Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 - A year in review..... 2014 goals.

Like any year this past year has had it ups and downs.  Kiah, Keegs and I have had some difficulties in agility this past year; Kiah with her shutting down again and Keegs having a blast in the ring but not paying much attention to me.  I am sure with Keegs we just haven't clicked as a team and it will come in time.  Kiah just doesn't enjoy the trial atmosphere so we will just be doing a few local trials where she is comfortable next year.  I plan to get her back into tracking and maybe we will try Rally or obedience together.  Those are much quieter venues and maybe she won't stress as much.

The highlight of the year for all of us was getting Thor; Kiah and Keegs just love him.  Keegs and Thor love to play together even Kiah will join in the fun at times.  Kiah is Thor's sleeping buddy, he loves to curl up next to her when we go to bed.  He does usually come sleep next to me before morning though, I think they get too hot sleeping together, Thor is a little "heater".

Thor is going to be my agility, obedience, rally and tracking dog, I hope. He is doing really well in agility although we haven't had time to really practice in agility since early November.  We have been keeping up with our obedience classes which will help in agility.  Tonight we will be doing a rally class; learning and practice with the signs. I am looking forward to it.  I love his attitude and he is so much fun to work with but we are still dealing with his shyness around people and loud noises at new places.  He is doing better, improving by very small steps but it is an improvement so I can live with that.  It might be I have to start him in agility a little later but I want him to be comfortable.

The older two will probably retire in a couple of years and just do some of the easier performance venues to keep them active.

My goals for 2014:

  • Keep up with training Thor making sure to keep everything a game and fun for him.
  • Practice with Keegan on rear crosses and build up speed in his weaves.  We missed time at a couple of trials since he spins if I do a rear cross and his slow weaves.  Also practice on keeping his attention more.  
  • Keep Kiah from stressing as much, even if I only have to do a few jumps and then out of the ring. The judge and Renee at the last trial said I need to do that more often so she has fun in the ring.  She has a blast in class so we are good there.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Mental Game

Today is another Dog Agility Blog Event Day - December 4, 2013.  Please visit all the blogs at: ( and please leave comments, we all enjoy hearing what you have to say.

This is one subject which has become important to me not only agility but other aspects of my life too. Mental attitude can dictate success or failure in my endeavors and by teaching myself to look at the positive rather than the negative helps me in training especially for my sensitive dogs.

I never really thought about how much of agility is really a mental game until a friend introduced me to Lanny Bassham's  "With Winning in Mind"  and "What Every Dog Agility Competitor Should Know First about the Mental Game" series of CD's.  After listening to those I thought more about not focusing so much on what we were doing wrong but what was right. To tell the truth I haven't mastered what I really would like to accomplish in my mental game but I am making strides and by the time my puppy is ready to run agility and confirmation I hope to have a more positive, focused mental game.

I know one of my biggest problems and have heard from others is thinking about getting that "Q" while running the course. Instead I should be thinking of running the course giving my dog the best ques so they can be successful and have fun. A "Q" should mean we were a great team, we had a fun and we communicated well.
How can you not fail if your mind is on something else and aren't thinking about running the course.

An affirmative statement is one thing that Lanny Bassham talks about in his book and my friend suggested I do this for building weave speed with my dogs.  You create an affirmative statement, post it around your house where you will see it often, leave it up for 21 days and keep repeating it to yourself.  This was my affirmative statement for the weaves "I have conquered the 5 second weaves with Kiah and Keegan.  September Dobe trial I run 5 second weaves with Kiah and Keegan easily and we have fun while we run.  I relax and do not stress while I run my mental program before stepping to the line.  I enjoy classes, work hard to learn to bring the best out of Kiah and Keegan while they have fun.  I am able to run 5 second weaves with Kiah and Keegan".  I found this really helped me stay positive, I trained more and we made it a game.  It was fun and I found it really helped.

