Tuesday, May 18, 2010

AKC passes new Regulations

AKC has passed new agility regulation, not all will go into effect right away but,

Effective September 1, 2010

A-frame only 5 feet for 4 & 8 inch dogs!

and, drum rolllllllllllllll....

Table: "The dog shall pause on the table for 5 cumulative seconds. The judge's count shall start once all 4 paws have touched the table (and the dog remains on the table top). Neither a sit or down position is required. "

This will save lots of time at trials and Josie will be soooo happy, although we will still train for an automatic down as in USDAA it is always a down on the table.

Dogwalk up contacts are no longer judged!!

This way judges will not be racing from one end of the dog walk to the other to watch both the up contact and the down contact – this has made Josie and to a lesser degree Suds to slow down and give the judges dirty looks for being so close, gotta love “chary of strangers” ;-)

Teeters must be calibrated prior to the start of every trial - clubs are responsible for having calibration materials.

This I love – hopefully it will make the teeter more consistent for the dogs.

Effective July 1, 2011· No more MACH point multipliers for 1st and 2nd placements

Bummer, Josie most always gets multipliers for MACH points, but oh well…..

Lots more, for all new regulations see Attachment B, page 9- 53


"An off-course is just the right behavior for the wrong obstacle." Rick DeAmelio

Friday, May 7, 2010


Just a friendly reminder;

*Permisssion to cross post* a great read for all dog competitors

Connie Cleveland is a well known Obedience Trainer, but this could apply to other venues beyond Obedience Dog Competitions. ..in any venue in life...

by Connie Cleveland

On the occasion of my tenth anniversary, my husband asked me how I wanted to celebrate. I asked that we take a very dear friend, my adopted grandmother and one of the greatest of all the great southern ladies, out to dinner with us.
At dinner, my husband, Brian, presented me with a diamond ring. It wasgorgeous and I was speechless, but even as I thanked him, I worried about the expense and extravagance of such a gift. As if he knew that the next line belonged to my grandmother, my husband excused himself from the table.
He was barely out of sight when she reached across the table and grabbed me by the shoulder, "I know what you're thinking, I know you think he couldn't afford it and it's too extravagant. I don't care if he had to put a second mortgage on the house to buy it, don't you steal his joy! It's beautiful. Accept it as the token of his love that it is and say nothing about how he shouldn't have bought it for you." Then she repeated, "Don't you dare steal his joy!"
That was the end of the conversation. She sat back in her seat, smiled at my returning husband, and we had a lovely dinner. I took her advice and put my reservations out of my mind. The ring has never come off my finger, but most importantly, I learned a wonderfully important lesson, never to steal another man's joy.

Are you a joy stealer?

"You know if my dog hadn't gone down on the sit, I would have won theclass", said, unfeelingly, to the winner.

"I sure didn't think your dog worked that high a score."

"I can't believe you placed, I thought Jane Oneup and her dog would beat you."

"I thought I had that class won! My dog had a great performance, " said to the winner.

"Isn't that judge an idiot? I can't believe the dogs he put up!" said to the winner.

"Boy, aren't you glad Mrs Winallthetime wasn't here today or you might not have won."

"You passed that Master test because the water blind was so easy."
"That was the stupidest set of water marks I've ever seen. No trial should end that easily," said to the winner.

Do you discourage or encourage fellow competitors? Do you tell them their goals are too lofty and their dreams too big? Are you trying to be helpful or trying to keep them from accomplishing something that you never had the ability or perseverance to do yourself? It is equally as harmful to steal joy by destroying the dream.

"No Basset Hounds get UD's," said to the owner of the Bassett in Utility class.
"I've never seen a Rottweiler that could do fronts and finishes", said to the owner of the Rottweiler practicing fronts and finishes.
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a UD and a Master Hunter? Do you know how few people have ever done it?" said to the first time dog owner setting out to do both.

When FC AFC OTCH Law Abiding Ezra had both his field championships and 65 OTCH points including all the necessary first places, someone had the guts to come up to me, his owner, trainer and handler and say, "No dog will ever be a field champion and an obedience champion." My jaw drops when I think about it. Isn't it unfortunate that I remember this attempt at stealing my joy much more than I remember all the cards and letters and congratulations I received when those last 35 points were earned?

If you are willing to destroy someone's dream, perhaps you don't realize that it is the JOY of pursuing the dream that keeps the dreamer motivated, not just reaching the accomplishment.

My husband and I travel and compete together. I remember an event, early in our relationship when I watched his Doberman fail articles. "Darn it," I said, as he came out of the ring," she didn't even try to find the right one!" "Oh", he replied, "but, weren't her heeling and signals wonderful?"

