Archive for May, 2009


Software Issues, Ontario Regionals and Baby Dee

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No there is not connection between my software issues and the Ontario regionals (sorry if I scared any of you:)).  I was hoping to post the first installment of my latest 2×2 training webinar however my program crashed yesterday and I can’t figure out why.  

I can tell you I have divided the posts/questions into roughly 4 categories; speed, trial behaviours, failing and miscellaneous.  Oh yeah I did include another category on success stories so anyone reading the blog won’t think that EVERYONE has issues with 2×2 training! The miscellaneous category covers things like poles skipping, footwork, weight shift etc. Right now I have  total of 26 good weave pole questions. Sorry I couldn’t leave you with an installment here, but I promise one way or another I will answer then (even if just the old fashion way of typing:)) in the next two weeks.

I leave today for the Ontario Regionals in Ottawa. I am a bit sad as this my first regional event ever that I will not be running a mini dog. I made the decision to retire DeCaff from competition, likely all competition. She is only 9 years old but at 5 was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and it was suggested then that her career was over. With the help of Prolo therapy we got 3 1/2 more years of doing agility together. I will definitely do a blog post on the “wow” factor of prolo therapy in the future. It is nothing short of miraculous (Encore has also had it for her hip that is a bit wanky).

It is difficult to make the decision to stop running DeCaff because she is still loving it and still winning. However I know it is the right thing to do so as difficult as it, is De-dog and I will be finding joy in our walks, swimming and just hanging out together (she is turning into a bit of a pork-pie though!)

Today I am so grateful for all the amazing runs DeCaff and I have shared together during her career in agility. In her seven years competing she made to the USDAA finals 6 times winning once, coming 2nd twice and placing in the top 5 every time except once. She place in the Steeplechase finals every year except one and was the  IFCS World Champion two times  with countless individual medals along the way. It has been a great journey but agility is only a small part of the life I share with my dogs and I don’t want it to jeopardize her quality of life as she grows older.  So now a new chapter of our life together will begin.


Shhhh Don’t Tell Anyone

Monday, May 25, 2009

Well a bunch of us snuck away on Thursday night for the one and only USDAA trial in Ontario this year. Unfortunately for the organizers the trial was quiet a small one but fortunately for us the trial was a small one:).  It was awesome, so as much as we would like the organizers to have more participants to help them break even financially, we selfishly really would like to keep this trial on the small side. There were 2 rings but only one used at a time as there was only one judge.  The judge Mark Wirant always has very technical courses and he didn’t disappoint us this weekend. It gave us all a great tune up for next weekend’s Ontario Regional Championships. It was  great weekend for me. Encore ran in 14 classes and qualified in 13 and winning all but one or two  where I decisively held her contacts.  Encore won the Grand Prix and both her and Feature won the Steeplechase class.  Feature had some great runs over the three day weekend, but also had an uncharacteristic odd bar down spoiling some otherwise very pretty runs. She has recently discovered how to bounce jumps in competition making her that much faster but putting my timing off for front and rear crosses. It is difficult to try to be consistent with your timing when your dog is leaving the ground for a jump 10′ away from the jump:).  The other problem this new discovery of power is creating is her lack of desire to collect when she should. The two of us will work it out but for now it is back foundation both in and out of the ring.  Lots to get done this week, over 200 emails waiting for me when I got home last night.  Will try to catch up!

Today I am grateful and proud for awesome showing all of the Say Yes students had at last weekend’s trial as well as being grateful to be able to run in such a small trial (we were done by 1 PM on Friday, 4 on Saturday and noon yesterday). I do feel badly for the organizers but it really is nice being able to run at such a relaxed trial!


Food for Thought

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hmmmm. Some thought provoking statements in this article although alot goes against good sound science, I have to admit I do agree with much of what is written.

Check out this article

“Dogs are thinking animals,” Bekoff said. “They seek the outcomes they want. They avoid the ones they don’t. They solve problems. They have expectations. They have hopes.”  This is just shaping isn’t it? Reinforcement really does build behaviour!

Enjoy your day, we here in Alberton are having a blast with Susan Salo. Sorry but the weave pole webinar I am working on is looking like it may be a two parter. Stay tuned, will launch them, but likely not until next week.  Trust me it will be worth the wait!

Today I am grateful for some nice weather while Susan Salo is here to share her jumping magic!


Susan Salo Workshop At Say Yes

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IMG_4150Susan Salo is here for the next week, although a few of us are sneaking out on the weekend to support our one and only USDAA trial in Ontario.  Susan has been coming around here so long now, I am sure our absence won’t be noticed!  We have a great group of “repeaters” here for Susan’s mid-week workshop.  “Repeaters” being, people that have worked with Susan on multiple occasions.

As usual Susan started off with a brief morning lecture. And again as usual, Susan had some profound logic to share with us all.  Often times Susan is just phrasing common sense in a

Lynda's Favor working at Susan Salo's workshop.way that affects people differently that day. One comment she made yesterday  morning I felt necessary to really emphasize for all. I added that it was sage advise applicable to all of dog training when Susan said of jumping “it is important that you never have a static lesson plan. Read your dog after each repetition and know what he needs at that point. Be flexible and willing to adapt your plan for that session to suit the current needs of the dog.”   

I think of this statement as it relates to people following the 2×2 method of weave pole training. The DVD presents a lesson plan to train or re-train your dog. However it may not be in your dog’s best interest to try to keep up with the pace that I set with the dogs that use for I demonstrations.  You shouldn’t try to push a dog along if his actions and success rate is telling you he is not ready for a bigger challenge.