My goal for my mental game is to stay as positive as I can, not dwell on the mistakes, make playing with me the most fun my dogs can possibly have, to stay focused on the course and not worry about the outcome of the run.

I look forward to reading all the other posts from the group and the comments that readers leave.  Have fun and run clean!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thor agility training session 11/08/13

Here is a few clips of a training session with Thor.  Things need to fix during our training sessions:
  • Do not reward for wrong courses.
  • Use more verbal rewards and not so many cookies.
  • More play as rewards also.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thor - Obedience Classes....

started this week (October 29).  I am really happy to get in a structured class as I have been lax on his training. These classes will force me to work with him more often since the instructor will know by our progress whether or not we have been working between classes.  He such a smart little guy I am sure he will learn quickly and do well.

The first class was basically teaching our dogs to stay with us (no heeling yet).  Dropping the leash means pay attention and come with me.  Even if they are not looking at you they feel the leash drop and turn to follow you.  Thor was having issues, basically he said by his actions "if I can't drag you one way then I will turn with you and drag you the other way".  As I said he is a bit spoiled and naughty but basically he wants to please so this will become second nature after we have practiced.

We worked the drop leash in class by ourselves and then with different distractions; another dog and a toy. Next week we will begin healing and learning turns.  It is a small class so we get quite a bit of practice time even if the practice set has to be done by one dog alone.  More next week......

 Nov 5 class:  Reviewed the drop leash and then started on healing with sits, about turns, left and right turns.  Then did them as a class in a circle for distractions.  Our instructor always likes to end the class with a fun thing; the first week it was the tunnel and this week it was the baby dog walk.  Again lots of homework practice.

Dec. 11 class:  Can't believe we only have one class left in our beginner obedience class.  Last night was a review and next week we will have our graduation (I hope :-) ).  Thor has had some really good nights and some not so good where he is more interested in what the other dogs are doing besides wanting to play with them.  He did do well on our figure 8's last night and the sits at the halts.  The minute sit-stay was really good but on the minute down he jumped up when the dog next to him broke the down otherwise I think he would have made it. Our instructor said that the next class each dog will go at the pace they are ready for.  If Thor is ready to be off leash he will if not, he will be on leash even if the rest of the class is off leash.  I think that is great so none of the dogs will be forced to do something they are not ready for. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keegans journey....

Keegs has been on thyroid medication for a month now; it is hard to believe he is the same dog who had no energy, wasn't too interested in playing with toys or doing much in the way of exercising.  Now I wonder how long it has been that he has had problems with his thyroid.  I guess it all happened so gradually that I really didn't notice he was doing less and had little interest in doing the things he used to do.  As many people have said they thought it was just aging.  Kiah is still my wild child and she is only a few months younger but I thought it was just personalities that made them different.

Renee my friend, mentor and trainer had asked me several times about having him tested for thyroid and I finally got around to making the appointment.  His results came back from Michigan on the low normal side of all the tests and below normal on the T4.  They said it just be a fluke and didn't recommend medication.  After reading so much about the symptoms and thinking of the symptoms Keegs is displaying; lethargic, dark pigmentation down his back and lack of interest in his surroundings I was sure he needed medication and so did Renee.  Renee had a boxer that displayed some of the same symptoms and ended up being severely thyroidal.  My vet knew my feelings and was willing to put Keegs on medication with the intention to monitor him closely to be sure he stays in a normal range.  His blood tests after the first month have come back and he is doing so well.  He will he having another blood test in 3 months unless he starts to lose weight or has symptoms of going too far above normal range then he will be tested sooner.  The dark pigmentation down his back is slowly fading away, another sign that the meds are working for him.

I just have to smile watching him enjoy life.  We will have to do some more focus work in agility though :-) since he is acting so much like a puppy now.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

August - October updates

Been a bit behind in keeping my blog up but August and early September are one of the busiest times at work so I do have a bit of an excuse.  LOL, I started this several weeks ago and now we are almost mid-October.

