Monday, May 7, 2012

What Running Contacts Have Taught Me...and RANDOM!

This has nothing to really do with this post...why it's RANDOM :) But Lynn doing her teeter...her gorgeous teeter...she nailed this teeter....I almost peed my pants. Good thing I didn't. Soiling the ring is an E :) But I am DAMN PROUD OF THE STEWART LITTLE...so I am totally bragging...

ANYWAY...what running contacts have taught me!!!

Mainly this applies to running dog walks :)

Nothing is easy...if you want it, you will find a way. 
I didn't know handling challenges until I dealt with a RDW.
Seems simple...a run versus a jump right? It's not :)
There are many different levels of reward, like 20...I swear :)
I am not fast, I am not fast, if I thought I was, I am not fast.
It's addictive. Like OCD staying up all night biting your fingernails watching youtube videos addictive.
NEVER EVER GIVE UP...EVER...DAMMIT!
Drinking helps
Crying helps
Running DW's are harder to handle and train than running Aframes...they make running Aframes look like a cake walk.
If the dog sucks at the beginning of trialing, KEEP RUNNING...they do get better!!! PROMISE!
There are many people that are MORE THAN WILLING to help you with your contacts, just ask. And no, it won't cost you 5 grand unless you want it to :) 
If you want to pay 5 grand for running contacts. Go ahead. I am jealous, mainly because you have 5 grand in disposable income...seriously. Can I have your 5 grand? ;-)
There are many methods out there...pick one YOU LIKE. I like ST's method. I like everything about ST in fact. Except that her waist is the size of my calf...
You will want to diet and work out...
You will fail at said diet and workout program....then you will trial and that damn RDW will kick your ass...
You will diet and work out again.
OFF courses have a WHOLE NEW MEANING with running contacts.
You appreciate your older, 2on 2off trained dogs :)
TIMING IS EVERYTHING...if in DOUBT...teach running contacts.
I thought I had great timing...I didn't. I do now!
It teaches you that sometimes "ending on a bad note" IS THE BEST THING.
Breaks are good...for you and the dog.
If you don't already swear...you will. Oh yes..you will!
You learn to ignore people that say you can't...as there will be many. 
You learn to ignore the people standing on the sidelines, waiting to tell all if your dog missed the contacts.
You learn to believe in and trust your training.
It will test JUST HOW MUCH you value the journey rather than the Q...
It will test how much determination you have in you...even in the face of extreme and utter failure.
You learn to totally let go of the CRAPPIEST RUN EVER...if your RDW was good :) That's ALL THAT MATTERS.
You will intentionally send your dog off course in a run to build confidence. Even a Q'ing run!!! 
You learn to LOVE the running...the excitement of it all.
You covet those people with dogs that are willing to do the same thing over and over again, 75,000 times...instead of your thinking dog :)
But you realize your thinking dog makes you a better trainer.
The sound of a dog running a contact brings goosebumps.
You learn to be in the moment. See the simple, TINY changes. Reward the little things.

For ME...it changed how I viewed agility--it really challenged my idea that I THOUGHT I was in it for the journey....for awhile I thought, Maybe I AM in it for the Q....but I realized, no...it's the journey that is the goal. It changed how I viewed training my dogs, how I view my health and bad or good habits. 

I have wanted to pull my hair out and jump up and down within SECONDS...

It's the most rewarding thing I have ever taught...and the most frustrating.

It made me realize WHY I do agility...It's the journey. Not the Q's, not the titles...it's the connection, the relationship, me and my dog and NO ONE ELSE.

Maybe it sounds silly... insignificant. BUT...if you have taught them...you know what I mean.

Funny how one piece of training changes everything...

Bonnie is doing great :) She thinks gaining weight and not feeding babies is awesome...I can't say I blame her! She is a DOLL! Seriously. Someone needs to scoop this girl UP!


video
See??? ISN'T SHE CUUUUUUTE?????

I have some amazing students....they bring me flowers.....seriously. I love them! Thanks Tibby's mom!!!!!!!!


The puppies are growing up! I am now taking them on outside walks...they LOVE IT and they get tired :) They are fearless little buggers...and they are LOUD. But walks help them sleep more :) I want to keep one...but I can't. Because well...I have PLENTY OF DOGS. So yeah. Sigh....someone I know PLEASE ADOPT ONE!!!!




They love kitties too!

Excited about going to Texas in a few days! AND Utah after that!!!! FUN FUN FUN!!! :) Come say hi if you will be at Worlds!!!! Please???? :)

6 comments:

BlackWhite said...

I love your blog. I have for a long time. I’m working on training my 4 month old BC puppy good foundation for agility, he’ll be my first agility dog, something I’ve been waiting 15 years for.
Can you possibly share a tip or two with a new comer to this wonderful sport?
We’re already working on 2o2o, recall, a very fast sit and down. Heel and side. Concentration on me. Brick work and some time spent on a balance ball every week to build strength and awareness. Is there any other small thing you can maybe point me in the right direction of?
He has very little food drive, small toy drive, he’s praise driven, is this going to be a problem as he grows? Should I push him more to be play driven?

Sorry for blabbing! I just love my V boy. ;)
Thanks for taking the time to maybe answer my questions, and even if you don’t I get soooo much information from your blog.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

I love it! Check, check, and check...

Except I am still on this long journey and I ain't giving up yet.

Steffi said...

LOVE that picture of Lynn! And thank you for posting about your running contact journey. I've been struggle with it and it has been so great to read about all of the training you went through with Lynn.

And thank you so much for posting your video and tips on how to build toy drive - it's helped me so much!

- Steffi

Lisa G said...

Now I know why Meagan suggested a RDW at my lesson on Sunday torture!! Ha not she knows we can do it my little man and I have come a far piece he is a star and going to have a killer RDW one day :)

Come back to NC soon loved it you are so fun and upbeat

Kathy said...

I wish I was going to be at worlds-I would love to meet you in person and I would dearly love to be there, and I wish I had five thousand or one thousand dollars in disposable income so I could pay that to learn running contacts, LOL, but I hope I would have the sense to know there are no magic bullets, teaching running contacts is the great equalizer it stretches your skills no matter who you are ;-). What a great post, I love it!

Lisa1216 said...

Another great post for me! Thank you! If you substitute "uncertain, worried dog" for RDW/contacts in some of your statements, you have me and my BC. After trialing this weekend at a local trial, I was questioning if I should really keep doing agility with him. I was wondering if the trials were just too much for him. A lot of what you said really hit home. I need to remember the journey and forget about the Qs. I need to keep in mind the successes we had this weekend, like a 3 jump lead out with a solid start line stay, playing focus games with me prior to going into the ring, doing the send portion of our first ever AKC FAST class entry, which included weaves! (We are working on distance work.)

Thank you for your statement NEVER EVER GIVE UP...EVER...DAMMIT!

Lisa :)