Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
End of an era. Goodbye sweet Molly. We will miss you with all our hearts.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
threadle is shown below. The threadle is between 6 and 7. As the dog commits to 6, she has three options. Go straight to the tunnel (Fin's preference), make a left turn to backside of 7, or come in between the jumps. The handler determines the dog path at take off.
Now, what does a stork and pleasure zone have to do with threadles?
Last night at class with Laura Derrett (as described quite well by Team Small Dog), the topic was threadles. I arrived, saw the set up, and knew. I hate threadles. I'm terrible at threadles, but after last night, I might have a new appreciation for the threadle. We ran a few courses and confused hysterics dominated our agility field.
We all were having trouble so as a class we started to come up with things to help us define what we were doing. The Stork Pose seemed to help everyone, but it got a little crazy after that.
First some definitions. These definitions are NOT the Derrett system definitions. These definitions are our classes interpretation and might get Laura in trouble if Greg ever reads this...so don't tell Greg.
- Pleasure zone = reinforcement zone = where you reward your dog
- The stork pose = plant outside leg, point with inside arm, causing your inside leg to lift in anticipation of stepping backward.
The key to the threadle seems to be timing and footwork.
- As dog commits to the jump prior to the threadle,
- handler moves to position (next to jump standard prior to take off for next jump),
- handler plants outside leg,
- lifts inside leg in anticipation of step,
- points with inside arm, and
- keeps outside arm out of the picture causing the dog to drive toward the pleasure zone, er, the reinforcement zone.
- Once dog is committed to driving to the "pleasure zone"
- continue the step with your inside leg,
- step around with your outside leg,
- drop your inside arm,
- bring up your outside arm, and
- get to the next position on course.
Simple. Yeah right.
Monday, March 22, 2010
- Need more circle work
- That is caused because you don't do proper Threadles
- And the rarely heard "good"
The title of this seminar was "Top Handlers Seminar." I felt the title should be changed for me to "Mediocre Handler Aspiring to be Seminar."
Driving to this seminar, to be perfectly honest, I was regretting my decision to work Fin. I was scared. No denying. As much as I practice, as many titles that I may have, I was still scared as to what would happen. I've been having a reoccurring theme in my runs:
- I expect her to take the line - she goes wide
- I expect her to go wide - she comes into me
- I expect her to come into me - she takes the line
- But, her contacts are great!
I shouldn't have worried. I learned a great deal at this seminar. All of it will help me be a better handler. The good news is that Fin did all the stuff at the seminar that she does to me at trials (or rather, I handled like I do at trials and we were able to duplicate our errors). Two of the highlights for me were:
- Fin and I really haven't done a good job in my foundation circle work which is causing Fin not to understand and go wide.
- I have not properly recognized threadles on courses and the misuse of this cue is causing her to come into me on sharp shoulder turns rather than taking the jump in front of her (thus not taking a proper pinwheel).
When walking a course, first thing is to find all the theoretical front crosses. Once the FC's have been identified, then decide how you want to handle it. In the first exercise, it was pretty clear to everyone where the FC was located. The handlers challenge was to execute the FC at the proper place at the proper time.
When I did the first exercise, I heard, "Late." I wanted a mulligan, a redo, a forget you saw that, I'll try it again. I had every excuse in the book. I was nervous. Fin was nervous. Fin was too excited. I had anxiety. Fin had anxiety. Derrett said, "hmmm. Did you reward your dog for her start line stay. She did that very well." I dropped my head in shame and walked to my chair.
The FC exercise was pretty straight forward. Find the theoretical FC and perform it perfectly. The FC should be performed close to the 4th jump standard (the standard closest to #5) and the 3 foot pattern should move you towards jump 5. Mistakes:
- Late FC (cause wide turns)
- FC not in the proper place (caused S curve on dog path and slowed everything down)
- Early FC (in some cases, pulled the dog off of 3, in others caused strange dog path).
The serp truly was the easier move for me as there was less for me to do.