Kiah continues to do awesome in class and not so well at trials.  I did have someone come up to tell me she looked like she was off in the back and that is why she was refusing to jump.  There was a vet/chiropractor there and she adjusted Kiah for me.  She was really tight in the front which may have made her look off. Since that time Kiah has been adjusted one more time and had a cold laser treatment.  She will have one more adjustment before the trial on October 18-20 then continue to have them once a month for a few months then every 3 months.  She is entered 2 of the 3 days; I hope to see a difference in her at the trials the rest of the year.  If not then she will be retired and we will concentrate on tracking, nose work and maybe obedience.

Keegs and the puppy were playing hard one morning right before we were going to the club to practice when I noticed he was limping (hadn't been earlier).  Ended up having to crate rest him for a few weeks as everytime he and the puppy would play he would start to limp again. Went to a trial in late September and he did well (no Q's) but no limping at all.  I had him adjusted also (not bad like Kiah) but it was helpful for him and he will be adjusted again before the trial too.  He will be running all 3 days.

Thor has not been to puppy classes due to my work schedule but we continue to practice at a friends on lowered equipment and at the club on the equipment he is able to do.  The last time I was at the club he did do the full dog walk all by himself (had the a-frame blocked off).  He is doing great on the chute now too. His table waits are awesome.  We hope to start taking obedience classes in early November and am really looking forward to it.  Still having issues with his fear of new situations and noises though.  He will be going to a new place for the trial and am hoping he will be doing better, he does seem to be gaining confidence.  He is now almost 9 months old, haven't weighed him but bet he is around 55lb and a little over 23".  He appears to have slowed way down in his growth and hope he doesn't get any taller than 24" which I think would be perfect for his body type.  Kiah was about the same size and age when she came home so he is right on track with her.

October 30:  Started Thor's obedience class last night and realized how much I have been spoiling him and not working with him as much as I should.   Have homework to do before next week's class which I plan to keep up with.  Thor needs confidence and I need a puppy that is well behaved at agility trials.  These are lessons I plan to do with both Kiah and Keegs too

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Aging - How long can we do agility?

Today is another Dog Agility Blog Event Day - September 4, 2013; please visit all the blogs at: (  Please leave comments, we all enjoy hearing what you have to say.

My first thought is to say as long as we are healthy enough and having fun.  A simple statement but so true at least in my life and at this time.

My two adopted rescues are both 7 years old now but they don't seem to have slowed down much. I feel like I would know when they have had enough agility and weren't having fun any longer then it would be time for them to retire.  I know when I retire (which I hope will be in the next year or two) I don't want to sit and vegetate!  Maybe I am "placing human thoughts and emotions" thinking they have the same feelings as I do but they are always up for a walk or to "play" whether it be training or throwing a toy for them. It is hard to imagine a time when they are too old to do anything; that will break my heart.

So what do we do as we age. Both Kiah and Keegs will probably be ready to retire from agility before I do so we are starting tracking, maybe we will do some Rally or Obedience. I always want to have them involved in something that we can do together as a team to share the bonds we have.  I now have a 7.5 month old puppy that helps keep me and the other two young trying to keep up with him and we all enjoy every minute of it.

I recently saw a video on Facebook of a women who was 90 years old doing agility. To me aging is a mind set as much as it is a physical event. Why is a certain age too old to do something if you feel well enough and love what you are doing. So what if you are not as fast as you once were.  My two older dogs have no idea how old they are only that they are having fun and want to do things with me so why should I be any different as I age.

I do want to add I think as we age we need to take care of ourselves as much if not more as when we were younger.  Keep yourself and your dogs physically fit, eating well and warmed up properly before you do anything strenuous. Keep a positive attitude and don't let others make you feel you are too old to do something.

Here is a link to the video of the 90 year old women doing agility.  I hope it inspires you and gives you an idea of what can be accomplished when you love what you are doing and the bonds you are creating with the dogs in your life.  (

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July Thor Update

We continue to take the private lessons and practice between sessions.  We are also still doing the puppy agility and socialization classes. Just stated doing some tracking with him, he is picking it up pretty quickly; the light bulb hasn't gone off yet but it will.

