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Friday, November 10 2017

Good Dog Training Newsletter - November 2017


by Raewyn Saville

It is with a heavy heart that I type those above words. Linda was a very close friend of mine. We were always pleased to be able to help each other and be there for each other, although the ledger was rather in my favor as she seemed to need to bail me out far more often than the other way.

If you have a friend you are close with cherish it and hope you never receive a txt such as I received on Saturday morning the 4th of November. I flicked my phone on at 8.15 and saw there was a txt from Linda. Great I thought she is telling me she is in good shape and coming home soon. In disbelief I read the following: “7.20a.m. Hi Raewyn Paul here terrible news I'm afraid. Mum died early this morning. You are on Mum's list of people to tell so that should tell you how much she thought of you.......”

So hard to comprehend. However, I don't envy son Paul. That list of who to contact would have been very long as Linda loved and was loved by everyone who knew her.

Linda came to Dog Sports to bring Labradoodle Minnie for training. After the death of their previous Labrador, there were not going to be any more dogs. Family members didn't think Mum and Dad's place would be the same if they didn't have a dog, so their brought Minnie as a present. At the time Linda thought it would be great as Labradoodles are small to medium sized dogs, but she grew and grew. It became obvious to Linda and I that she was a Standard Poodlex Chocolate Labrador and therefore gonna be a big dog. As a somewhat batty ball loving gentle giant Minnie bonded with Linda through their love of long beach walks at Ohope and coming to training at Dog Sports plus endless ball retrieves.

A few months back Linda sought medical help for chest issues and was diagnosed with a heart condition and medicated for her symptoms although there seemed to be some confusion as to exactly what her heart was actually doing and what might be wrong with it. It was decided by the Specialists after much testing that there was a necessity for surgery. She waited quite some time for an admission to Waikato Hospital. Although we all knew she was not herself, none of us thought she would not pull through and be back with us as soon as possible.

At our Meeting to organise the Fly Tournament for December held on the same day Linda died we had her txt apology to Debbie that she would miss the meeting but hoped to be able to come and watch the Tournament as her recovery progressed. Linda had been a hard working volunteer at the last six or seven Tournaments.

To Bill Minnie and family everyone at our Club is beyond belief that Linda is no longer with us. She called Dog Sports her refuge and we had shared her happy and sad times over the last few years. Farewell Linda, the Club will never be the same without you.


By Raewyn Saville

Your dog needs a leader and you also need a leader! When you get your new puppy it is so great. A warm sweet smelling cuddly thing who absolutely has to trust you. You need to try really hard over those first weeks not to give the puppy any reason to doubt that he can trust you. You need to try to avoid things that hurt him. He needs to be kept warm and learn to sleep in his own safe enclosed bed space. He needs to know where his food is coming from. Preferably your hand. He needs to transfer all the trust that he had in his Mama Dog and siblings over to you. By 14 weeks this has been achieved (or not). It is very hard to go back and start over if things have gone badly wrong during this period. That is often what happens with rescue pups. But I believe if you relegate your rescue puppy or dog who is any age over 14 weeks, to a new puppy status and do all the new puppy things with it, although it will take longer to gain his trust - you can remold the dog's behavior to be more trusting and less of a decision maker.

From 15 16 weeks on the puppy starts to make decisions about when it will bark, when it will run away when it will chew its bedding when it will play etc. This is the time when you need to be enforcing some control rules. If you can do nothing else, keep the puppy crated a lot. Put it in a crate big enough for a pee pad in one end and a bed in the other. Be prepared to clean up when accidents happen and try to get the puppy out to the toilet area every two hours. The worst thing that happens at this age is the puppy gets too much freedom and doesn't know what to do with it. There is no need for any walking on lead before 20 weeks. All sorts of things come into play over this period but the main one is the dog learning that you are in control of A Food supply, and B. Freedom.

