Monday, March 31, 2008

Obstacle Discrimination NADAC Style

I used to use an opposite arm signal for obstacle discrimination in CPE. But with the increased distances in NADAC, I am finding that I also need to leave room to drive my dog outward. In other words, I have to also be moving towards the far obstacle as well as using opposite arm.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rusty Contacts

We had some rusty contacts last weekend at our NADAC practice. I put hoops on the down sides which may have thrown Wyatt off. Also, I started working over 20 feet away laterally. Anyway, I was not getting the nice 2 on, 2 off I usually get. He was stopping too high typically or after the contact in the dirt. What I tried was adjusting my body to where he was. So I would watch him and stop when he was in the contact zone. That seemed to work well at a distance. I am wondering if I should use this technique and not expect a totally indendent 2 on, 2 off, which has never been reliable at trials. Or is he just rusty?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NADAC Top Dogs By Breed

Only 2 whippets made the NADAC top 10 list by breed for last year. One was Wyatt of Dodge City, owned and handled by me, who had 40 points for Jumpers and the other was Max, from Canada, owned and handled by Chrissy Llora, who had 30 points for Chances. To get on the list, each dog needs at least 30 points (3 Q's) at the elite level in that class. Congratulations to Max and Wyatt! I would love to see more whippets in NADAC. I think it is a great venue for them in that the courses tend to be wide open and flowing.

Friday, March 21, 2008

First Teaching

I taught obedience for the first time last night. I thought it went pretty well. I kept them busy and went through a lot and offered a few tips that they may not have heard before. One thing that was difficult was being the judge. It's easy to respond to the judge but remembering what the judge says for each exercise was not as easy as I thought. It's tricky too, especially since I was the substitute teacher for just one night, to figure out how much advice to give. It is cool trying to observe what is going on with a handler and their dog though. That will help me I'm sure. I tried to offer some tips on proofing and also on keeping heeling interesting and unpredictable for the dogs.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


We did earn out RAE today with an 83 in Excellent and a 93 in Advanced. I made some dumb mistakes but Wyatt was very good. More later...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rally Points for Different Breed Club Versatility Awards

I did this research many months ago. It shows how rally is treated in different breed club's versatility awards programs.

See Rally Points

Group Sits and Downs - Big Progress

Wyatt completed both a 3 minute out of sight sit and a 5 minute out of sight down last night. There weren't many dogs; I had the teacher treat him periodically, and I used a matt for the downs (until the weather warms up) but it was still huge. Hoping for continued progress as I gradually wean the treats and the mat.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rally Figure 8

Not too much new here. I am spending some time with the rally offset figure 8. That can be hard for Wyatt if there is food and not toys in the bowls. Even toys can be hard because they are in FOOD bowls. I don't practice this much because it is hard and I do not see it much in courses. However, I would like to be confident in every rally station. I pretty much never use negatives but I do have to grab him away from the food bowl if he about to gobble the food. It seems to be going better though I did have to get him away from the good bowl initially tonight. It seems to help to maintain good eye and verbal contact during this exercise.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Onto Teaching

I have a couple of teaching assignments coming up, which will be a new role for me, at least in the dog training area. I teach kids (and teachers) about technology but have not formally taught dog training before. I am also planning to teach a rally class later this year. I am looking forward to it but also trying to think of what I can add that the teacher I am substituting for does not already do. The classes are novice and open obedience drop in classes. I was thinking of showing folks how to keep their heeling fun and interested by adding rally moves, both left and right turns, and making heeling a game. I was also thinking of teaching the Around the Clock method for scent discrimination. I will you how it goes in a few weeks.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Our Best Rally Day Ever

What a great day Wyatt and I had with Rally yesterday. In Excellent, we got a 97 and 4th in a large B class. We had a couple of small problems with the first few stations and then things went fine. He went over - very briefly - in the initial offset figure 8 and had crooked sit a few stations later. I noticed that I did not get nervous at all until we were 2 dogs away. But I took some deep breathes and made sure to do my usual warmup. It does seems to help to:

Get there an hour early
Make sure the create is completely covered
Make sure his "brother" Patriot is there
Don't do much warmup and nothing right before we go in
Show him the treats he will get at the end of the run
Make sure we are connected at the start line

In advanced, the course was not bad at all and it was similar to Excellent so I felt very confident. I made sure to stay connected in the initial offset figure 8 and go as far from the bowls as possible. Once we sailed through that, everything was perfect, all straight sits and downs. I knew about 1/2 through that we had a 100 going or close to it. Rather than getting nervous, I felt happy and excited. When he did a straight front for a stationary front I thought we had a 100. Turned out to be a 99 but that's OK. I had a secret goal of getting a 99 or a 100 before we got our RAE.

It was thrill to get such a high score and high placements amongst all the BC's, labs, goldens, shelties, poodles, and aussies.

Check it out...