The past few weeks he has gone through a fear stage but is beginning to come out of it.  We have been doing a lot of socialization and putting him into new environments and situations so he gets used to them.  Last night a friend took him for a walk to the obedience side of the club so he could visit with others and he did very well. 

We have finally found a great food that he doesn't have any issues with and loves the taste of.  He occasionally still has an accident.  I think part of that is he plays so hard then all of a sudden can't wait; I just have to watch him more closely.

He is awesome and listens well plus loves to please.  He fits in perfectly with our family, just love that little guy!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

June Thor updates......

Wednesday June 20:  Thor did really well in class last night, especially with the private lesson.  He picks things up very quickly and wants to please.  Started him on holding a dumbbell in his mouth to get the feel of it.  Next thing we will purchase; now know the meaning of puppy poor!  Also started him on weaves without the distraction of the other puppies just to give him an idea and understanding of the bars. 

He again had a blast during the agility session with the tunnel and all the other equipment.  He did fall off the dog walk (only about a foot off the ground) since he was watching the other puppies and then was a bit nervous getting back on.  Once he realized he needed to keep focus he did well.  We have a lot to practice   

Weekend of June 15-16:  Thor was 5 months old on Sunday; growing up way too fast.  He is just the best puppy.  Went to a trial in Iowa and stayed at a hotel; he was sooo good but didn't want to be in a crate by himself when I went to dinner with friends.  Put Thor in the big soft crate with Keegan and left Kiah on the bed.  Expected to see all dogs loose when I got back but found no damage on the crate and the two sleeping peacefully. 

Week 3:  Really disappointed but we weren't able to make it to the puppy class due to really bad weather in that area. Kiah and Keegs class was also cancelled due to the extreme thunderstorms and tornado warnings.  It is about 45 minutes away from where I live and we only had tornado watches and a little thunder and lightning so we were very lucky.  

Week 2: Went to our second class, he is now more comfortable and beginning to be a bit more independent so not quite as attentive as he was in his first class. He really wanted to play with the other puppies but would come around to working on the obstacles. You should have seen him in the tunnel; he was having such a blast running back and forth through the curved tunnel.  Even though it was moving around, it didn't bother him one bit.  I will have to take videos of him in our next class.  He is such a loveable goof, now we are tugging on the leash.  Need to get him a nice leash to tug on, I am afraid this leash will cut his mouth.

Oh yes, he is teething and has lost a bunch of teeth, found one on the carpet the other day and another in the washing machine.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Improving Agility Organizations

Today is another Dog Agility Blog Event Day - June 6, 2013; please visit all the blogs at: (  Please leave comments, we all enjoy hearing what you have to say.

I mainly do AKC agility but will on occasion do CPE or NADAC.  My suggestions on improving Agility Organizations will be about AKC since that is where I have most of my experience.  This is very timely since the AKC Agility Advisory Board has asked for recommendations recently.

I know that AKC has changed the rule about running consecutive trials within 100 miles of each other if the club that held the date first gives their approval (rule here).  My personal opinion is there won't be many clubs who will approve it unless they have a great relationship with the other club.  There are so many trials now that have waiting lists I was hoping that AKC would lower the distance to 50 miles.  A friend mentioned on FB that they often have to overnight their entries when the trial is first received and still have not been able to get in. It is not that bad in this area but there are several trials I have been way down the wait list of over 150 people and our club's one ring trial had over 500 people on the wait list.

The other thing I would like to see is to get rid of the table (at least in Master classes); it is time consuming which cause the runs to be longer and makes course changes longer.

One of the recommendations I have seen posted is to make sure that the chute entrances are padded as some have sharp edges that could cut a dog.  If this is the case it certainly should be fixed for the safety of the dogs.