When our puppy is out of its crate it should be interacting with us one on one. That means appropriate games such as 'flick' and 'chase'. That means I am teaching the pup the word 'toilet'. That means I have a light rope on his collar so that I can make corrections without screaming 'No' and hitting him with a newspaper which as far as I am concerned is scraping the bottom of the barrel of discipline, and does not work. I want the pup to learn to follow me, plus 'go look' and learn to hunt things. During this 15 to 24 week period the pup can learn lots of words. Every time the puppy sits down when he is with me, I say 'sit good boy' and treat. When he lies down same when he stands same when he comes naturally, 'Come come come' and treat. Every piece of behavior he gives me that I want I attach a word to and treat. After a couple of weeks, I can reverse the thing. When I say sit he sits etc.

During this three month to six month period a very important piece of information is often missing from the handler's curriculum. FIRST GREETING. Under no circumstances must my puppy learn to be a first greeter. What is that? He must not learn to approach people and other animals ahead of me. It is the first step towards aggression and forward action towards prey drive. i.e. chasing sheep, chickens etc. This is the behavior that is the most easily fixed while he is a puppy and the hardest to fix in a rescue dog

I have a whole range of exercises to avoid first greeting, but the best one is the 'tie up'. Don't let your dog first greet anything. Come and work with me on this. During this whole first year of my puppy the things I want to establish are a healthy well formed dog of appropriate weight. A dog who knows how to listen and who has some basic commands absolutely nailed. During this time I am the leader of my new dog. My new dog does not know what being the leader is. He trusts me and I know that he will obey me.

As I enter my second year I have probably well started to do some flat agility equipment or started on his hunting sport work or his sheep work. Now I have to teach him to be a leader when I tell him he can be. The leadership qualities I want from my dog are all the things that I cannot do. In agility I want him to run fast ahead of me and complete the indicated equipment without me because I cannot possibly keep up with him. In hunting, I want him to use his nose on the wind or on the ground to find the prey we are wanting to hunt. My nose doesn't work like that so I need him to go and find those pigs and bail them and give voice to tell me he has it under control but hurry Ma because this pig is a biggie

I do not want to run up and down the hills chasing the sheep to a new paddock or bringing them in to dock lambs tails, I need my dog to be a leader and do that work. Unbelievably if you have done the early control and obedience stuff and the dog is pretty chilled and trusts you, its innate instincts and skills will come to the fore and it will positively automatically do the work it was bred to do. Usually without much help or training from you. If you are struggling to get the dog to do a piece of work the problems are:
1. A lack of trust and obedience
2. The dog does not recognise the work you want it to do and is probably the wrong breed for the work; or
3. The dog has body discomfort or pain or just total mental confusion due to your inability to show him what the hell it is you want him to do. See '1'.

By the time my dog is approaching 36 months, 3 years of age, he is mature enough to start making good decisions on his own. This is when the partnership begins. Some dogs, and breeds are ahead of this but by and large from three years on the dog should be your equal partner. He trusts you and you trust him. There may be occasions during that year when he oversteps the mark and needs correction. There may also be times when you get it wrong and misinterpret his work or give him wrong commands, but this is the year to really put all the building blocks in place for a long and happy relationship with a mature dog who likes nothing better than to be with you, doing what you do and enjoying your company. You can just look at each other and know 'Game's On’ That is the exhilarating, rewarding and exciting part of working with your dog.

As that dog grows older and wiser and a new puppy comes along, you then have a training partner for your upcoming dog. My old dogs have been fantastic trainers of my pups over the years.

I hope you all get to the point where the dog you own and work and live with is the best behaved most wonderful companion you have ever known and knocks the socks off your relationships with other human beings. As the saying goes....... THE MORE I KNOW PEOPLE THE BETTER I LOVE DOGS... Enjoy

Saturday, February 18 2017

Good Dog Training Newsletter - February 2017


I have a very interesting quote to start this…

'When the dog knows what his job is he can do it' Chris Hutchings.

