Saturday, November 27, 2010

pooch notes ...

Tuesday night seems like an awfully long time ago ...

it was a fun class though.

I did 3 of the 4 stations with Brody and 1 with Sally.. then ran Brody once on course and Sally the rest of the time.. both were good - Brody was quick and thoughtful. Sally was over wrought then settled into working just fine. I CANNOT crowd her table. She knows her job I need to trust her to do it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

action packed week ...

busy at work (nothing new there)
and fun agility week too -
Class was OK - dogs were good - didn't do much of anything special - very much same warm up as last week - jump circle, teeter thing, dog walk thing and aframe weave thing - 4 stations 5 dogs in class. Course was fine too. Nothing exceptional (though Sally and Brody were great).

Had fun at the schoolhouse with Sally yesterday - weaves to tunnel/ jump thing and two jumps at a 90 degree angle - amazing how much you can do with two jumps! Brody worked hard too - and had a blast. Thea did a couple of tunnels. Sampson bounced over jumps and through tunnels and wondered what weaves were.

Today was the inaugural House League.
It was fun but it was a HECK of a lot of work to organize.
Teams. Run list. Score Sheets. Scribe sheets. Volunteer Schedule.
I sure spent more time organizing it then running dogs.

The first class was Tunnellers. H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S. Honest. 6 tunnels out. Nothing else. 18 obstacles. People got SO lost it was great! The only faults we got (all three dogs played) were TWICE I sent dogs to the SAME off course. DOH! So Thea and Sally wore 5 faults in that class. Thea did the chute. She thought about backing out but bravely pushed her way through :)
Sally had 6th fastest time even adding an extra tunnel ! HAHA. Though Brody was faster then her somehow. Huh? Did not realize that til I looked.

Next class was jumpers. Nice course with some interesting off course options. I ran good dogs. Sally ran one off course tunnel but funnily enough Brody did too. (though he picked the hard/far end). Sally was the 4th fastest dog on this course. Thea ran a nice clear run but her little legs have a lot more steps to take.

Final class was standard. Blech course to end on but made sense in terms of course building. I ran Sally til her tongue was on the floor. It was a good choice. She blew her aframe contact and jumped off the table early but that was it. I had to send her back into the weaves but that was a function of speed - blasting through a chute to weaves is tough. Brody ran a truly truly foot perfect clear run. He felt great! It wasn't fast (Sally was nearly 5 seconds faster) but even so only 4 dogs were faster then him. (Sally was third fastest!) I don't know why I seem so obsessed with speed in this report... I'm not .. I just find it fascinating to look at what works; doesn't and comparing tiny dogs to long legged gazelles! Brody ran on a total of 5 faults today. Thea on 5 too (though we didn't do standard with her) and Sally kept her total faults to 20. Not too shabby really!
Nice to have all the paperwork figured out. All I have to do next time is a volunteer schedule.

Was fun. And good practise if I am seriously thinking about hosting a trial. . . yikes

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Just an amazing day here ... worked in the garden in the morning - did a little distance work with Brody and a little more distance work with Sally. It went OK. (Which is good as I also mailed off an entry for a trial that includes a gamblers class for Brody - I figure I'll use the time as practise for wracking up points in the opening in Regionals if the gamble will be impossible for him!) He actually layered out past a tunnel to three jumps and it took very little work for me to show him what I wanted. I was pretty impressed. Sally did the same thing and added tunnels both directions and weaves .. I was about 30 feet away from the furthest point .. she blows my mind!

Did some weave entries with Sally too and some one jump work by the fire. (Burning just a little of the detritus from the garden- most goes in compost but some has too many weed seeds or is just too woody). Too funny to multitask like that but she was amazing. Did a little discrimination work, by standing equidistant between the one jump and a set of 2x2 with "over" and "weave". It took her a minute to start listening instead of assuming but she did. Good, crazy, maniacal girl. She's sacked out now. Very peaceful.

It's been wonderful to have an extra stolen day. It's incredible that the weather turned out to be this phenomenal.

