Tag - dog training - Dog Handling

To content | To menu | To search

Tag - dog training

Entries feed - Comments feed

Monday, June 11 2018

Good Dog Training Newsletter - June / July 2018


When I go out to Compete with my dog I am doing it in my time out from the dreary reality that life often is. For many working for a living is a brutal fact of mind numbing money go round. It is the glue that makes life function on a practical level but it is also stressful and boring.

So when I am working with my dog hobby I am hopefully able to shut out that more difficult part of my life and enjoy the company of my mates, but mostly it is my dog that I want to be with. So then I want my Dog and I to be 'Happy' while we are working together. Impressing others, looking to get ahead, being impatient are all things that don't belong in my Dog Training world. So everything I do with my dog is about building a bond of Happiness and Team work.

When I start on an Agility Course I ask my dog if he is ready. Chippy and Boo, Chan and Midge and Rosie all barked an affirmative back to me. When I ask Pansy she doesn't reply. So she isn't ready and I have to keep working on her happiness factor and her excitement and her games until I have her so sucked up to me and what we are doing together that she barks her affirmative. Then we will be getting somewhere. Do you ask your dog if it is ready to compete and play with you?


If you persist in a career with your dog based solely on the Sport of Agility both you and your Dog will suffer injuries. While most people understand that when they twist their knee or wrench their thigh muscle it actually bloody hurts, those same people don't seem to understand the potential for their dogs to do exactly the same thing.

When their dog lands on top of a maxi hurdle and both hurdle and dog crash around together then there will be some sort of mental and physical injury to that animal. Time and again I see at competition bewildered shocked and unbalanced dogs simply being commanded to carry on. Their handlers actually laughing at the stupid antics of the dog. This is just shocking.

I often write stuff about how dangerous Agility is as a Sport. But it would be a lot less dangerous if handlers trained their dogs properly. If a dog is running so fast they collide with most of the equipment because they are so called 'naturally fast' and the handler thinks that is great then that is a tragedy.

Fast dogs can still hurdle properly and clear the gear, they can be taught to slow down when the corners get a bit tight. They can get a rhythm from their handlers to help them around the course. Mostly they need to focus forward and keep a peripheral eye on their handler and they need to be taught how to do this. Hurdle recognition work, hurdle bar respect work, and anti distraction focus should be basic to teaching dogs to negotiate a course.

Watching dogs belting around a course on show days week after week smashing equipment really upsets me and really it is why I stopped doing Agility last time. I had hoped that in my ten year absence there would be more sensitive handlers receiving better training by now. But that is not my experience so far. I think my older years will be spent doing Rally O so that I don't have to put up with Gung ho handlers and Kamakaze Dogs, it just breaks my heart.

If you do find yourself on the end of stern words from me on the subject of training methods then that is the first warning that I do not tolerate people using Rimadyl anti inflams to get their dogs around a course . All the while continuing to injure their dogs at competition week after week at the same time resting their dogs thinking that that is the 'normal' behavior for the sport of Agility . Then they will find themselves jettisoned from my Training Groups as it is very obvious that in spite of all my advice and all my insistence that training happens in a certain way and is completed before handlers go out to competition, is falling on deaf ears.

If I continue with those people I become part of the problem because by now the solution is impossible, given the total addiction that some handlers have to successful outcomes in the sport.

Remember Fitness for you and the dog, Social Enjoyment, Bonding with the Dog, Increased understanding of how a Dog functions, and quality Training result in a happy long lived companion, are best aims and outcomes. Don't settle for less.

Saturday, April 7 2018

Good Dog Training Newsletter - April / May 2018

All members wishing to renew their subscriptions for Dog Sports Rotorua for the above year need to do so by the 30th April. If you are a current member and all details of your membership are the same as last year then simply deposit your subscription into account no# : 38-9005-0409199-00 with your name as reference, If your details such as Address, Phone, Email, Dogs' information have changed then please fill in a new form from the club and return it so that the Club Treasurer can change your details.

Within the month of April the Behavior Protocols of the Club will be emailed out to you. Please acknowledge receipt of these Protocols. It is important that you read and understand your obligations and rights as Club Members. It has been noticeable that there have been breaches of the Protocols in recent times. Especially around the area of dogs who are injured and/or have been recently medicated coming back to club without Veterinary clearance. Our Executive Member in Charge of Protocols is Alex Jones in case you need clarification of any of those rules. Alex is also a qualified Inspector with the SPCA and takes her role of Animal Welfare very seriously.

The Annual Subscriptions are as follows:
Full year's General Subscription $30.00
Executive Member of Dog Sports Rotorua $180.00

To be an Executive Member you must have completed twelve months of membership with Dog Sports Rotorua(Inc). You will be supplied with keys to the equipment sheds and can use the grounds at any time you wish to train your dog/s and form training pods with other paid up Club Members.

Please return your keys to Debbie Trimbach Club Captain, as each year the locks are changed on the sheds and new keys issued to current paid up members at the end of April.

