bat out of hell and came down, did not hold her contacts and chose to ignore me repeatedly to go into the wrong end :) i got her in the right end, ran to the chute, and here kim made mistake 123123123 - i was going to try to pull her onto the teeter, but last minute chose to front cross in front of it - and doing that i blocked her path and she didnt see it - and put feet on it but came off (never even attempting it) - but AKC rules meant she had attempted it and that was it, we had to move on. finished the rest of the course no problem. no running, no zooming, no going after ring crew :)

jww -

i did a three jump lead out and berlin held it - YAY!!! my lead out pivot was for naught though, berlin blew right past 2 (it was a little further to the left on the course than it is on the map - just kept going, but she was distracted by a dog screaming at the other end of the ring - missed weave entrance, got it on the second try. i didnt do a tight enough pull and she missed 7 because i was pushing her too far out - but she drove the line to the tunnel and came out beautifully and we finished the course with just one glance towards ring crew :)

so, we learned a lot on what i still need to work on, but she survived her first trial. so did i!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

i know ive been a negligent poster here - life has been hectic.
we havent had agility in weeks because of scheduling conflicts.
rah sliced his foot open so he hasnt been in obedience. so its just berlin in novice.

of course, berlin has an agility trial this weekend which very well may suck since she hasnt been really training under the tutelage of anyone for awhile.

timing. sucks.

Monday, September 6, 2010

blown away

im just blown away by these people and their heart.

and the youtube channel with runs from 2008:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

someone else always says it better

care of lori drouin -

Personally, I think you get the most out of this sport if it helps you
> really get to know the dog you have, and appreciate his or her strengths
> and understand his or her weaknesses. The challenge is to maximize the
> former and do your best to overcome the latter. In the process, you
> discover stuff about yourself. You learn to be patient, to plan, to
> observe, to experiment and then do it all again. You find out that
> embarrassment doesn't actually kill you. If you look around, you find
> that a LOT of people and dogs face the same problems that you have. You
> meet interesting and amusing people if you take the time. There is a lot
> to be gained from any sport aside from competition results. You compete
> against your past results with THIS dog, and look for improvement and
> progress. For some dogs that will never be enough to win a class or get
> an OTCh, but it will be progress that YOU achieved.
> And sometimes, you discover the limits of a dog's ability to tolerate
> social pressure and the rigors of the competition setting, in spite of
> your efforts. You sometimes have to switch gears from training the
> exercise to focusing on desensitization and counter conditioning a dog's
> responses to noises, other dogs, etc.. If you put the effort in the
> right direction, you may see improvement in the exercises in the ring,
> but it might not ever be a total turn around. The dog is still improved
> from where you started, but if YOUR focus is on being better than other
> competitors in the ring, no, you may not get what you need from the
> sport while working with THAT dog. But you can't blame the dog for not
> fulfilling YOUR desire to be better than other PEOPLE. And that
> frustration can really affect a handler's ability to make the ring as
> pleasant a place as possible for the dog, which leads to a downward
> spiral of attitude on both ends of the leash. That is what I think has
> to be faced. Instructors don't want to see people blame their dogs for a
> human issue.