A few of the other suggestions I have seen posted:

  • All contact equipment has to be rubberized-which definitely should be a rule.  I have been to a trial where the contacts were not rubberized and it was really scary.
  • Fast reduced to one level course-I love this idea which it would make it similar to T2B.
  • Level C courses which would be optional and handled similarly to T2B-I love this idea and think it is a great way for those who want to be challenged more by international course have that opportunity. 
  • YPS requirement for qualifying runs for nationals-Not sure about this I will have to discuss this with my friends who have qualified.
  • Bitches in season will be allowed to run if they are wearing their panties-I understand there is a lot of this being done (without the panties) already and this would make it legal.
  • New veterans class and drop in height even if your dog jumps preferred.-I like this idea and think it is fair to our older dogs.
Just a thought to end this post; I have considered doing USDAA but the jumps heights are too high.  If those were changed I would consider doing that venue.

Please visit the other blogs and make comments, a lot of thought and effort goes into these blogs. I look forward to seeing all perspectives these blogs offer.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Thor is home!!!!!

He has been home now for one week and is fitting in perfectly.  He is one awesome puppy and I am so lucky to have found him.

He went to his first obedience/agility class.  We do 1/2 hour private lessons for obedience and then relax for 15 minutes or so before the puppy agility starts.  He did all of the obstacles (baby sized) even the teeter which was a few inches off the ground, just enough to have some movement and bang a little.  He realized if he did something and finished it he got a "cookie" so he just kept doing them; he is one smart boy.

He loves Kiah and Keegan and wants to be with them all the time. He watches everything they do and copies much of it.  Hopefully I can get him to copy the good but not the bad, lol.  He is doing well with his crate training and will cry or bark for a few minutes but then settles down like a good boy.

He picks up on his training so quickly and wants to please, I can't wait to see how he does in agility and obedience but at the same time I want to keep him a puppy for a long time.

More later with Thor updates.....

Monday, May 20, 2013

May Trials

After we got back from Boxer Nationals we did a trial at Villa Park (Lyons Township) neither got any Q's but some interesting courses. As I mentioned earlier Keegan got his second leg in Open JWW at Nationals and last weekend (May 18 & 19) we did K-9 Obedience Club's trial he got his last leg and his title.

I am continually learning more each time I run him, if I don't keep ahead of him he often will lose his focus on me.  That is when he prances around to see what is going on around him, silly boy.  Our first run in Excellent P JWW was awesome and I have no doubt he would have Q'd if I hadn't gotten lost and took him over a wrong jump.  Ended up with 2 wrong jumps to get back on the course and he finished in style.  Hit his weaves perfectly and even did them a bit faster than he normally does (one of the things we really need to work on).  We finished a few seconds over with two faults (my bad).  He is so much fun to run and done so well in such a short amount of time.

Kiah is still stressing, I believe now it is just habit with her.  She knows if she doesn't do anything she gets to leave the course.  Renee is going to run her at the next trial, maybe we can get her out of this funk at trials.  It just kills me because we have so much fun in class and she is just awesome.  She has so much potential and I want her to enjoy the trial atmosphere and not dread it.  I would hate to leave her out but if this continues and she is so miserable then I don't want to force her into doing trials anymore.  We will see how this year goes and if it continues then she will be retired next year.  I will continue classes with her and maybe the club trials since she is comfortable there.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


Thor, my new puppy.  He will be doing Obedience, Agility and Tracking when he is older.

Friday, May 03, 2013

American Boxer Club Nationals - May 3 - May 10, 2013 Indianapolis, IN

Nationals are so much fun; meeting new people, putting faces to facebook friends, talking about Boxers and hearing stories about them plus seeing the Boxers in Agility, Obedience and Confirmation is just the best time.  I hope to be able to make it next year too.

Keegs got his second leg in Open P JWW with a first place even with one refusal and a couple of seconds overtime.  Not only did he get a ribbon he got a medal too.  It is awesome!!!!