Chris has said this often over the years and it is completely correct and chrystalises everything there is to know about dog training. A lot of people come to Dog Sports with their first dog, a rescue dog, a new puppy, a new agility prospect, or just about any other type of dog there is. Most people don't think there is very much to dog training. Every other dog they or their friends or they had when they were a child, was the perfect iconic happy friendly intelligent mutt that ever was. This probably isn't true as most dogs have a vice or two no matter what age they are, but they are very good at doing a con job on their owner so that the OWNER BECOMES COMPLIANT WITH THE DOGS' NEEDS.

I like to start out with the lowest common denominator. Short Tie ups. My expectation is that the dog will settle, lie down, become calm, and is ready to move on to the next learning thing. My expectation is that the dog will short tie up anywhere. Not just at home or at the Training Ground, but to the tow bar of my car when I go to the beach, or to a fencepost when I am on someone else's property. My short tie up sends this message. 'Please be calm, you are safe, I will be back for you.' So grows trust from the dog for you. My next behavior expectation is that the dog will lie quietly when surrounded by other dogs and allow me to stand astride him to keep him in my space. I am telling him 'All is well, the other dogs are fine, I am in control, and you are safe'. Dog is happy with this so we move on.

The point at which the dog is not happy, is jumping around is barking is panting and uncomfortable. Or has started lashing out at other dogs or people and is slow to respond to recall or correction, then it is obviously stressed. This is the point at which the dog has ceased to learn. Anything the owner/handler does forward of this point will be negative training for the dog. The dog will not achieve and remember anything after this with a positive view. This is why dogs who are failing to move forward at Agility are in the state they are in. They will be stuck in the same slow uncomfortable place for ever. They will pant and salivate throughout their work, causing them to move their heads around a lot. Circle or run away on the course, knock a lot of rails and find it difficult to concentrate, often seeing the judge as an obstacle to be reckoned with, people on the outside of the ring upsetting him. Dog has no focus or concentration, BECAUSE THE FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION WAS LEARNED BACK AT THE START AND DOG DIDN'T GET THAT TRAINING OR HANDLER DIDN'T THINK IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THEIR DOG.

One of the upsides of Obedience (the sport of) is that it focuses the dog on the handler, while that focus is on the handler the dog is just fine and can achieve amazing stuff. However, the dog only equates that focus with being in the ring, not with everyday behavior and a lot of dogs who are just great in the ring have no manners or obedient behavior in their toolbox once outside the ring. Again carrying behavior forward as a day to day condition of their lives is not something that a lot of people think is important.

Most people have a top learning capacity that they impose upon themselves. Sad though for dog trainers to impose that top learning capability upon their dogs. Intellectual threshold is something to be fought against. We all need to go on learning and moving our brains and bodies in a better way. I have never met a dog that stopped learning but I have met a lot of people who resign themselves to ‘being dumb'.

People also have the desire to move forward class by class because it means that they are achieving in their own eyes. This isn't necessarily so. YOU NEVER WANT TO BE IN A CLASS WHERE YOUR DOG IS THE WORST BEHAVED AND LEAST ACHIEVING. YOU WANT TO BE IN A CLASS WHERE YOU AND DOG ARE THE BEST BEHAVED AND ACHIEVING THE MOST.

With this in mind I often send people backwards. Some don't take it well. I sent Debbie and Sophie back to pre-Agility at the start of last year, because Sophie was so distracted by other dogs when she was working. A tribute to her early childhood education in Doggy Day Care, which she hated with a passion. The best thing about pre-Agility is that you have all sorts of nutty new dogs there who have no manners and Sophie got used to new dogs with no manners and didn't feel the need to go on the defensive or get mean.