Please be aware your dogs must have current District Council Registration and your Vaccinations for all Dog Diseases must be up to date. Just today at Club Competition, Sharon Brosnahan said really loud, ‘well when is the next newsletter due'... today was 24th March. So I said 1st April. Sharon said 'Bout time' and Deb Club Captain said is it that time already…

And yep it is and even though we are only looking at producing 6 newsletters a year against the 11 we have done for the past five years, the time seems to roll around twice as fast. Getting older does that to years, they just start whizzing past.

Ever since Dog Sports started in 2006 there have been moves to start a Rally O group. Rally Obedience has far more appeal to participants than straight Obedience and is achievable at beginner’s level by almost everyone. Beginners is called Novice in this sport. There are only two levels. Novice and Advanced. I have been gamely battling away insisting on all Club members giving Obedience a go in the hope that one day someone would get into the Rally O thing.

At last hope presented itself in a conversation I had with Anne Proctor of Mount Maunganui Club last year when she offered to come and run a workshop or two for our Club on Rally O. This happened over the month of March. Anne brought her sister Liz with her and they gave us their amazing skills and time by setting up courses, working them for us with their qualified dogs and then giving us all a go. It sucked all our members up straight away. For the record those who attended the course with Anne and Liz were myself, Debbie, Alex, Pam, Tina, Megan, Jenny, Pam, Diana, Saskia, Leonie, Sharon, Sue W, Katie.

There was so much enthusiasm the group bagged Wednesday nights as Rally O practice night and for the last two weeks we have set up simple courses and tried new station work, just getting a handle on how the sport works. Last Friday 23rd Anne and Liz returned and set up a new course and judged us and were very impressed by the amount of work our group had done in two weeks as the improvements were immense. I was so proud of everyone. Even better there was so much enthusiasm for the new group that there was a request for a Rally O component at Club Competition. So we did it and everyone participated and the winner was Sue W and Molly on 99pts. Molly is a natural Rally O worker. Very good work.

It looks as though the people at the hub of Rally O for our club will be Saskia and Digby, Deb and Benni, Jenny and Bree, Diana and Billy, Pam and Jack, Alex and Texas, Tina and Koda and Sharon and Gracie. The rest of us will probably get there when we can. The surprising stuff came from teams like Leonie and Yoyo and Pam and Jack. They were literally outstanding given their lack of work in obedience. There was just natural flair, Debbie and Benni have real skill and of course Digby with Saskia work very very well. It looks like if we all get our Kennel Club Membership together we would be a real hit at a Rally O Competitions, although unfortunately there are very few in this district. Rerewhakaaitu in January is the nearest. The occasional once a year in Cambridge and otherwise travel to Auckland. Food for thought, we could do with encouraging more competitions within the Bay of Plenty area.

We have had our last Club Competition for the 17/18 year and further over in results the year's winners will be announced. It has been a difficult year for Club Competition with so many wet Saturdays but we have made it through and I believe the best dogs have come out on top.

The coming year starting with April as number 1 for the 18/19 year will include a Rally O program. The Club Competition day will begin with Sprints both A and B teams competing only in either small dog or big dog classes, an Agility Competition with Learners, Elementary, Experienced and, Veterans and now include Rally O as the 3rd sport for the day. If you are a Club Member you should be competing at this once a month Competition. You all work hard at Classes and Coaching and Practice sessions for four weeks and then we celebrate it and keep the results to watch progress of all our dogs. This day is the best learning tool your club can provide for you. Please try to get to a few of them.

I am so impressed with the dogs improving their speed and skills in Sprints. To see little Jade doing that massive crooked Sprints A run for a win today was so exciting and to see my Pansy go from unable to run anywhere through sheer fear, this year win B Sprints Small Dogs, is a huge thrill.

Winning isn't 'it'. The vast improvement in Dog behavior the huge upskilling of the handlers and the joy and excitement written on the faces of all, tell the story.

My friend Anne Proctor said of our group when she was coaching the Rally O, ‘You all enjoy it. It is fun. That is as it should be' She is right. If it isn't fun you are doing it wrong. Keep up the good work. I am really excited to be working Chip in Rally O. He needs this work to move his Agility and our bonding to the next stage.

I am really looking forward to the rest of the new year at our Club.

Monday, April 17 2017

Good Dog Training Newsletter - April 2017


May I say that I really enjoyed Club Competition over this last year. I would say that because my dogs did very well with Boo winning the Experienced Agility Class and Chip winning Elementary. Pansy won Small dogs on the flat Sprints. However, one of the reasons my dogs did so well was because I am there every time. I have to be because I run the thing. In the Agility section of the competition every time you enter you get 1 point so that is 11 points for the year. Then if you win it is 5 points second is 4 points third is 3 points and fourth is 2 points. In Learners you need three competition wins to get into Elementary and in Elementary you need 5 competition wins to move to Experienced.

Throughout the year a total of 30 dogs participated. The final results though show only 21 dogs as being successful throughout the year. The other 9 dogs did not participate on enough occasions for results to be kept.