Friday, November 12, 2010

the old dogs adventure

We had a nice road trip today. Mum was a guest speaker at Queen's University so I decided to tag along and bring the old dogs with us. My point in Kingston was to chill with my young (and much taller than me) cousin Maddy. It was great to see her. I hadn't spent time with her since June.
Wilkie doesn't know she's nearly 11 so she bounced on my lap trying to see all the sights as we crossed the ferry. Eventually she settled down though she remained optimistic she might be allowed back on my lap. Brody curled up and slept in the car but once we got to Kingston he was happy to truck on down Princess Street (the downtown drag) checking out all the good smells.

I had originally thought I might get a trial in today but the location had an issue and the trial had to be cancelled. I had a lovely lovely day hanging with the Brodster anyhow.
(and did agility on the lawn at home with Sam, Sally and Brody - the weather today was incredible!)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Head Games

had a chance to do an online survey which offered some feedback on my mental game

Coping With Adversity
This will give you an idea about how well you will perform even if you experience setbacks during competition.
0-4 Below average - You better hope nothing goes wrong.
5-9 Average - Improve and you'll be more consistent.
10-12 Above average - You're well prepared for whatever comes your way.

Your Score: 10 / 12 I think I'm fairly resilient ...

Peaking Under Pressure
This can tell you about how performing during your most important events makes you feel.
0-4 Below average - You run the risk of choking at important events.
5-9 Average - There's room for improvement. Sometimes the pressure can get to you.
10-12 Above average - You're at your best when it's all on the line.

Your Score: 11 / 12 - frightening but true. I have yet to experience anxiety about a particular run - the last run at regionals was our best run - I knew I could have about 20 faults and still qualify (my goal) and we ran a smoking clear that got us bonus points and a 6th place!

Goal Setting & Mental Preparation
This gives you an indication of the preparation you have invested in your training and performances.
0-4 Below average - You may experience ineffectual practices and a plateau in your skill level.
5-9 Average - You may find that you struggle with motivation and often have slow starts in competition.
10-12 Above average - You have efficient, focused practices and you're persistent in the face of obstacles.

Your Score: 7 / 12 - no shock - despite my agonizing in this area I get nowhere! I think actually my motivation and performance goals are reasonable - where I fall apart is training goals for EACH and EVERY time I do agility with the dogs. It's too easy to just play with them sometimes.

This will show your ability to focus your attention and fight off distractions.
0-4 Below average - Distractions easily affect your performance.
5-9 Average - You may experience a loss of concentration especially if you're fatigued.
10-12 Above average - You have laser-like focus.

Your Score: 8 / 12 - most of the time I'm OK - and when it's big and important I'm fine but I have had some off courses that are nothing but my fault and Sally's attack rattled me badly - I still hear dogs squabbling when I'm running

Freedom from Worry
This tells you if you view your performances as positive or negative experiences.
0-4 Below average - You experience lots of negative thoughts about your performance.
5-9 Average - Sometimes you focus too much on the consequences of a poor performance to have fun.
10-12 Above average - You chose to enjoy your performance over worrying what others think.

Your Score: 12 / 12 - isn't that ridiculous? However my competitive streak is alive and well and I do this for pleasure - I find it interesting that the test picked that up

Confidence & Achievement Motivation
This can give you an idea about your confidence in your skills and how motivated you are to achieve your goals.
0-4 Below average - You often doubt your abilities and consider quitting when faced with difficult obstacles in your training.
5-9 Average - You're confident to a point. Sometimes tough challenges can make you doubt your skills.
10-12 Above average - You aren't afraid to push your limits and unsuccessful performances drive you to work harder.

Your Score: 10 / 12 - I don't know what I think about this one - I can say I know I run GREAT dogs - and the errors made are mine ...there is no doubt screwing up makes me work harder ...

This is about how well you handle criticism and your ability to make changes to improve your performances.
0-4 Below average - Improvement during training is slow, you have trouble managing your emotions when criticized.
5-9 Average - You benefit from your coach's comments but can lose motivation during practice if there is a lot of criticism.
10-12 Above average - You make adjustments quickly and enjoy the challenges of training with a demanding coach.

Your Score: 8 / 12 I am a little sad to see this - I'd like to be more "coachable" but I know I get frustrated at times with some of the coaching I've had ... don't know how to change this one
I don't like being nagged -but my coaches don't nag me ... something to work on ...

