Friday, May 27, 2011


Some more RDW updates...Lynn is getting turns, both ON the DW and on the flat AFTER the DW. Good deal. Her confidence and prettiness (is that a word?) with the left still is being worked on...BUT, she is getting there :) Rights seem to be fine :) Just plugging away. I'm not being TOO picky with never works. SO...I am just letting her "develop" things herself...think through them, and it's really neat watching her meet criteria and how she does it. Like I said, it's not where I want it...but she's coming along at a nice pace :)

Even Steven is doing very well...she is a much different dog than Lynn and that makes things easier. I switched her up on the board this time...putting in the actual DW board. Which sort of confused her at first as the other plank is just sand/paint and no slats. But she figured it out. Whenever she is questioning something...she tends to NOT want me on her right idea why. But she I just have to work on building up her being happy with me there :) Dork...

But they are both coming along in their different phases of training (though with this DW thing I think I will ALWAYS be doing something!).
After reading Daisy Peel's article in Clean Run about reasons to teach running contacts...I was thinking about MY personal reason for teaching them. I guess I wanted that SEE if I could. Persevering through all the ups and downs etc.

Which, now that I have taught it, I realize that isn't HALF the issue :) It's handling the damn thing in sequences and teaching turns. Actually TEACHING the RDW is a piece of cake in comparison! At least in my experience!! Speed needed on the handlers part is huge. A great motivator but also at the same time, frustrating :) I have come up with some VERY interesting handling maneuvers for sure!!

Also figuring out all the possible situations that RDW will put you in with courses...I am sure I am going to NQ many times for off courses or refusals just due to not being able to figure out how to get there or handle it correctly. But that's part of the challenge :)

I didn't teach Lynn a RDW because I wanted to be on the World Team (someone asked me that in an email) fact I don't. I HATE never was an option except for this years team. Which ultimately I decided I wanted to focus on other things more important to me personally than agility. I taught Lynn and Crackers so I could do something different, nothing more, nothing less. Lynn's a fun little dog and I think not having to stop her is a lot of fun for both of us :) Crackers is a perfect match for Andy and if the RDW helps him compete to a higher level, rock on baby :)

That RDW has put me in a bind more than once for sure...and caused NQ's that would have been fine with a stopped contact. No question about it!

But for's just the challenge. Which, I will admit I haven't always WANTED to have...sometimes when things got really tough, I wanted to just go back to the comfort zone, 2 on 2 off...but when it works it is so become a drug addict, waiting for that next hit. No matter how bad it little reward is enough to last you...

I like going to the line with butterflies in my stomach...not COMPLETELY sure I'll be able to handle it, or get there, or all the other unknowns :) And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE NOT HAVING TO REWARD STOPPED CONTACTS!!!!! I have to put moola back into Klink and Gator's accounts all the time...reinforce...yuck, yuck, yuck :)

Sure...Lynn has missed DW's (not a-frames much though...1 maybe 2??)...but I guess it's worth it for me. To enjoy the game a little bit more...

Even will be most likely for JUST a running AF. Once she gets the full DW I will get her AF trained and then put a stop on the DW. Why? Less repetition to work it. I know this from my experience. The AF won't require a ton of that's my goal with Even.

The running A-frame I ALWAYS love :) And the RDW is the biggest challenge. I don't even THINK about the running AF at all during a course...and it was fun to not think about the RDW at the last trial...just RUN. I like that mentality better :)

I have a few students that have started their own journeys with running contacts...and so far things are going well :) It's fun to be able to help others with it as people have been AMAZINGLY helpful to me, answering questions...watching videos, telling me that things will be OK and to just keep plugging away at it...they know who they are.

So there ya go. My reasons...none of them have to do with winning...or fame, or fortune, or anything like that. Just personal goals I wanted to try to reach :) Still in the process of doing so anyway!

Day 142: Short haired dogs don't shed...BWWAHAHAHAHA!
See all those little white hairs?? YEAH...just sayin' :)

SO...if you cared to know my reasons behind the running contacts, there ya go! :) And if you didn't...well then, this is probably a REALLY BORING POST! :)


Sare said...

Like you said it's the challenge of can you and your dog "do it" i.e. run the contacts. But if you are going to run the contacts why hold back, that's not why you trained them? So what if you get some nq's or off courses. When you nail those running contacts on a difficult course and you ran your hardest - it will be priceless!

Oh, and did I mention they are incredibly fun to watch!

Loretta Mueller said...

Sara--that's what I am focusing on...those moments when we have those great runs :) For ME, that is what is more important...

All that work, then they turn IS PRICELESS :)

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Man they're looking awesome!!!

I'm not sure why I'm doing it. I decided to do it with the corgi just as I got puppy Vito. I was youtube obsessed and just thought it looked incredibly cool. Being a green handler knowing nothing about agility I suppose I was, and am, oblivious to the work. Perhaps if I was more experienced I wouldn't have been brave enough. I try and convince other people with their newest dogs to try it and they all look at me like I'm crazy.

Now I'm continuing because I must beat it. I love training challenges and this is a huge one for me. Plus as you said it's just so exhilarating to watch your dog nail it!

I still remain in envy of Lynn's understanding of turns.

Breanna said...

Thanks for the great post! I'm convinced that Sissy and I can do running contacts, especially since your Lynn is twice the length of my Sis ;) I'm hoping I can be at peace with the decision like you. My Freya dog has running contacts but it's more of a lope not a full bore run.