Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Get By With A Little Help From My Friends... :)

Friends...some go out and see movies with you, some listen when you need it, some you listen to...some stalk you on Facebook to answer their questions on your know who you are... :)

OK...more question/answer stuff :)

I'm going to answer the's just easier that yeah...LONG POST! :)

Sue Asks:

I want to know more about the jump grids you are doing with your dogs. Are they at the height you normally jump your dogs? Higher? Lower? What is the spacing? How many jumps? What are you looking for when the dog is jumping?

Collection jump grids---spacing varies--enough the dog has to "bounce jump" in between. I also do extension grids-- 15-21 feet apart...varying heights but normally close to my dogs jump height (22" 24")...and I mix things up. Also add in angles. I am looking for the dog jumping FLUIDLY..smoothly. Nice arc, appropriate take off for that dog etc etc. Relaxed jumping...not anxious or cautious...just confident, happy jumping.

Monique Asks:

1. What you think the most important things are everyone should teach their dogs BEFORE they try agility. ie what are YOUR foundation behaviors.


Drive training...going into and out of drive, basic tricks/obedience in drive

Understanding and being OK with corrections...aka they are just another way to show the dog what to do. needs to love to run, and run WITH YOU.

2. What is your favorite thing you and Andy have ever done together.

This is a public blog...I can't talk about those kinds of things ;-) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

No seriously...just being TOGETHER..we are both busy, he's on the road, a fire, outside in the summer at night is pretty darn amazing :)

3. If you must have a small dog other than crackhead, what would you get?

For ME? Papillon...ALL THE WAY...

For idea...he likes Border/jack crosses...

4. How did each of your dogs get their names?

Ace--he had separation anxiety...Acepromazine was fit :) LMAO!

Zip--it just fit her...she came home with the name Nessie...HA!!! NO F_CKING way that fit!!

Klink---Jack Knox, it's slang for "top of the line"...also the noise a bar makes when the dog drops it...maybe not the BEST CHOICE :)

Gator---he had a face biting issue...brat.

Crackers---his breeder called him "poor little white boy" I called him a "Crazy Craka!" for a long time (yes I know..racial slang but I'm whatev)...and then name just stuck :) So we added an s onto the end so we wouldn't seem like a bunch of honky's LMAO!! HA! I KILL ME!! HAHAHA!!

Even and Lynn---named after my grandmother Evelynn...she died, they were born, seemed fitting...and I didn't even remember it until I had picked those two puppies :) So the names had to stay...Eve became Even just because we called her Even Steven all the time :)

5. What is your favorite meal to eat and why? Can you tell me how to stop loving food so f*#@&&*# much? ;)

Ohhhhh....I love FAVORITE meal EVER?!?! Probably southern fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra, and pecan pie (pronounced PEEEKAN) ...YUM...and boiled peanuts for a snack :) I love food...and I am not going to stop loving food...but I eat less of that food. The world won't run out of pecan pie and mashed potatoes. I WILL live to eat another day...that's what I tell myself. And I REALLY enjoy it. I sit down, no TV, plate in front of me...and really savor EVERY, SINGLE, well. I don't eat healthy shit all the thank you :) I do exercise though...that helps me eat what I want more often :)

6. If you could go back and do one thing over again, differently, what would it be?

WOW...that's like SUPER DEEP...I would probably spend more time with my grandparents...I miss them both so much...

And maybe go to vet all the dog stuff doesn't cost so damn much! ;-)

Directly TODAY: took a nap...that would have been nice :)

Steffi ASKS:

Crackers is so fast and I was wondering if he always had that much drive for agility. If not, were there any exercises you/Andy did (or could suggest) to build drive for small dogs?