Exercise 4 and 5 used the same course but tested two very different handling maneuvers. We all agreed that the theoretical FC was between 4 and 5. First run we put a FC there, second a RC. FC must be performed at 5 when the dog is committed to 4. Not an easy feat, but we all tried real hard and there were even a few that got there early.
The RC was a struggle because you had to go into the pocket to get the dogs path down the line in order to execute your cross behind the dog. It was much easier for dogs that drove to 5. Dogs that were unsure and slower, handlers struggled. The cross behind the dog should be at commitment to 5.
Monday, March 15, 2010
- Keep your eyes (or eye in my case) on your dog.
- Use the arm and leg closest to your dog.
- Face the direction you want your dog to go.
I'm going to go back and watch some of the videos from trials and see whether some of those "go around jumps" are "handling" rather than her being a brat.
Fin had a great time. I had a great time. Nothing better than hanging out on a beautiful day with your dog and best friends.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
The before. Picture a room about 8x12. Door opens and you see a dark narrow room. Don'tcha just love the little lace window curtain - was there when I bought the house and I never took it down. It's coming down NOW baby!
The idea is to take the tub out, move the plumbing to the outside wall (lots of insulation). This will allow us to remove the wall between the new shower and toilet allowing light. Also take out the large vanity and replace with a smaller free standing arts n crafts style sink vanity providing the feeling of more space.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I've got this great post on my remodel. Doing a bathroom. Friend is here, acting like a contractor, working his buns off, not charging me near enough, tearing it out, and rebuilding. I've got some good pictures to show before and during. Once it is done will to an after.
But alas, can't post photos. Blogger is erring out.
I'm at a loss. I guess I'll have to use words.
I had a 1970's style bathroom with linoleum flooring and solid service plastic counters. A wall separated the bath (held plumbing) and toilet and made the bathroom dark. It is a small space. Totally functional. Just wanted to clean it up, get rid of the tub, move the plumbing so we could take out the wall. I wanted a new smaller cabinet to make the space feel larger.
Long story short. Every step of the way we have encountered issues. Water damage, mouse damage, bad construction. What should have taken 3 weeks will probably take more like 4-5. At this point all of the "bad" things that could go wrong have been fixed! Yippiiee. Now it is just the "construction" part.
Pictures will be forthcoming as soon as the blogsters fix it.
Monday, March 8, 2010
I ran total of 8 runs and Q'd once. Fin's first time in Excellent Jumpers. In some ways it was a gift by the judge as she stopped at the last jump because I got behind. But I'll take it!
The jumpers run on Saturday was a series of loops then turns back on themselves. I was late with my FC before the weaves, but I felt that after the weaves we had a nice groove going. The ending I had to wait for her as she went wide and found myself behind a jump because her line would have taken her past the final jump (something else to work on :) ). It was fun to run and she looks like she is having a blast.
On the standard the same day. I called real hard after the collapsed tunnel (thinking was was going wide), instead she came right to my side and past the jump. Otherwise a fun and exciting run.
All in all a fun weekend. I wish Sunday I had more success, but it was not meant to be.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Goal this week: I am walking every day, weights 2 times, and eating fish/chicken and veggies rather than sandwiches for meals. Tuna is my friend and I miss it.
Today I set up the sequence of jumps we had at class on Monday. Fin and I worked it and "surprise!" Fin took the same off course she took in class. We were able to work through it and I couldn't get her to make the mistake again during our session. "SUCCESS!"
Headed to an AKC this weekend. Looking forward to seeing how my circle work and jump work is paying off in the exciting venue of a trial. A report will be given on Monday.
Monday, March 1, 2010
The little red one is Fireball. He is the new addition to my friends agility family. He is partly mine cause I am the auntie. I get to babysit. Fireball got to play with his sister Smart. I got puppy therapy. Just so much fun. I spent a good amount of time just hanging out in the canopy watching Fireball play with Smart and his brother Motion.