I'm not sure if I will ever catch up...but here is one hell of a LONG blog post to try...if I missed something, feel free to let me know :) You guys are great!!
Day 181: Best Card Ever...
Seriously...how FREAKIN' CUTE IS THIS!?!? Thanks Donna!!! She made it and everything! :) OMG SOOOOOO CUTE!
A few more Question/Answers that came in (or I happened to just notice!)
OK, I'm WAY late for asking questions, but if you're still taking questions from the audience ... how did you teach your dogs to run with you and NOT take obstacles in Snooker openings? I currently yell threats at my dog while while hop/running/stumbling to the next red. You make it look a lot smoother. Help! (and my dog is not super-obstacle focussed, but she finds it very frustrating to meander through a ring of equipment).
I teach my dogs a "with me" command (well apparently everyone but Lynn...working on that :) and it means stay by my side until I release you to an obstacle. I start off with NO equipment around..and just walk in circles and figure 8's--rewarding at side with treats or toys (BOTH SIDES)...once they get that I start trotting and work my way up to full out running. The dog is NOT to cross in front of me...they must stay at my side. If needed I will use a leash, but most of the time they get it pretty darn quick what I want. Once I have them to where they will stay with me while I am running full tilt (HA! shameless aren't I?) then I will start with some pieces of equipment and go back to walking, trotting and then running...always rewarding at side. Make sense?
1. Can I haz Gator Tater Salad? PLEASE?
No...he is my dog. Go get your own smoothie :)
2. What is your favorite thing about each dog and why?
Ace--he's just really REALLY sweet...why? my first dog for everything :)
Zip--the dog generalizes IMMEDIATELY when training her, and she gets things in a snap--why?--cause I'm lazy and that makes my job MUCH EASIER :)
Klink--her abilities on stock--why? That dog can move ANYTHING...and I mean ANYTHING :)
Gator--his extreme need for me--why? I have a need to have groupies apparently...when the husband walks him during a trial (to potty or whatever) Gator is CONVINCED Andy will steal him and he will never see me again. It's really not a good thing, but I find it adorable, again, because I have need for groupies :)
Lynn--she snuggles, and when you hug her she makes this yodeling noise--why? Because most of my dogs are not snugglers and the yodeling is just a Lynn thing! Even--her expression that says she is tweaking on meth 24/7--why? because it scares people...and she always looks SOOO motivated :) LOL
Crackers--when I'm sick he wants to be with me--why? I have a fever and chills, he's a little portable heating blanket!
3. What is your favorite thing about Vittles and why?
Oh BOY, there are SO MANY THINGS...not really. Um...I like that she is about as dog-like as possible--why? I like dogs, I don't like cats :)
4. Can you do a handstand while Lynn is doing her dogwalk? I want to see video :)
I can't even DO a handstand...but I'll work on that OK?
5. CAN I PLEASE HAVE GATOR?
NO...and remind me to put a padlock on his kennel if we are ever at the same trial OK? :)
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? Secret had zero interest in toys when she was younger (bot 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.
I use drive training based of Schutzhund training: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schutzhund.
ALL my dogs go through this type of training, just basic stuff for me in regards to their foundation work.
Teaching my dog to run if you can't run. Simple...she likes to chase dogs? How about YOU? Does she enjoy chasing YOU? I would not let her chase dogs, and work on transferring that speed to chasing you. Do long sends to tunnels and then run away, restrained recalls. ANYTHING that gets her RUNNING to you. I do a TON of long tunnels sends and then run as fast as I can, tug in hand, dog gets tug when they get to me. I will also send dogs around trees (working on out command) and then take off.
You have to get the speed AWAY from agility first...my dogs get time to free run every, single day. And I think that is very important. Helps them develop body awareness, muscle, etc etc. Also look at your training, is she 100% confident in everything that is asked of her. Understanding brings confidence, confidence brings speed. Do short, wide open courses, easy for her to get and easy for her to extend on.
I teach my puppies that running with me is the most amazing thing ever...that is my #2 goal..#1 is a solid recall :)
Hope that makes sense?
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?
Chasing me, HUGE. Running to me for rewards...restrained recalls...leave the dog wanting more. If a dog is not tugging like I want them to, I let them win, A LOT if needed. I will let them be rude for toys, I let them be naughty running courses and do NOT correct them. EVER. As a dog is increasing drive, they will make mistakes. If you correct that, the drive level goes down. So while I am building drive in a dog that is lacking...they are going to get REALLY RUDE and OBNOXIOUS for a bit...that's OK, it means the drive is coming. I can always focus and channel it later...but you have to have it first :) Make sense?
If you have more questions, feel free to post :)
Now..onto other things :)
K-Koria gave me a really cool award!
How fun is that! Thank you!!!! So...to fulfill this obligation, I will list my 10 most Inspirational blogs :) And they can continue with the award passing :) These are in no particular order :)
Project Go Dog--cause she's always REAL about training problems and successes :)
Confessions Of A Pioneer Woman--raising that many kids, in the middle of nowhere--and I don;t THINK she's medicated...WOW--my hero!
Crooks and Crazies--the stories that this gal posts are always HILARIOUS!
Rocking Dog Ranch--Lora's positive outlook, her drive to be the best damn sheepdog handler she can be, just really motivates me :) Plus she's got Even, Lynn and Klink's half sisters Gyp and Grace :)
Dig-it Fetch-it Herd-it--AMAZING photography...and great insight :) LOVE!
My 'Jility Jones--her training posts are not all sugar coated happiness...we all know training dogs can be a pain in the ass...and she tells it like it is :)
Memoirs of a Pet Groomer--I am amazed at the idiots that she grooms dogs for...WOW :)
Behaviors of a Dog Mom--life + dog training...is there anything better? Me thinks not :)
Snap Happy--pictures...lots of pictures...LOVE!
Hippie Dogs--Tori is just who she is, and she loves her dog--this equals a lot of success that NEVER goes to her head. Pretty amazing for a young lady!!!!! :)
Grab the badge, pass it on, but make sure to follow these simple rules as you do:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded this to you.
2. Link posts by you and ten fellow bloggers that you find inspirational.
3. Forward the award to those ten fellow bloggers.
And now...random pictures from Regionals :)
2011 Rocky Mountain 12" & 16" Regional Steeplechase Champions---Crackers and Dylan
Talk about inspirational, Dylan is fighting cancer and her mom and dad rock :)
And here they are with their peoples :)
Something we don't have 'round here--Prairie Dogs...these little buggers CRACK ME UP. They make funny noises and are really REALLY cute. Plus...these prairie dogs that live in the wild are THIN! Unlike the ones at the zoo who are morbidly obese and if die would have to be taken out of their little holes with a miniature fork lift.
Can you see him? Thank god I have a zoom lens.
There ain't NO F---ING way I am getting closer...I am still having PTSD from my chipmunk attack...
On alert! Who's that white gal with the camera stuck to her face?? HOLY SHIT!!!!!
Luckily, none of them attacked me, I called that a great day! :)
Did I ever mention how much I love my job?
Seriously...I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my students, I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing the dogs get things and make huge leaps and bounds. I love teaching :)
And I love that I can see Spot every week :) He and Donna are really becoming a team :) It's fun to watch! She walks courses and I play with Spot :) WINNING!!!!
Here's a quick video of Spottie's running A-frame :) It's coming together, we had some issues in the beginning, but this is at a 63" height...lovely!!! :)
While I'm talking about the pups...below is Zing :) Isn't she ADORABLE??
Ok...I THINK I'm caught up...don't hold me to it....but here's hoping!