This has enabled Sophie to move forward, because her fear of other dogs is the very thing that stops her achieving. My little Border Terrier X Fae is absolutely magic in 10a.m. Saturday class. She exudes a bored air concentrates on the exercises and copes off lead. Because she is so switched on to bunnies, she can't move forward without making runaway mistakes so she stays where she is happy and contented and is becoming very good at making other dogs feel comfortable too. That is her job, along with controlling rats and rabbits on our small block. She has jobs. They are the one's she copes with best and excels at. That is where I want my dogs.

My old dog Chan was still learning right up to the day we put him to sleep. The month before with only one functioning eye, he won jumpers C and got his first AD. I had never tried for AD before with him. I was so proud of that dog. Chip is at an interesting point. He is stuck in a couple of places and moving forward in others. His dog on dog distraction can be there at times so he is still in Behavior class and there is vast improvement there. Becki-boo is 12 and still learning and improving. Her sprints are still getting faster. She is still able to get around a Champs Agility Course within course time and is still gaining ADs.

Pansy is in behavior class and going ahead in 11a.m. Saturday class. She thrives in Mini Club. Her dog on dog distraction is better but still got a way to go. She needs to be able to play better under distracted circumstances. But we are getting there. She has gone from a runaway non compliant dog that attacked both people and other dogs with menace five months ago, to having a job doing agility and learning compliance. She is certainly a different dog, but not different enough, the sky is the limit for that little dog and I want to keep her moving forward. I know when she is out of her depth. She gets slow. She is not naturally slow. It is an inability to do the job fast because there are other distractions to concentrate on. Focus must improve. Maybe a bit more Obedience work. The important thing is not to back away from the things dogs are naughty or bad at. Don't practice avoidance, because that vice is the very thing that will ruin your future work with your dog. Train it out.


Benni the poodle. Five months old. Learning at a huge pace. His compliance is still coming. Obedience is pretty good. His tricks and pre agility are in a happy place. His ball play and tug are excellent. His dog on dog is comfortable. He has never been hurt or put in a place where he feels at risk. He lives in a pack with five other dogs who all adore him. His body conformation and fitness is correct for his age. His diet is very good, mostly natural with kibble as a mid day top up to make sure he is getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs to grow strong. Of course his breakfast is fresh goat’s milk so his calcium levels should be fantastic. Won't it be interesting to see him go forward and see at what point he reaches his 'I dunno this, can't do this job'. So far nothing is fazing him.

Jessie James the Labradoodle/Spoodle. How old is JJ now 3 and a half? Jumpers A and still going forward. Novice Intermediate and going forward. Focus in the ring 90%. Focus on obedience behavior outside the ring 55%. Christine Longton, knows no limits. She pushes forward to keep learning herself and working her dog to the level she wants. Very positive stuff. Best combination I have ever trained Storm the Working Dog. Sixteen months now. Learning at an absolute pace. Focus on handler 100%. Focus on games 100%. Focus on work 100%. Concentration levels still coming. He is a very young dog. His concentration is in exactly the place it ought to be for a dog of his type and pace. Again Christine Longton knows no limits. She does tricks, she does training she does discipline. Again the sky is the limit for this combination. I am so going to enjoy watching the achievements here.

I watch all my trainees for ability and capability. When it is obvious that the handler considers that they have reached the place they want to be, I do not push them to train any more. Because there are real limits to time and opportunity for a lot of people. All they want to do is get out and do the shows. That is good too. They are happy to have 'own goals' and 'social time' with their mates and achieving is not a biggie. After all it costs $1,000 minimum to have me train a dog to Elementary level Agility. So it isn't cheap. Although some people greatly overcommit themselves by going to Champs before they are ready, that doesn't bother me too much as learning the system and getting to run lots of courses is good education for the handlers. Once people have done a few Agility shows and been bitten by the Agilty bug (it is addictive) then they will get another dog and my hope is that they have learned enough to not limit their own and their dog's opportunity to be better. Most people do improve. Some don't. They are the wonderful people at the bottom of the pyramid paying money into a sport for other achievers and enjoying it.