Another gem I got from Susan was when we were discussing the current popular practice of punishing dogs for dropped bars (something neither Susan nor I approve of). Susan’s comment was; “you can not prepare for peace while you are a planning for war” when she was describing the conflict of trying to build a jump education while using punishment. 

Those of you struggling with teaching your dogs to jump please know it is not an overnight or even an over-month fix. It is a career long process and perfection is elusive, all you can aim for is a constant improvement. For the sake of the dog, that has got to be enough for you. If you do not have a current jump education program for your dog, I strongly recommend Susan Salo’s Jumping DVD as a place to start.  When you get it, print of the PDF that is on the disc and follow along from that handout while you watch the DVD.  It is never to late to go back and give your dog a new beginning!

Today I am grateful for the continual improvement I have seen with my own dog’s jump education.


Very Impressed. . . really!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Seriously, thanks guys. Some awesome ideas came in yesterday. Any of you tuning into my blog today, looking for some great dog training content, go back and read what other people posted on the blog yesterday about prioritizing your life. Here is a quote that came in late that personally struck a cord with me; “being right brained doesn’t mean I have to live in choas.” Thanks Misa, I have got that one printed out already!  

It is not like I am new to this stuff. Crap, I spent 15 years in Corporate-Canada. In those years, I did lots of continuing education training, so it is not like I haven’t learned about list making, prioritizing etc.  With that in mind, I love the input you guys have shared about how you have made everything that is important in your life stay important.

So as to not distract from the importance of everyone else’s message. I am not going to bring up any new topic today. If you have any more time managment, prioritize lessons to share, post away, good stuff guys!

Today I am overwhelmed and grateful for the responsiveness of this blog. You guys ROCK!


Keeping All the Balls in the Air

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hey guys, thanks for the awesome contribution of the motivational quotes added to Friday’s blog post. There are some real gems there I am for sure going to add to my growing list.

Encore, Feature and I spent the weekend at a CKC trial.  Saturday was cold and rainy, Sunday was windy and freaking COLD! I have admitted on this list that I am a fair-weather walker and I will now tell you since I have this beautiful indoor training facility I am definitely a fair-weather agility competitor. If the weather even hints at being nasty I just train inside. In spite of being cold and incredibly wind burnt on Sunday, I stuck it out to the end and did enjoy myself . . . I use the term “enjoy” loosely.

My girls didn’t seem to mind the inclement weather at all, but why would they, they were doing what them love best! I felt like a cross between the Michelin-Tire man and one of those big major league baseball mascots as I tried to maneuver around the courses (sorry, no video footage to entertain you).  Not being the swiftest, nor most agile competitor out there at the best of times, it doesn’t get any better when wearing 2 pair of pants and layers of winter clothing & coats!  All things considered my girls did have some nice runs but I came away with a bigger list of things I need to get to work on.

I have been doing a lot of juggling this year, working out how to fit in my normal responsibilities of teaching workshops, training my dogs, spending time with John and my family, exercising, cooking etc while mixing in the new tasks I have taken on with the building of the new house, sending out newsletters and writing in this blog. I think it comes down to organizing and better list building. I am not about to give up on anything, but this weekend it was obvious to me, my dogs both need more training than they have been getting (which has been very little lately).  So today I am going to spend the morning organizing, starting with my messy desk and then working on a task list to make sure important things like training my dogs doesn’t get pushed back any longer on my things-to-do-list. I know my girls will appreciate it! Any ideas on how you guys organize your responsibilities would be greatly appreciated, especially those of you that are still in college or have young kids or both!  That can’t be easy, you must be pros at prioritizing and multi-tasking!

This morning I watched out the window when I let my dogs out at 5:30 AM. They milled about doing their business then all of a sudden it was like someone just yelled “fire” and they all took off chasing each other. Stuff like really cracks me up, and it makes me even more grateful for the role dogs play in my life.


Motivational Quotes

Friday, May 15, 2009

I love motivational quotes. They really do it for me, if you know what I mean. For the last 25 years I have been a big fan of Zig Zigler, Norman Vincent Peale and legendary Basketball coach, John Wooden.  Here are some of my favorite from the three of them along with a few others.  If you have a favourite quote that really moves you, I would love for you to share it with us all.

” The main reason for people’s lack of success is their willingness to give up what they want most of all, for what they want right now!” ~  Zig Zigler

” You can get everything in life you want, if you can just help enough other people get what they want.”  ~ Zig Zigler

“Change your thoughts and you change your world”  ~ Norman Vincent Peale

“It is what you learn after you know it all that counts.” ~ Coach John Wooden

“My actions will follow my expectations.” ~ Joel Osteen

” Treat people as if they were what they ought to be,  And you help them to become what they are capable of being.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“There are three ways to do things: The wrong way, the proven way and a better way.” ~ Author Unknown

“There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

” Every person you meet knows something you don’t,  Learn from them.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

” It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given,  That separates one person form another.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.. that’s why we recommend it daily.” ~ Zig Zigler

“When you set goals, something inside of you starts saying, “Let’s go, let’s go,” and ceilings start to move up.” ~ Zig Zigler

“Failure is an event not a person, yesterday ended last night” ~ Zig Zigler

“Do not permit what you cannot do to interfere with what you can do.” ~ Coach John Wooden

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success that some people will ever have is when they take a bite out of you! “ ~ Zig Zigler

Enjoy your weekend everyone, I am off to a CKC trial this weekend with Encore & Feature. Today I am grateful for the focused drive I acquire every time I re-visit my list of motivational quotes.