Athletic Coping Score
The combined score on the ACSI can help identify those athletes who are at risk of underachieving, as well as those athletes who have prepared themselves for peak performance.
0-39 Psychological skill set needs improvement - Risk of underachieving
40-60 Average psychological skills - Average performances
61-84 Solid psychological skills - Opportunities for peak performances

Your Score: 66 / 84 - obviously brought down significantly by coachability and goal setting ... and that darn concentration thing .. I do know I have opportunities for peak performance - thanks to the gang nice to see I might be able to contribute to their success too!

got my dawg back ...

Thank heavens our Sally was with me at agility Tuesday night.
I'm not sure who the mad dog of the last two Tuesdays was and I'm sure handling her was good for me but I was very relieved to have wild Sally back.
She held start lines; did the table cooperatively many times; used her newly reinforced skills on the dogwalk and aframe (and I used touch plates every single contact!). She was great. Brody was great. I was exhausted so I was relieved!

The rest of this week was a total training bust so hopefully I can get motivated to get out in the cold this weekend!

and on an unrelated note: I am sick of ticks ... one on Wilkie, two on Brody, one on Thea - BLECH.. memories of the fall of 2008

Monday, November 01, 2010

no boxers, some briefs, a collie mix and a shimaltipoo

Puppy Ryder enjoyed meeting lots of new people and watching agility! Schnauzers, lab mixes, bcs, a portie and more - what a delightful couple of days the Webb Anderson seminar was. The Saturday morning was mostly the dogs natural path which is something I have always considered so find that work very rewarding . All of the courses over the weekend had things I hadn't seen much (if at all)- a teeter pointing at a wall; a tee bone turn into weaves; a pinwheel that repeats with a 180; a serpentine that was a tunnel, jump, aframe. First course I got lost on (this happened in the spring at the Webb seminar too) DOH. Brody was great (of course). Second course was smoother but I nearly got lost - and Webb caught my very slight hesitation. Brody saved my bacon. Good to get caught, usually I fake my way through stuff like that OK. We had a lunch break which was lovely - potluck - lots of yummy pot lucked things :) After lunch we did another course which I hardly remember - except Sally did a good job. And I didn't get lost for ONE second. Interesting huh? Webb suggests maybe I have time to think with Brody and if I think I second guess myself and I wonder if I'm on course. Webb encouraged me to run harder with Sally - and to be SURE I keep moving. Good advice. I let Sally warm up in the other hall. Threw her Frisbee and asked her to touch and weave a little. It was good - she was tired if anything. The last thing we did was a gamble line. Honestly if you'd asked me I would have said Sally would do it no issue at all. I would have been wrong. I didn't really warm her up - it was only 20 minutes between runs maybe. She was INSANE. From the minute she hit the floor til I collapsed on the floor. Her teeter was awful. Her ability to float a pinwheel vanished. She did some nice minutes (maybe just seconds) and we got some of what we wanted. The highlight of this run was letting Webb see just how bad it can be. (aka where I am afraid of going if i let things derail at all). I was exhausted. However, I brought Sally and Brody home and then took Big T out to dinner with some of the seminar folks. We had fun. The next morning was fun. We ended up spending an hour with Sally looking at her aframe, dog walk, teeter, and weaves. She was EXCELLENT. Attentive and easy to work with. (Yes, when we started talking she offered a couple of jumps, a couple of frames, a tunnel of two but it wasn't frantic, it was optimistic!) Watched a lesson, chatted, and had lunch. YUM. Next step was a lesson with Sophie. Again informative and fun. Started with a cool jumpers type course. Lots of pinwheels. I was pleased with Sally though I blew a line or two - they were honest errors. We were both on our game. we played with a couple of interesting spots until they felt great! Brody ran a flawless round. He is such a good boy. The post turn is VERY hard for me... must add it to my list to work on! Last course was also FUN. Zip, zip, flip and fly :) Brody added one jump as I built a wee bit too much momentum for the aframe but that was just fine by me. I could have called him harder and he would have listened but he was having a blast - so I let him blast! Sally was super too. It was a great note to end on. I'm ramped up and have some planning to do - and some goals to work on. What a great weekend. Webb has a perspective that is unique up here .. and it resonates with me.