Kiah and I are still having issues with her getting stressed but we have been ending the run with a party to which she is responding.  I know we can work through this I just have to get it together with her so I don't stress her out.

I did find my puppy, wasn't planning on getting a puppy so soon but he was too awesome to pass up.  Please go to the "Introducing..." page to meet Thor.  I can't pick him up until the 25th but believe me the wait will be worth it; he is such a special boy.

May 3: Kiah and Keegan will only be doing Agility this year, hope next year we can do some Obedience too.  I am going tomorrow, May 4 and will leave on May 8 so won't be able to see a lot of Confirmation but hopefully I will see a bit on Sunday.  Monday and Tuesday will be agility; Monday is all breed and Tuesday is Boxers only.  Going to be so much fun!  I should be able to post results from there and should have videos that I will post when I get back.  More later.......

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Doberman Club of Greater Milwaukee Trial-April 19-21, 2013

It was a 3 day trial and a great weekend, we stayed overnight on Friday and Saturday it was nice to be only a few minutes away from the trial.  Keegs is not the best dog to have as a roomie, he thought every noise was something he had to alert me to so not much sleep either night.  Hopefully he will do better at Nationals in early May.

On Friday none of us had the best runs; Kiah was stressed (me helping to stress her) and Keegs thought bouncing around the course was fun (at least I don't stress him out).  Saturday was better for both Kiah and Keegan; Kiah was a little less stressed and Keegs got his Open Standard title but we were 2 seconds over time with one fault so his score was 91.  Not the best but we will take it although I decided not to move him up for Sunday.

On Sunday Renee ran Kiah for me, she wanted to show me how to keep Kiah focused and what she does if not stressed by me.  I videoed it and it is at the end of this post.  I did do better with not stressing her in the next run so she ran much better (maybe I was too tired to be so stressed since I had so little sleep :-) ).  Keegs really did well on Sunday and he Q'd his run in open standard, no faults and 12 seconds under time which is awesome for us.  I did run faster and he stayed right with me, I have to trust him more.  A friend videoed it on her iphone but the file was pretty small so not the best quality but at least I have the run.  His video is attached also.

Here is Kiah and Renee.

Here is Keegs Q on Sunday:

Saturday, April 06, 2013

April, 2013

Classes have started back up and it is good to be back.  Keegs has had two classes so far and is doing well.  I am learning to run with him and not wait.  We may be missing some jumps along the way but eventually he will pick up the "outs" to a jump as we learn to run better together.  He has done so well in such a short time trialing.

Kiah has had one class so far.  I was really nervous since this is a class with two new instructors and from what I had heard it was pretty intense class.  It turned out to be a lot of fun but the course was difficult so we learned a lot.  Kiah was great and fast, she had a great time and was still ready to play when we got home so she is feeling so much better.  She gets the last of her antibiotics tomorrow and I will take a urine sample in on Wednesday to see if she is clear of the UTI infection.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Since there were some issues when we started back trialing this year with both Kiah and Keegs I have restarted the focus training which I never should have stopped over the winter.  We have two trials at the end of the month and then it is Nationals in Indianapolis so we will see if the focus and classes are helping.  I would be nice to have Kiah in Masters and Keegs in Excellent for Nationals but also want them to have fun along the way and not push them too hard.  More later after their classes next week.........

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What a month!

So many things have gone on this month I am sure happy it is about to be over and hope that along with spring Kiah has better health.  We have Nationals coming up in May.

A week ago last Monday, I came home from work and Kiah's face was swollen so I gave her some Benadryl hoping that would get rid of the allergic reaction (all I can think is a spider or some bug bite).  By morning she was worse so we went to the vet.  She was put on Prednisone plus Benadryl.  Tried to do some agility over the weekend but she just was still not feeling well or it was the medication.

