Fanny Gott is Coming Back!

January 26, 2009

Fanny will be coming back for some more workshops in June.  She is planning on coming for our AAC regionals with her cocker Shejpa.  I don’t have details yet but she will be doing a 2 day advanced handling seminar, a double box day and one day on dog training or foundation.  I should have all details sorted out by the end of the week so check back soon!

It is so nice to have someone come teach that has such a great understanding of positive dog training AND a great understanding of Greg Derrett’s handling system.  A combination like that is hard to find!

For more info on Fanny

also check out her video’s on you tube, lots of good stuff!


Video from Florida

January 26, 2009

Here are some of Riot’s runs from the Vero Beach USDAA trial:

And from the Orlando trial:

Florida 2009

January 20, 2009

Our trip to Florida this year was a non-stop action packed agility enthusiast’s dream vacation. 

The trip started with a red eye flight to Orlando after teaching my Thursday night class on the 8th.  I arrived in Orlando the following day at 2:00 pm then took a cab to the PBAC USDAA trial where I arrived 3 minutes before judges briefing.  The trial went well and we came away with a Grand Prix win by Riot and a 2nd Place in the steeplechase finals by Preston.  I had to pull Chase from the trial as he was sick, likely from the stress of travel.

After the three day USDAA trial we had handling camp with Greg, Laura and Susan.  This years camp was the best yet, the combination of the three instructors is just perfect as you get a great mix of handling, dog training and lots of great feedback.  I ended up working Preston for most of the camp but ran Riot in a few sessions to give him a break.  His biggest feat was staying in his crate the entire camp with no barking. 

We worked on rear crosses with Greg wich was great as it is definately my weakness.  Also Greg clarified a lot of questions about threadles that helped make things much clearer.  With Susan we worked a lot on understanding your dogs lines and how to change their lines with the use of motion, bcbl and position.  We also had lots of sequences with killer weave entrances which I am happy to say Preston was successful on each and every one.  With Laura we worked on FC timing with the use of video analysis to observe our position, timing and footwork.  The video analysis was very cool as people could watch their timing in slow motion.  Laura also taught serps and threadles where I had a realization of why Preston struggles with his threadles. 

This was my first camp since last April so I was very happy to see that some time off to fix a bunch of dog training issues really paid off.  In Greg’s session I don’t think I heard him yell “RUN!” once which hopefully means I am running faster (are you happy Fanny?).  I cam away from camp with a list of things to work on but  for the first time the list is not overwhelmingly long. 

After camp we were off to Orlando for the dog-on-it USDAA trial where Chase got his Grand Prix qualifyer (2nd place) and Riot won the steeplechase finals.  Riot graciously donated her winnings to pay for Chases vet bills 🙂  It was a great trial and running on nice grass was such a bonus. 

I flew home ealry monday morning after the trial and gotinto Edmonton just in time to make my Monday night class.  I walked out of the airport at 5:15 pm and the sun was still up, it wasn’t -40 and it was good to be home!

I will upload some videos later this week but right now I have lots of catching up to do with classes, e-mails and unpacking.

2009- from good to great

January 3, 2009

It always seems that in the sport of dog agility, and probably most sports out there that there is such a small jump from being average to being good at what you do.  Most people in the sport of agility will make it to the masters class, obtain their ATCH and possibly compete at a regional or national level.  Assuming you work hard and are given decent information you can do well in the sport.  On the contrary it seems the ascent from good to great is monumental; it is the difference between a sport or hobby verses a lifestyle. 

I believe agility or any kind of dog training is all about detail.  Whether it be foundation training, obstacle performance or handling, in order to gain greatness it must be all about the details.  I have never been a detail person, not any part of me has ever cared about details.  Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you the only part of my life that I pay any detailed attention to is my dog training.  Ironically a huge part of my life has become about dog training therefore I have learned to become a detail person – at least when it comes to anything that may pertain to my success with my dogs. 

I follow the Say Yes program of training which is based on component learning and is oozing with detail and many small but important elements that help to build a strong foundation for any dog sport.  Even with a program that is so progressive and dynamic, it is so easy to simply train the exercise and move on.  Of course you likely don’t need to train each skill until it is 110% to have success, but just imagine how much better you could have been had you trained that last 10%.  When Susan Salo was here in November she said something that rung so true to me ” you either pay up front or you spend a lifetime paying back in interest”.  Dog training is so easy when you put forth all your effort and pay everything up front, the difficulties come when you cheat yourself by moving too quickly and a year down the road you become swamped with interest, always having to go back and fix as everything begins to fall apart.

I have come to the conclusion that great dog trainers not only have to focus on the details but they must also find joy in the details.  It is so easy to become smothered by all the details and that is the main reason I find myself and those around me moving on too quickly.

I am not a very goal oriented person but I am going to try and make year 2009 to be all about finding joy in the details, moving from good to great.