This is a summary of those successful dogs' efforts throughout the year. My Boo is now rising 13. I will not be entering her in Club Comp for this next year. We will just go out and play on the course. I was thrilled with her win but she is getting a little tired. Jessie James didn't attend all of the Club Comps. All of his Agility errors were handler errors. Christine works very hard with Jessie James and likes to use Club Comp to try new handling things and good on her. That is what Club Comp is for. Debbie's Sophie had a patchy year with injury. She is coming back strongly now. Long may it continue. Her Sprint work has improved throughout the year in spite of her absences and not being up to full speed.

Chip is where he should be with an experienced handler for Agility, although I was disappointed in his Sprints at 5th in Club Comp. He mucks around with his retrieve, his speed back is excellent and his commitment is outstanding so I am really pleased for his future. In my opinion Meg should have won Elementary Agility this year. She has worked so hard and it is just the little things that have tripped her up. The difference between Meg and Chip is just the difference in experience between Katie and I. I believe Meg will come back this year and be better than ever. Tyson (Katie's little boy dog) is only running for interests sake. I think Katie and I with Tyson Boo and we should invite Chris and Bootz, should do a Veterans this year - any interest guys. Gemma and Ann didn't do a full year so points are down. They managed one win earlier in the year. In fact I think Gemma had better join us in Veterans as well as she can no longer jump full height hurdles they are just too hard. Shadroc and Alex started the year with a whizz and a bang and won two starts in Elementary and since then Alex has had difficulty getting to competitions and Shadroc has had ongoing foot and back issues which he is resting from now, perhaps he will be a candidate for Veterans as well. Hey Vets is starting to look exciting. I will design a special course for us for next Club Comp Day and we can give it a go. If you have any ideas for this email me. Like how many obstacles, do we want weaves, full height contacts or not?

Macy has deservedly won Learners this year. She has also moved up the grades to Elementary. She really should have won out long ago but Gloria doesn't come to too many Club Comps. The main reason is that she competes in everything she can from Southern Hawkes Bay to North Auckland. So while we pick our Club Comp and Nala weekends not to clash with anything that most of us might go to in the way of Agility, Gloria is out there doing it. Macy has had a very successful first year of Agility Competition around New Zealand and hopefully will continue to improve and fulfill Gloria's long held dream of a full on Agility Career. Nicole's Sophie came second in Learners and has one win. Sophie is still struggling with weaves but definitely improving. Nicole tells me she will be staying in Rotorua this year after all so I hope we continue to see her at Club Competition as she needs to get those weaves nailed and move out of Learners. Jade belonging to Pam and Dave was 3rd in Learners. Yoyo and Molly also got 12 points but Jade had one win so that puts her ahead of the other two. Jade will be the girl to watch this year. Pam and she are really bonding on the Agility course. Jade is very quick around the corners. A great thrill for us all that Pam and Dave are spending time and travel on giving Jade and KC a real go at sports.

Sprints for Big Dogs with all the handicaps in place was taken out by Christine Longton's Storm. His Agility was just wonderful too and we can expect winning form from him once he turns 18 months. Unfortunately he was only a puppy throughout this year in Agility Competition so he wasn't able to compete at height. I hope that Sprints showed Christine what Storm is capable of. He certainly turned on a great show for us every time he went out on Sprints Course.

Sprints for Small Dogs with all the handicaps in place was won by Christine Longton and Jessie James. I hope that Sprints helped keep Jessie James fit. His Fly course times have come down. His recall on Fly courses are faster and he is now doing single lane weaves in Fly. In my opinion Sprints for Jessie James are an ideal workout.

B Team Big Dogs on the Flat Sprints was won by Yoyo belonging to Leonie. This is a huge thrill. For the last two years Yoyo has run away from work at the club. Literally leaving the area. She is so fast and has so much eye that it pretty much looked like she would never concentrate. Well she is maturing and here she is putting on a spectacular performance and graduating to A team with handicap in the new year.

Small dogs on the Flat Sprints was won by my Pansy. What a thrill. A runaway dog I have as a rescue because of her shocking aggression and she is working so well.

At the start of the new Club Competition all wins are valid so your wins travel on into the new season. However the points start from scratch again. Sprints will change a bit to a thirty meter course for the seniors. It will be set up for all the senior dogs (old A Handicap section) to run the same course and the fastest wins 5 and so on the same as the Agility. It will have a maximum of 6 obstacles and will include A Frame and weaves from time to time.

The 50 meter sprints will stay 50 meters but for the large dogs the average falls to below 13 seconds instead of 12. The small dogs will need average under 15 seconds. The reason for the change is to get more dogs into the senior level to benefit their Fly work.

So congratulations to all who participated over the past year. The winner's trophies will be handed out at the upcoming AGM, along with other Trophies for the best Junior Agiliteer and the Nala Wins for the year.

No matter how little you know about agility Club Competition is for everyone. Come along and join in. and you will get better and better. The group are very encouraging of new players, we would love to see you there once a month. Check the date in the Coming Events later in this newsletter.

If it is wet Club competition is cancelled.

- page 1 of 17