Last Monday morning I had a feeling she had a UTI (possible side affect of prednisone) the way she was acting, when it was light I found blood in her urine and back to the vet we go.  Definitely a UTI so she is now on antibiotics for 2 weeks and we have 4 pills left of the prednisone which she will be taking every other day to wean her off of it.  Poor girl can't catch a break but hopefully she can tolerate the antibiotics (diarrhea and vomiting side affects).  She did vomit last night but had been playing; maybe it won't happen again.

Thankfully Keegs is doing well, we started classes last night and he did really well.  Fun class and a great group of people in class.  We have one day of agility this coming weekend and hope Kiah is feeling better to run. Her classes start next week so she has some more time to recover.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Forest City Trial 3/8-11/2013

Another great trial put on by my club, Forest City Dog Training Club in Loves Park. IL.  Always busy but always fun with such a great group.

I was surprised at Kiah, she zoomed in both JWW and Standard on Friday, the first time in over a year she has done that.  My fault as we have not done much since our last trial in December so we are back to working on focus every night, hopefully she will come around quickly since we have trials every weekend till the end of the month.  Saturday was the opposite, she didn't want to do anything at all, just kind of moped around.  The judges wife said she was limping before we went into run Standard (I didn't notice) and she fell off the dog walk so we left the course.  When we went home I used the vibrator the chiropractor recommended on her and massaged her left shoulder.  She must have been better because she zoomed again on Sunday.  Not a good weekend with runs for Kiah and I but she did seem to have some fun out there.

Keegs got a leg in Novice Standard (1st place) on Friday but nothing the rest of the weekend.  He did do well but we are still having problems with weaves.  He popped out in one and others we are having problems with entrances.  That is what we are working on the rest of the week.  Keegs just loves doing agility and I love running with him.

I am looking forward to next weekend to see if they both settle down and get back into trialing mode.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

"Internationalization" what it means to me!

Today is another Dog Agility Blog Event Day - March 6, 2013; please visit all the blogs at: (  Please leave comments, we all enjoy hearing what you have to say.

I have to say I hadn't really thought about it much until recently.  Now I am hearing more about many of the venues incorporating international rules, making more of the upper level courses  like the international courses and even adding new course formats.  I have heard AKC will be adding a new course called an excellent "C" run which will have more of an international feel and has been testing it at some trials.  I found some examples of the course maps on "Carolina Piedmont Agility's" FB page (like the page and see the videos also) and will post those at the end of the blog.  From what I have seen it will be challenging, a lot to learn but oh so much fun.  

Personally I think it is a great thing and probably way over due although I understand USDAA has always had more of an international feel and now I see more UKI trials being offered. The new class Kiah and I will be taking this session will have courses similar to USDAA courses so we will be learning many of those new moves.  Some of the ones I have seen so far are "backy uppy", Ketschker or "ass-pass" (a term that is easier to remember), out and back, and back side jumps which may even be the "backy uppy" but I am not really that knowledgeable on the terms yet.

I know the US has sent some great teams to the International trials but perhaps incorporating more international type courses in the larger venues will allow us to have an even greater number of teams to that will qualify to compete. 

As I mentioned I am excited to see these changes but need to remember no matter how challenging or how long it takes us to learn these new moves it has to be an enjoyable experience for Kiah, Keegs and myself otherwise it is not worth doing.

I also want to mention again please visit the other blogs and make comments, a lot of thought and effort goes into these blogs.  Some will have much more experience and others like me are just beginning to learn about Internationalization; I look forward to seeing all perspectives these blogs offer.

Here are the course maps:

Sunday, March 03, 2013

March 2013

Wow, if I get in to the trial at the end of the month we will have a trial every weekend but this one.  I am so excited to get back into trialing, I have missed seeing everyone.

Had a great practice last night with Renee and Lloyd (friends and my previous instructors from the club).  Learned some new moves from Renee that we need to practice at home for Kiah's new class coming up.  Kiah's class will begin either late March or early April, it depends on how many makeup classes they need to fit in for snow days.  Keegs class will start March 25.

