Archive for the ‘agility’ Category

CCOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Judge Mark Upshaw…he talks fast, calls faults like there’s no tomorrow, but his courses are fun and very challenging.

Zhora went 3/4 (not counting FAST), I sent her to the backside of a not-backside jump today and cost us a QQ. Nina went 1/4 but had a lovely JWW Q today.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #72, 13 points, 4.4 YPS):

Zhora Saturday FAST (NQ, thought she was committed to the tunnel….she wasn’t):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ #72, first place out of five qualifiers, including some really fast dogs, she was on fire! 29 points, 3.78 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place, 5.05 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, just a second behind Nina! 4.986 YPS, blind crosses are really the right choice for her!):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Sunday Standard (NQ thanks to stupid handler trick):

Alice Agility

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Alice is coming along nicely, not worried, learning well, focused. I need to work on obstacle focus, but I’m happy with how she’s doing, especially since right now we’re really only playing one day a week.

WLTC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

Judge Mary Mullen designed Mary Mullen courses for us. Fun, flowy and fast. Zhora had her second perfect weekend in a row. Nina had a nice Standard Q and a Jumpers Q, unfortunately not on the same day…it’s going to be very close for Nina for the Invitational this year….skipping 6 months has taken a toll on her standings!

Zhora is a MACHINE just now, and already over half way to MACH4. She’s amazing.

Zhora Friday FAST (Q, first place):

Zhora Friday Standard (part 1 of QQ # 69, second place to World Team Keebler, 27 points, 3.688 YPS):

Nina Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (part 2 of QQ # 69, second place to WTK, 17 points, 4.41 YPS):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, nice run):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 70, second place to WTK, 17 points, 4.576 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, second place to WTK, 33 points, 4.29 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Part 2 of QQ # 70, third place, 30 points, 3.98 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 20 points, 4.959 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 71, second place, 17 points, 4.48 YPS):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, nice run, needed to push further out for weaves):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 71, second place to WTK, 28 points, 3.812 YPS):

Lobo!

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

Lobo (Alkemi Beowulf del Roble LS) earned his OAJ on Thursday and his AX on Friday! Congratulations to Jan and Lobo!

Alice!

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

She’s in a bit of an 8 month old shithead phase, so today we did a bit of much-needed reminders about Crate Games and tricks and relationship building. She’s wonderful anyway, it’s normal testing the boundaries stuff, and it’s quite easy to pull her back to being her usual self. I wanted a strong-willed dog, and Vallhunds are that! She face planted while practicing today and got right back up and went back to work, not much phases her so far, which I love. And she is being great with Sue’s new puppy Blast for such a hellion!

(she is not actually weaving 12 poles, we’re still on wide open channels, but she does do a few in line)

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Zhora had another PERFECT WEEKEND (the first since the puppy break)! Oksana Syrkin is one of our very favorite judges, her courses aren’t easy, but my dogs love them. If I had repositioned Nina at the start of Saturday Standard, she likely would have stayed and not missed her weaves, when she gets into hyperfocused stare ahead ignore Amanda mode, I know she isn’t really connecting with me. And we might have doubled. Oh well…that one didn’t get recorded, so maybe a good thing.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (second place, 23 points, 5.5 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #67, 18 points, 4.7 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ #67, 3.8 YPS, 28 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (5.2 YPS, 22 points, nearly had a runoff with Dana but were in fifth):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #68, 4.9 YPS, 20 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (AUGH! THERE ARE 12 WEAVE POLES! She gets through all the tough stuff…):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #68, 4 YPS, 31 points):

Alice Agility

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

We’ve been doing bits here and there but really haven’t done much other than some very basic things, and look what she can do!

Love this puppy so much. She’s 8 months and one day old. She does a few tiny jumps once a week or less (in case you’re wondering). Love her focus and working drive, love how she isn’t afraid to be wrong, and I LOVE how bombproof she is so far!

Really excited about how fast she’s running and how she’s taking distance and driving to obstacles. I also LOVE that she reads the deceleration cue at the wrap perfectly:

Love how she gets more confident as she goes along!

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Judge Lavonda Herring is always one of our favorites. Her courses this weekend were pretty tricky, especially for Lavonda, and we didn’t have our greatest Q rate ever. But the dogs and I had fun and that’s what really counts as always!

