Not enough hours…

May 19, 2009

I know, I know, I haven’t posted a blog in – what is it, 2 weeks??  Yikes!

I just cannot seem to get the “necessary” things done (you know, confirmation emails for my camp, courses designed for future judging assignments, entries into the computer for the CPE trial in 3 weeks), let alone find time for this blog, which I love the idea of but at least for the moment isn’t at the top of my priority list.

Anyone out there have ideas for time management?  Or, even, ideas for what they’d like to see me write about that doesn’t take me an inordinant amount of time. 

For instance, I’d love to post more courses/sequences to critique how I look at and handle them these days using APHS.   I’d love to give updates about Lucy (who’s started some agility training, but is still having problems being left alone in a crate, which is the only safe spot where she won’t ingest something bad again).  I’d love to talk about my schedule of judging, trialing my own dogs, and hosting trials and camps.  But, oh, there isn’t any time…

Ok, enough poor me, I’ve managed to write quite a bit in just 5 minutes, haven’t I?

What that being said, I must get back to work at my non-agility day job…

Trisha

Advertisements

Jumpers Course – Jan 25 2009

January 31, 2009

Here’s the Advanced Jumpers Course designed and judged by Dave Bozak on January 25th at the Feel the Rush trial in Amherst NH, at American K9 Country. 

usdaa-feeltherush-01-25-09-adv-jumpers

There are 2 things I did with Jart on this course that were APHS inspired.  First, let me say, handlers were really focusing on the 13-14 area as a problem area.  I would’ve done a front cross and fumbled to get out of Jart’s way and then had to perform a hard shoulder turn to get him around the 15-16 turn before attending the Jenn Crank seminar.  However, I had an easier solution, plus one I thought (hoped) Jart would read nicely.

First, earlier on course, 8-9-10, instead of pushing into the pocket to get the turn to 9 and 10, and then possibly falling behind for the line of jumps 10-12 and onto 13, I chose to decelerate while giving Jart a verbal Jump and nice hand signal, keeping myself heading straight forward.  When he committed to the jump, I turned and ran the other way, making a clear, straight line for him from right to left on the course as drawn.  This worked like a charm!

I had decided that getting the #13 jump would be easier if I was on Jart’s right for the line going into it, so this worked perfectly as the previous move kept me on his right.  I then did a second deceleration with verbal Jump and good hand signal, again keeping my body square and pointed straight at  the jump.  The tough part here was making sure he was taking the jump and was turning to the right, then doing a 270 degree turn and taking off in the new direction, towards #15.  I got a nice turn over the #13 jump, but started to take off a split second too early and Jart pulled in a bit, coming past the #14 jump.  It took me a bit to get him around it and back over it in the correct direction (we walked in circles around each other a couple of times), and we ended up 8 seconds over time because of it. 

BTW, the next move, a sharp rear cross at #15, worked really well, then we were home free, me laterally pulling him around the slight left turns and then taking off for the last 2 jumps and the finish line.

I was very happy with our run.  We tried and successfully used a brand move for me, which of course Jart read effortlessly because it was natural him to read and respond to my body language.  The only problem on course was me, my timing was a little off.  I’ll forgive myself, this trusting my dog and not putting in extra cues/shoulder turns/verbals/etc is new to me!

Trisha


Jenn Crank Seminar

January 29, 2009

I took Jart to his first ever seminar last Saturday.  Jenn Crank was at Clean Run, doing novice/open handling on Saturday (and Excellent/Masters on Sunday).  I decided it was time to take Jart to a seminar; he’d been to group classes, trials, but never to a seminar.  This was one that fit well within my schedule, and Jenn Crank seemed to be a good choice, after reading her bio and successes with her dogs.  I was really only planning on getting out of this a little more confidence building for Jart.

I ended up getting much more….

First, let me say the new facility at Clean Run is great!  I have never been to this new place, it’s a perfect size for seminars, and has terrific footing (Crown Matting).

About the seminar: it started out with some background on what this seminar was about: handling, the basics of how Jenn handled, and what she was going to teach us.  It turns out she’s a student of Linda Mecklenburg, and teaches Linda’s style of handling, called APHS (Awesome Paws Handling System).  I had certainly heard of this, and had looked into it a little, but never really delved in (not due to lack of interest, mostly lack of time to read and absorb the content in printed form).

Seeing it work in action after the 2 hour introduction, learning of the terminology, and giving us a basic understanding of the principles behind this system – was amazing.  I have to admit, my 10+ years of perfecting my style of handling, which included opposite arm cues for rear crosses, and (the biggie) shoulder turns along with standing still/holding back for getting U-turns and the like, was very hard to not do automatically!  I actually had to go through some learning pains, something I haven’t had to do as a handler in a very long time.  But the learning came so quickly, and the results were so good, that it encouraged me to use my newfound knowledge the next day at the starters/advanced USDAA trial in New Hampshire.

OK, so no Q’s for Jart.  But, we did use some of our new handling techniques.  For now, let me just say that the main handling tools I took away from the seminar that I will keep using, and learning to use better, are deceleration to cue a change of direction and lateral motion to help with push/pull and obstacle discrimination.   Those of you who know Jart know that he loves his tunnels, right?  Well, I got through a sequence with 2 tunnel end-discriminations (where the dog had to go to the end not directly in front of him) with absolutely no problems, without calling his name, or Come, or Here, or any reverse of direction (RFP), or shoulder turns.

There’s a lot more than those 2 tools, of course, in the system; and there are principles behind when and where to use each handling cue.   I just wanted to  give you a taste of what I’ll be writing about a lot more in the months, perhaps years, to come. 

In conclusion, the reason why this “handling system” is so appealing to me is that it is straightforward, natural for the dog to read, and gives the dog his/her cues in a very timely manner.

Why did I put “handling system” in paranthesis?  Because I’ve never understood the meaning of that term until this past weekend.  But, that explanation is for another blog…!

Stay tuned, I’ll post a course where I used this handling soon, plus describe some more about this handling system.