Clam0373’s Blog

So good at blogging NOT
January 18, 2009, 1:08 pm
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I am trying!

Interesting things going on as far as people go. I have found that somewhere in life I have become the positive one. I am forever telling people to be thankful for what you have and not worry about what you don’t have. Today I had a long conversation with someone about comparing themselves on an even playing field. I don’t have a problem with testing myself (that’s what trialing is all about) but I will not compare myself to someone who is at a different space then I am. It is unfair to compare myself to someone with more resources then I have and then complain that they are further ahead. I have three kids, that’s fact. I work limited hours because of those three kids, so that means my disposable cash is less. I will not compare myself to someone who has no children and thus more resources, it’s just not fair to me. That was the point I was trying to get across to this person today. I also think it makes no sense to continue to wallow in negativity. If I just had X or Y, then I could be that good. Well, be as good as you can be. You are your only litmus test. Compare yourself to where you were a year ago, have you moved forward or backwards? What were your goals and have you achieved them?

My goal last year was to go to Arizona for USDAA nationals in agility. I qualified for the second year in a row (yay Rah), but I just couldn’t do it. It would have meant time off from work I couldn’t afford, flying my dog in cargo (oh hell no), and trying to find child care while I was gone. It just didn’t happen. This year? I have put my goals all over the universe, we’ll see. Goals are just that, something to strive for, but while you’re trying to get there don’t forget to enjoy the ride. Sometimes the lessons are in the ride, not in the destination.

Training: Rah is backing up well and so is Kit. We didn’t work any of our levels stuff this week but I’ve been really tired and not feeling like training much. For next week, get Rah into Level 5 and Kit into Level 3. Demi’s training is on hold, she is spending a lot of time chilling with Aiden.


Backing up
January 10, 2009, 9:20 pm
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I’m freeshaping Kit and Rah to back up, their personality differences are so fun to work with. Rah is all about complaining when he doesn’t know what to do (bark bark bark) Kit just tries harder. When Kit is thinking she wags her tail and the harder she thinks the harder her tail wags. I’m not sure what that means, if it means she’s happy or if it means she thinks the click has something to do with tail wagging. She has done it with weave poles, this backing up, and stacking.

Rah is backing up about 10 feet and Kit is about 3 feet, we’ll keep working.

Scoping out new places to practice
January 5, 2009, 1:00 pm
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I’m always in search of more places to practice. For a lot of reasons, but mostly to keep up with what everyone is doing.

I went to Morrisville, and sorry Chris I can’t remember the name, and practiced there. The facility is great. Chris has made a clean warm space with good footing. The down side is it’s about an hour away and I can’t get my car in and out of the driveway.

Kit practiced well. We went with Chelsea and Amy. Kit and Chelsea have developed a respect for each other and both will work off leash without incident. Kit is back to running fast and not ducking jumps. Her jump training had me worried as she has started not coming off her start line and ducking jumps when she does.

I filled out my NOMAD application. NOMAD is the local agility club that I have avoided joining because I didn’t need it. With Kit coming up and me needing to get some distraction work in, I’m thinking of joining again. I had to detail my goals for my dogs, that’s always fun. I think I take it to seriously.

Are you serious?
December 19, 2008, 1:23 pm
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Tonight was class night.  I met my intro to agility class for the first time.  It’s always a challenge to start the intro class right, too much basics  and they won’t come back; not enough basics and they continue on without the skills they need.  I am hoping to set the right tone with doing “fun” stuff with not so fun stuff that they need.

Helmet class as my competition agility class affectionately calls itself, was a trial.  My dogs are still not getting the grid work, Kit included.  I’m going to take the time off this week to watch Susan Salo’s Jump training DVD AGAIN, to see what I’m doing wrong.  I think we aren’t spending enough time on getting the foot work right before we’re adding in height.  Again it’s the balance, hearing some complaining about it being boring, but heard the same thing about contact work and now we have some super contacts.  We will push thru, means to an end so we can run sequences without dropping bars.

Then there is the weave dilemma to practice on poor traction or not practice until spring.  I don’t know that I can NOT do weaves for all winter, but if Susan Garretts two by twos really does only take twelve days there is no real reason to do it before we can be outside.  Decisions decisions.


Dog training around life
December 18, 2008, 1:37 pm
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Yesterday was Waggles day, I was there giving lessons and brought Rah and Kit with me to work jumping.  We did our grid work like diligent little do bees.  As boring as I think this is the dogs LOVE it.  I think because it looks like flyball.   I am back to the five jump sequence because they were dropping the last bar at height.  So this week is five jumps, jump 2 and 4 at full height.  We’ll see how it goes.

Today is Show Me The Biscuit day, I am bringing Demi with me.  She is going to do levels and grid work if I can get motivated.  I’ve been up since 3 with a puking kid.  Life is grand!



Yesterdays practice and today’s agenda
December 16, 2008, 12:53 pm
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Rah did really well with his go outs yesterday, I started removing the target. I am getting some creeping on the sit.

Demi is heeling OK, I have added that she can’t be forging to the 300 criteria. To this point the criteria was looking at me and on my left, now it will include her feet in line with my feet.

Kit doesn’t know sit. She knows get ready, which means to finish and sit on the left, but no idea what sit means out of the context.

The jump grid went OK. The shelties are not able to bounce 15ft, I backed it up to 5 ft, then moved it out to 10 and they could do 10 some of the time. I’m going to sit at 10 for a week and see what happens.

Today I’m taking Demi with me so I can bring Rah with me tonight. I am going to work on the levels with Demi.

Headed out to practice
December 15, 2008, 2:32 pm
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I’m headed out to practice this morning, I’m trying to stay motivated and moving forward.  This time of year, are you serious? 🙂

I’m going to work with Rah on his obedience go outs, I’m using a target for this behavior.  I am not going to add the jumps in until the behavior is exactly what I’m looking for.  I want him to go straight out to the target, turn and sit.  I will also do the fourth jump grid in Susan Salo’s jumping program, three stride regulators to a jump 15′ away.


Demi will be doing heeling using the 300 peck method.  I have found that the 300 peck method keeps me honest in my reinforcement history.  When Demi and I last practiced heeling she was up to 20.  I would like to get her to 100 before spring.  I will also be doing the jump grid work with her.


Last but not least is Kit, the wonder pup.   Kit will be doing some reps on the A frame, running and holding her two on two off.  I know that nationally and internationally the running contact has replaced two on two off, if I get to that level I’ll worry about it then 🙂  She will also be working on her jump work, she thinks blasting thru the jumps is the answer. 
That’s it for now, I will try and update with how the plan went.