Anyone who would like to test where their dog's sticking point of learning is, what the thing is that is keeping them slow or unfocused, is welcome to get in touch with me and we will go through the entire gamut of behavior and find the thing that is ruining their opportunity. Most people know what that is, sometimes secretly, but they don't confront it and they don't train to solve it, leaving themselves and their dogs stuck in a strange place of knowing how to do everything and achieving nothing

.....speaking of Summer Sprints Season.

This Tuesday night program is proving very popular.

Top Big Dog with Handicap (A Team) is Storm who is now on 6 obstacles and still doing consistently under 12 seconds (current average is 11.19). Other dogs in A team are Sophie (Deb) Minnie and Sophie (Nicole). These are our best and fastest large dogs in the Club

Top Small Dog with Handicap (A Team minis) is Jessie James who has graduated through to Flygility Senior level Sprints with 6 obstacles and has only three more levels to achieve before he falls off the end of the competition. Other dogs in A team Minis are KC and Jade both belonging to Pam and Dave Sharp. These are relatively untried dogs they are doing very well and are learning how to cope with hurdles in their sprints run.

B Team on the flat is currently lead by Chip (Raewyn) who refuses to do .50 of a second faster and graduate. But the amazing new dog Awhi is now in second place and will have no trouble overhauling Chip and graduating to the A team very soon. Bree Kimmy and Star make up the rest of the B Team large dogs

B Team Minis are lead by Boo and Pansy with Gracie Chips (Nicola) and Fae trailing behind but at each competition all the minis are cutting their times.

We are running a 12 meter flat Puppy sprint( the 12 meters needs to be accomplished in under 6 seconds) a further meter is then added to the run .

Leading the field at present is Benni followed by Linda and Dash. They are just learning to trust and run away the twelve meters and come back. Super puppy training.

The Summer Sprints Competition is very infectious. Addictive has also been applied to it. Apart from the flat and handicapped sprints we also run a sendaway recall Novelty which is currently working on Advanced with weaves. Everyone gets to do this regardless of their level. Each week we work through the levels we have done a Beginner level, an Intermediate level, last week's senior level saw Sophie (Deb) beat Storm for the first time. The work was just a bit much for Storm very understandably at his age. I thought I had it sown up with Chip who loves complicated courses, and then Sophie beat him by 2 seconds. Great Sport.

All the dogs improve in speed and fitness every week. About three weeks ago Deb's Sophie got a bit slow and didn't look comfortable. Sure enough she needed a treatment on her back from the Chiropractor. After a brief rest she is now back up to speed. Sprints make it possible to pinpoint falls in fitness and speed. They increase muscle tone and the dogs learn independent running over 100 meters.

Just superb. On top of that we have raised about $300 towards the winter rent.....It’s a winning combination. Bring on next Tuesday. Oh and as we pay prize money to the winners no guesses for who takes home the most money each week. But we are working on it. Having high quality dogs in the competition makes us all work harder to achieve better times.

There is still 6 weeks to go in this competition so anyone who wants to start now should come and have a sprints lesson FREE and see if you can get yourself in contention for those lovely trophies at the end of the year.

Club Captains Report

Here we are well into another year. Just over a month to go to the end of the Financial Year for the Club. Year ends 31st March. By the time the books are prepared and the trophies are engraved it is usually late April or early May for the AGM.

Last year we trialed a new system of Membership. We created an Executive Membership which cost $180. It includes keys to the containers so that members can go train at the grounds whenever they wish. The idea for the $180 was to put aside the rent money in advance so in the event of bad weather through the winter we still had the money available. Jenny Williams (Club Treasurer) will be able to tell us at this year's AGM, how that system worked.

The Executive Membership is available to people who are current members. That is it cannot be a new subscription. Most current members have been members for the last six months at least. For those people who want to train three or four nights a week plus have extra coaching or just want to practice on their own, this is a huge saving in $2 coins. If like me you are training at the club four times a week then I would spend around $300. $180 is definitely a big saving. So think about it and pick up a current membership form. There won't be any changes to subscriptions this year. Feel free to ask any of the Club Committee about this option. We would be happy to help you with any queries.