NO...Crackers was the weenie puppy in the litter...he wouldn't even go down the stairs at his breeders house...the other two puppies jumped down the stairs and he sat there and whined. He was soft...and would stop working if it was ANYTHING but sunny and about 60 :) DRIVE TRAINING...TONS of one point the husband asked if he would be doing drive training response was NO, only until he LOVES the game :) Took about a year honestly...and look at Crackers now :)

I would say the #1 thing is...don't treat them like small dogs, don't use that as an excuse. KNOW your dog won't like rain, so work him out in the rain, know he won't like cold, so work him in the cold. Crackers walks in the winter (-15 degrees) with the big dogs...treat them like a big dog and they'll run like a big dog. CHASE LOTS of that. Chase toys, chase YOU. CHASE CHASE CHASE.

Also - how did you get involved in agility?

I had a dog with excess energy (Acer pup)...I was doing obedience but I was bored...and I then started doing agility...and the rest is history :) My first agility class was back in 2003 :)

Catalina ASKS:
1-I also want to know how you started doing agility!
See above answer :)

2-Best moment ever with your dogs.

For ME? When they turn onto's amazing...and if I ever lose that amazement, I need to stop herding :)

In agility...before running in any finals (local/regional/Nationals)...that moment when I am about to put it all on the line, trust my dog and RUN :) I've trained them, and now it's up to us as a team with NO DOUBTS :) LOVE THAT :)

3- Worst moment ever with your dogs.

There aren't many...Zip almost dying? Or if any of them are sick...luckily that doesn't happen often!
4- Tell us more about the sheep! I like sheep pictures! :P

The sheep are wool crosses (Cheviot/Isle De France/etc etc...they produce nice lambs with high market weights at sale time. I love my sheep, they are fun. I am very protective of my sheep so I don't just let anyone come work them...I have to know the people and their dogs first...I'm snobby like that ;)

5 - ditto about the names....

See above :)

Livin Life ASKS:

I want to know when you are going to send me EVEN!? and just go ahead and slip Lynn in to the crate with her when you do...k?

Wait to ask me this when she does something really probably won't take more than a week :) Lynn...probably never, she is a good little dog :)

THERE! TA DA! Anymore questions, feel free to post them! :)

Now onto the title of the post :)

I have some amazing people in my life :) Very grateful for all of them...

Sometimes you just need a day to get away from it all and enjoy nature...which is what I did on Monday and Tuesday...

Day 172:
A good friend of mine lives in the make my place seem like New York City :) I got to go out there and spend some time...enjoy nature, enjoy the quiet. Friends are good :) Good friends are hard to come by...good friends with land in the country and a boat even harder to find:) Yay for friends ;-)

Day 173: FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!
Built a fire, relaxed...listened to all the birds, and other critters in the quiet so peaceful...I slept like a rock that night, sure the beers helped, but I swear being out in the country is like a day at the spa for me...

Then rising up early, we went out on the lake and fished :) Sunrise, loons, water...

174: Heaven :)
Amazing what less than 24 hours can do to you...I came back home feeling so relaxed and peaceful. I really needed that :) Ahhhhhhhhh

Now...tomorrow we are off to Colorado to the Rocky Mountain USDAA Regional :) Wish us luck!!


Monique said...


Karissa said...

I love the question & answer posts. :o)

So I have another question -- You keep mentioning "drive training, drive training, drive training!"

Could you expand on this? Is there a specific system or technique you use?

And how does one teach their dog to RUN when one cannot run (fast) themselves? lol Secret had zero interest in toys when she was younger (boy did THAT take a ton of work!) and the only time she would really *run* was when she was chasing another dog. I thought it took forever for her to figure out how to work all four legs at the same time and really figure out how to run. Now she can run like hell after a frisbee or tennis ball, but I have yet to see that speed in action on an agility course.

Autumn said...

Karissa - I was just going to post the EXACT same question!

I have a 3 y/o BC mix who is super consistent in agility, but lacks speed and drive. What are some key exercises in your drive training??

Pet Sitting Los Angeles said...

I want to know more about the jump grids you are doing with your dogs.
Thanks for great information..