Unknowingly, I had almost stolen his joy. He was celebrating the improvement on the exercise that had been giving him trouble, and I was focused on the failure. Since that experience, Brian and I have learned that the best response to a questionable performance, "What did you think?" That way, if the handler is excited about some aspect of the performance, you can share that excitement. If the handler is disappointed in another aspect, you can share the disappointment. You are safely removed from being a joy stealer.

I hope you have a lot of dreams and goals for your dogs in (the coming year). Undoubtedly there will be moments of disappointment as you venture through the landmines of injury, failures and other setbacks. Remember that the joy of the journey is worth the difficulties along the way and don't let anyone steal that joy. Guard it well and at the end of the road you can own it and revel in it with all the other memories of the trip.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Clean Run magazine ran an article in their May issue about a jumping problem called Early Takeoff Syndrome. A very interesting article about dogs that jump early or take a stutter step and what could be causes, etc. This article was was of special interest for me as Suds shows classic symptoms, he will take off early at jumps, sometimes add a stride or all together skip the jump. This is one of the reasons I do not jump him at his regular height. There are some videos on Clean Run’s site, scroll below the center picture;
If anyone is interested in the article, let me know…

There is a lot of speculation that eye sight is a contributing factor to ETS. This research on the canine eye speculates that eye sight could be breed/size based.


“A word to the wise ain't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice.” Bill Cosby

Monday, May 3, 2010


These are the new letter Josie gets to add after her name. These are the USDAA titles Josie earned over the weekend.
SSA = Starters Standard
SG = Starters Gamblers
AD = Agility Dog
AJ = Advanced Jumpers
AS = Advanced Snooker
AR = Advanced Relay

It was Josie’s first outdoor trial of the season and VERY windy. With 2 rings running our first class was Starters Gamblers – you make up you own course for the first 30 seconds and when the whistle blows you need to complete the gamble within 16 seconds. The gamble is a set of obstacles that need to be taken in a specific order with the handler remaining behind the gamble line. She rocked! Very nice and smooth no hesitation whatsoever. Q & 1st place & Starters Gamblers (SG) title. Below is our gamblers course;

We then ran over to the other ring and ran our Advanced Jumpers. Jumpers is Josie’s favorite class, once again she was soooo good, nice, nice, nice run. Q & 1st & Advance Jumpers (AJ).

We then had a short break until standard. Myth got to come out and socialize. There are usually quite a few puppies at USDAA trials, they do not restrict unentered dogs at trials, the only requirement is they need to be 8 weeks old.

Josie’s Standard run was OK, she trotted her dog walk, hmmm, and when she was tipping the teeter the wind blew it back up, did I mention is was windy? she did complete it but I could tell she was not at all happy. Then we had a little issue on the table, unfortunately about 4 dogs before her a dog peed on the table, ugh, they did clean it up, but Josie found the spot and proceeded to sniff it for a good 5 seconds before she would down. Q & 1st & Starter Standard (SSA) with her standard title she also earned the Agility Dog (AD) title for an AD you need 3 starter standard legs, 1 starter gamble, 1 starter jumpers, 1 starter snooker and 1 starter relay.

Next up was our Advanced Relay. Relay is done with a partner; each team member runs a segment of the course with an exchange of the baton in a designated location, generally scored based on time + faults (faults are converted to seconds) Our partner was a little Jack named ParTay. ParTay ran first, Josie seemed a little hesitant from our previous teeter so started a little slow, thankfully I asked our partner to do the portion of the course with the teeter. She did end well. Q & 2nd & Advanced Relay (AR) title.

We headed for home about 2pm……. When we got home Josie and I went out in the back yard and did a few teeters, no problem.

Sunday had a lighter breeze ;-) Josie had 3 classes; starters gamblers and standard – fun runs as she finished titles yesterday and didn’t need these legs, good thing. In Gamblers she bailed on the teeter, pretty sure this was reluctance carried over from yesterday. In standard she did to the teeter but it was painfully slow, she also sniffed the table again….she missed her entrance on the weaves, I didn’t make her restart them and just ran for the end jump.

Last class for the day was Advanced Snooker. Snooker is fun, fun, fun class, one of my favorites, it can be a bit confusing until you run it.
Class description can be found here;
I like to try for all 7 point obstacles in our opening but, the 7 pointer for this course was the weaves and she is not the fastest in the weaves and repeating them 4 times just irritates her I elected to do the 5 point and two 6 point obstacles. She was back to her old self and had a very nice run – great way to end the weekend, even had fairly fast weaves. Q & 1st & Advanced Snooker (AS) title.
Here is our Snooker course;

So, the weekend has some ups and downs but over all was very productive, and thankfully we ended on a good note. We now have a four week break before another agility trial. I get to go watch the World Team Tryouts this weekend at the U of M Leatherdale arena.