We plan to go to the drop in class today too.  It will be our last training on a course before the club's 3-day trial next weekend.  We can do a little bit at home and we will practice Keegs entry to weaves, once he is in he does well but really doesn't associate the word "weaves" with entering the weaves yet.  He will catch on.  More later........

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 2013

Feb.17, 2013:  We had a great time at class on Sunday's drop-in class.  Kiah's first run was awesome, had a lot of energy and enthusiasm.  I messed up on getting her at a right angle and she dropped a bar, looked at me like "I am so sorry" and I thought she would just give up but I told her it was OK, she perked right up and we finished the course with the same energy she started.  AWESOME!!!! that she recovered so quickly and shrugged it off; a year ago she would have been done running the course and not paid any attention to me.

Keegs had the "bouncy" bug when he ran the first time, it was funny to see him try to bounce through the weaves, had to redo them 3 times before he was able to finish them.  Second run for him the bounciness was gone but still happy and energetic.  We would have Q'd if it had been a trial.

There were a couple of spots on the course where I had some problems, it was easier with Keegs as he isn't quite as fast as Kiah but he is getting there.  I am still working on keeping a head of them and not waiting for them but still having issues with front crosses.

Feb.10, 2013:  Worked with Keegs on sending him out to jumps, he did a really good job and it won't be long before I can work more distance with him.  Kiah and I practiced focus at the start line.  She has a wonderful start line stay but she looks everywhere but at me when I walk away.  I just walk backwards keeping eye contact with her and then go back to treat her or call her to me to treat her for her focus.  This is something we can practice at home too.

The course was furn, we ran the easier course first and then ran the harder course since the weather was awful and no one showed up but me and one other person so I got to run Keegs too.  It was a good session for all of us.

Feb.9, 2013: No trials so far this month but plan to go to a drop-in class tomorrow (2/10/2013) if there is no freezing rain.  I will work Keegs for awhile before the class sets up since he is not eligible for the class.  Kiah will run in the class.

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Collars and Leashes

Kiah's new agility collar and leash; she is going to look awesome!

The leashes are made by Myra at

Keegs new agility collar and leash; the handsome boy is going to by stylin!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

January 2013

Janurary 20, 2013
Went to a drop in class for excellent dogs so Kiah got to run.  Learned a lot and we have a lot of home work.  I plan to go the the club tomorrow am to practice sending Kiah out to jumps, practice my handling so I can communicate the correct moves to both Kiah and Keegan and practice box patterns.  

Janurary 19, 2013
Went to a CPE trial and had a great time.  We didn't get to run until after 2:30 pm so it was a long day for Kiah and Keegs since we got there a little before 7 am.  They both did well; Keegs got a 2nd in the first standard run and a 1st in his second standard run.  Kiah got a 1st in her first standard run and an NQ in her second.  Her first run was awesome and so fast so I am pleased with her; hopefully we will have more runs like that in the furture.

Happy New Years everyone!

The K's and I are ready to get back to training since we didn't do much over the holidays.  I am hoping to do a couple of days at a CPE trial this month and next month, it will depend on the weather if we go or not.  I don't care if it is cold just not snowing or freezing rain while driving to the trial.  In March Kiah and I will be starting a class with new instructors (at least we are on a wait list) at the club.  I have been told they will make me run with her which is what I need and why we are doing some CPE.  The CPE courses are more wide open and I can do some practicing with Kiah and Keegan.  The dogs have to be in excellent classes so Keegs won't be able to train with them yet.  Hopefully he will be ready by summer.

My goals this year:
  • Learn to run with Kiah and Keegan; trust them to know what they are doing.
  • Kiah her Masters titles and some QQ's toward her PAX & PACH
  • Keegs his Excellent titles and hopefully further than that.
  • Go to Nationals in Indianapolis this year in May
  • Maybe a puppy in 2013-14, I would really love to train a puppy before I get too old to run in agility.

Our club banquet is in a couple of days and really looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying a wonderful meal.