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (third place, 19 points, 4.9 YPS, me blind crossing like a maniac):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (doing her usual “rabid badger” impression because of the tunnel start, NQ, there are 12 weaves Nina…I know you want to get a move on, but THERE ARE 12 WEAVES):

Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ, I was a “moose” and she didn’t see the teeter until she couldn’t get on safely):

Nina Saturday Standard (second place, 31 points, 4.029 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (third place, 16 points, 4.6 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (if she hadn’t broken her start line stay, this would have been an awesome Q):

Zhora Sunday Standard (CURSE ALL THAT SENDING TO THE TABLE WORK!):

Nina Sunday Standard (the only bar she dropped all weekend):

Cricket!

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

CONGRATULATIONS to Jennifer Corbin and Cricket (Zhora’s sister, now officially Alkemi Braveheart LS ADC) on earning her Agility Dog of Canada title in Agility Association of Canada (AAC is like USDAA but in Canada)! Cricket is a speed demon like her mother Nina, and Jennifer and Cricket have worked very hard. This is Cricket’s first title, but I doubt it will be her last, they’re an awesome team! Way to go! (Cricket also barks on the table….I fear this may be genetic LOL)

Puppy Palooza 2018

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

Alice and I attended Puppy Palooza this past weekend at Follow The Leda in Gansevoort, NY. It was an information-packed, well-run, fun, and very informative weekend!

As with any seminar on any subject, it’s important to stay true to your own training philosophies and beliefs, while keeping your mind open to new ideas that could be useful. You keep what you like and discard what you don’t. I have definitely become a fan of the One Mind Dogs methods, because they really do just work and make sense to me and my dogs, and while I am not a “purist” of any method, I do think OMD is far more natural to me than any other, and since I started Alice with the OMD puppy course, I am working within what I started.

What I liked:

  • it really made me conscious of how much reinforcement I am giving away by letting my dogs get it from the environment or each other instead of from me. So I picked up all the toys that could be tug toys, and have already had two tugging sessions this morning. If I want to use tug as a reinforcer, I need to make it valuable, not free. That said, I am not someone who is going to deny my dogs the joy they get from playing with each other. I’m not doing Ruff Love and I’m not aiming for the World Team. I just want to be reasonably successful at my sport and have fun with my dogs, and have my dogs have fun with me.
  • Some really good discussion about tug mechanics and ways to get a dog tugging well (Alice had a decent tug drive but I can see already that just changing a few things has improved it even in just two days). Also not giving up, if you start a tug session, you HAVE to get at least a little tug going before you stop.
  • Some excellent reminders about not being lazy and getting up and USING training opportunities like mealtimes and high energy times
  • I LOVED the motivational posters she has all over the training arena. I usually hate that sort of thing but these were great and actually did make me think.
  • The concept of Transitions (Greg Derrett) – starting at the crate, working on connection and building drive with tug or food from the moment you get the dog out, and between exercises or after an error.

What I will be discarding (or at least adapting):

  • Tara is a Greg Derrett adherent. I am not. I might have appreciated a heads up that the methods being taught were going to be taught strictly within the Greg Derrett/Anthony Clarke framework, rather than just presenting things as “this is the right way” (as opposed to “this is the right way within the GD/AC  methodology”). This was not a huge deal, but it did chafe a little, especially being told that things that didn’t follow this methodology were “wrong”.  I do mostly OneMind Dogs, their methods aren’t “wrong”, they just differ in some ways to GD/AC methods, and for me they work.
  • Reinforcement Zone – I do not want my dog driving to my front, that’s not how I handle. But I will be more conscious of my reward placement.
  • The comments about how puppies should not know what a jump is or what weave poles are. My puppy is sequencing with tiny jumps or just standards, she is working the “offering the jump” exercises, she is learning one set of 2 x 2 weaves, she is running through channels. NONE of these things are harmful to her and ALL are beneficial.
  • Circle work. I am sure it has benefits. But most of those benefits (learning acceleration/deceleration, learning the handler’s running style, learning to switch between reinforcers, etc) can also be had by running small sequences and doing handling flatwork or handling work with hoops. And running small sequences and handling flatwork are more efficient for me. I feel like for me, circle work is what I did 15 years ago, I no longer really think it has benefits that can’t be equally obtained in other, more efficient ways.

Overall, I am glad I went. Both Tara and Jared were really good instructors, and it was a very fun weekend.