Dave Sharp looks after our gear at the Club. But hey team we need to be a bit more careful about the way we handle our gear. Especially the hurdles. We know the new plastic cups on the hurdles are delicate but with care they can last a lot longer than they currently do and the cups are expensive. Dave doesn't mind helping out but it is becoming a full time job replacing cups on hurdles. Dave has made and donated a set of boxes for training. Raewyn requested them. We used them this week at Mini Club, they are just amazing. I think they will be cropping up quite a bit in classes from now on. Thank you Dave.IMG_4292.JPG

The placings are very close for on the flat Sprints for the year. The Trophy will be decided in the next two Club competitions and the next month of weekly sprints. The dogs in contention are Skyla, Jewel, Chip, Bella and Bree. Maybe they might like to give winning it a go and attend some of the sprints meets and make sure they are defending their place at the Club Competition!

There is currently a series running on TV 1 Wednesday night called “Vet Tales”. Last year a clip was filmed on Megan Hill and her dog “Jack”. A group of us provided a back drop with our dogs, this should be screening over the next couple of months, unfortunately we don’t know which episode!

See you out there.

Thursday, April 21 2016

Good Dog Training Newsletter - April 2016


It is the end of the year for Dog Sports Competitions and trophy organising time even though we don't do the ceremony until the AGM. It has been a big year of competition at shows and tournaments for our senior club members but also our regular Club Competition has again given a lot of satisfaction and advancement to those of us not yet quite competiting on the National Stage. Or at Senior level another reason to hone our skills with a cold start. The Sprints have been an amazing addition to the Club Competition and I would like to see them stay as a warm up to the Agility course.

SPRINTS -A- TEAM (with handicap)















CONGRATULATIONS to you all trophies and certificates will be awarded to all the above. We have a number of trophies which are for top dogs in the various sports and top NALA dogs at our club as well so Awards Night always throws up a few surprises.

At Club Competition we had an average of 20 dogs competing each month aided by the first timers people who are members of the public and their dogs who simply come to 'have a go'. We have met some great people through this competition and occasionally one or two of them will stick with us and try their hand at getting some Agility going with their dogs. I just love watching the leader board all year as points are added and dogs start rising up through the ranks Macy, Bree and Molly have been steadily climbing both the Sprints and Agility ladders all year with all of them starting pretty much at the bottom and working their way up. Molly's points don't tell her story as well as they should but Sue and Molly will be the Learners to watch this coming year. It is pleasing to see people winning out of classes and moving up. Remember that every time you enter Club Comp you get one point for your trouble and points are awarded to fourth place as in 1st place receiving a total of 5 points, 2nd 4, 3rd 3 and 4th 2. when you have won three Learners you progress to Elementary and when you have won 5 Elementary you progress to Experienced. Gemma Meg and Chip progressed from Learners to Elementary this past year and Jessie James has just won through to Experienced which is great news for those of us in Experienced who want the opportunity to beat Jessie James. Club Comp may be the only place we might win a few points off him. There is no doubt that the top Agility Competitors at our Club currently are Christine Longton and Jessie James. Time dedication and the desire to go out and run at as many competitions as possible have certainly raised the bar in terms of performance at our Club.

I am truly hoping that all of our beginner dogs will compete this year. As far as I am concerned you cannot be serious about Agility unless you are competing at your level at Club Competition. As your trainer I want to see the fruits of each months labour coming through month by month. It shows up the holes in the training, the ability of the handlers to overcome nerves and mistakes and still make it work for them and their dogs. It helps me to put program together to make sure that everyone moves forward with enthusiasm.... I look forward to the first competition for the new year on 30th April

Notes from Raewyn

HI MUM. Most of you have not met my Mother although in earlier days in Ngongotaha she did come along on a couple of training days. My Mother donated the Container that we use to store our gear. If she hadn’t probably Dog Sports wouldn't have got off the ground. She is an avid reader of our newsletter as she says it is the only way she knows where I am. If the upcoming events in the newsletter say there is a show in maybe Cambridge, then she knows I will probably be there. I share dog stories with her and she loves hearing about our club dogs winnings. Mum has been unwell lately and is currently in hospital care to stabilise her long term health issues. But she is definitely still an enthusiastic Club Supporter and has always donated to our raffles and other bits and pieces, so HI Mum I am thinking of you.

TARGETED TRAINING at Rerewhakaaitu last week Chippy had his first ever Agility run in Jumpers C. It wasn't a very nice Jumpers C but it could have been worse if they had left up the first interpretation of the Judges sketch of the course which had everyone gasping. Anyway I have been training Chip for all of his 18 months that I have had him and I targeted Jumpers C work. Hurdle heights turns response times. I worked on our rhythm together as a team and aimed to get a clear round on his first outing. He did with 4th place as well. I am a fan for targeted training. If you want to know where you are going and what you have to do to get there please feel free to book a time to discuss your dog's progress, where you want to go and we will put a plan in place to get you to that target. It doesn't matter whether you have some experience or haven't yet been in the ring. Targeted Training gives focus to you and your dog so that you can campaign your dog properly. Not as I see every time I go to a show, the Gung-ho cowboy style. She'll be right, let’s just enter everything and blast our way through all the hurdles jump off the contacts. Both the people and the dogs look like unguided missiles. I wonder if they actually train properly to achieve results.

Club Captains Report

A late newsletter unfortunately. It has been a hard fortnight for Raewyn's Mother as she has been very unwell. So some things have to be put on the back burner and the newsletter has been one of them.

On the 30th -31st July we will hold a winter two day Fly Tournament so planning needs to get underway. This is much a club fundraiser so we need everyone to get on board and help in kitchen and with raffle donations. Cakes biscuits and any other food donations for the kitchen will be gratefully received. Contact Jenny on 027 4464385 if you are available to either donate or help out in the kitchen. We need people thinking that they will be available now so that in three months time we don't suddenly find that everyone is away that weekend as happened at our last Tournament.

We will have the honor of hosting the AGM for the New Zealand Flygility Dog Association on the Saturday evening. Raewyn tells me the last time this happened, Dog Sports hosted a dinner (paid for by the diners) and the meeting followed. The dinner was at 5.p.m, meeting at 6.30. So we will be discussing the best way to do this at the next Committee Meeting to be held on Saturday 30th April at 2.30 straight after our Club Agility Day. Remember everyone is welcome to have input at our meetings. At this meeting we also need to set a date for our AGM as
Club Subs - Normally the subs are due by 31st March the end of our financial year. But this year because we offered a new deal to current members we extended the time for payment to the 21st April. Normal Club subs are $30 per annum. The offer to current club members is that they pay $180 which includes the sub of $30 and $150 in ground fees or rent. This is to replace the $2 we normally pay each time we use the grounds. It was fine for those coming a maximum of once a week but for most of us who are there three or four times a week it had become a bit expensive. So paying $150 for the year enables members to use the grounds as many times a week as they like. This is an immense saving while at the same time allowing the Club to set aside rent money for the Stock car Club to top up the months such as we had last winter when the takings were so down due to bad weather.

We all had a good day out at Rerewhakaaitu last weekend. It didn't result in much in the way of ribbons for our members but the courses were really good and most of us were impressed by the improvement in our work. Again Christine Longton did us proud with a win in Jumpers B and a second place in Novice. Well done Christine.

This is the start of a new training year with new classes for winter and plenty of events to attend. So get out there amongst it and enjoy all the Dog Sports you can.
Happy training
Debbie Trimbach
Club Captain.

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