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Goals for 2012

"Just RUN and you'll get there. It's all a question of training your dog to the degree that you can trust him."-Silvia Trkman 


Trial Goals

Running and Trust: That's what this new year is all about. I've been trialing for nearly 3 years now, I need to start having some faith in my training abilities and trust that my dogs will do their job. It's time to stop slowing them down by babysitting their every obstical, I'm just going to go for it and RUN!

Handling: Avoid flailing around. Make clear signals and smooth lines between obsticals. Work on verbal turn cues, and work on making my body language cue clearer for them. Cue sooner too, Knight spends half the course staring up at me because I'm not always fast enough, he doesn't need to be done the obstical to cue the next, so stop waiting and start cueing!

Home Goals

With the paps I'd like to just keep on doing more tricks, play a ton, and hike a lot. More body awareness tricks, and some proper co…

Clinging to Fall

With two freshly Frontlined little papillons, I loaded up the papmobile and we made our way to the park. Lilly was left out of the adventure today, as she's currently having difficulty jumping up onto my bed and running up the stairs. She's off to the vet tomorrow morning, I'm thinking we have another case of lyme. 
Ticks are the only reason I'm not a fan of living backed up against the park, but with the temperature barely in the 30's I felt pretty confident we wouldn't have too much trouble with the ticks today. 


I did, however, fail to look up the parks hunting regulations. I was romping around the woods with Mia and Knight when we stumbled across a man in a bright orange vest crouching just 20 ft away. That's the moment DK and Mi noticed the man as well and proceeded to bark loudly at him.

Frantically I snatched up my two little dogs and darted up the path until I was officially back in the "No Hunting Permitted" zone. Thankfully the trial I …

This is the Subject Everybody Finds the Hardest

"This is the subject everybody finds the hardest, but you're gonna have to pass it if you want to earn your TARDIS!" -Gallifreyan Histroy 101 by Chameleon Circuit
Knight-Introduction to the Jump Chute
Basically, Knight already knows what a jump is, and has seen jump chutes before, so I skipped right to Lesson 3 of week one, which has all 5 jumps out for the first time. 
What we did -Set five jumps two strides apart -All Jumps at elbow height (He's 5", set the bar at 6") -Leave dog two strides from first jump -Two Sets of Three repetitions, with break between sets
I measured out Knight to be roughly: Body length= 11" Full Height= 9" Elbow Height=5"
So I put him in the 8:10, 50% body type class. In theory, his stride length should be his body length x 3. So I set up the jumps 66" apart. This is what I got (full screen for best viewing, I wanted to get all 5 jumps in the shot)


The above video is our baseline. What you see is what I got. Very …

I Don't Know How We Happened

"I don't know how we happened, We just kinda did..." -"You've Been On My Mind" by Dave Days
I've been horrible with updating, but with the fall trial season in full swing I figure now's a good time to get back into the habit. 
This afternoon was the coldest we've had in a while. I did what any dog nerd with 170 ft of pvc would do and built 9 jumps. Clip n Go jump strips are awesome. Totally worth every penny. 

Mia's been living with my for the past two weeks and I'm absolutely in love. She and Knight are getting along fabulously, she's hilarious, and just such a joy to have in my life. I've gotten a few double-takes at the dog club as people notice that I have three dogs in the corner instead of my usual two.

So, for the fall now each of the dogs has a little "project". Knight will be working on "The Clothier Natural Jumping Method" in attempt to smooth out his over collecting with jumps, Lilly will be workin…

August 2011- A Month In Review

As August draws to a close so does my crazy work schedule. Next weekend kicks off our fall trialing season with a 3 day trial in Chatham, VA with Selina, Mani, and Twister. After two months off trialing Lilly I am beyond excited to get back in the ring with her and show off our progress.

Knight-man's teeter is looking mighty fine! I'm rather proud of how it's turned out so far. He picked up on what I was asking for so quickly, he's now confidently running all the way to the end of the board and riding it down. One contact obstical down, two more to go! His jumping is slowly improving too! He's getting much better with understanding the difference between a single jump and the double, along with totally owning the broad jump. 
This month Lilly has really just blown me away. She was the only dog out of 4 to run the WTT course that Abby and set up cleanly. In an outdoor ring that she had never set foot in before while keeping a nice snappy pace. She's such a supe…

So Long Sweet Summer

This summer certainly turned out very differently than I had originally anticipated. If you had asked me 6 months ago how my 2011 summer would go it would of consisted of lots of slept in mornings, a part time job, and at least 4 agility trials.

 It ended up looking something like this: Work, work, work, two days of trialing with each dog, work, Selina coming to visit, work, and a papillon pot luck. Did I mention work?  I really do love my job, and I love the income, but now I'm going to focus on the few non-work related things there.

2011 July AKC Berks Trial
 The first weekend of July Abby and Skye came over for day 1 of the Berks trial in Palmyra. Lilly NQd in Standard, but Q'd in JWW while Knight Q'd in std (Getting the last leg for his NA!) and NQ'd in Open jww.


I had to work on Saturday and came back on Sunday with just Lilly. I pulled myself together and handled Lilly much better in standard on Sunday. She dropped a bar on the triple so we just missed a Q, but i…

What Do You Want?!?!

Last night at agility class we kicked off our two months of focus on contacts. I am ridiculously excited about this, both of the paps have some things I'd like smooth out in the contact department so this is the perfect chance to proof things I've been working on at home.

The First Step

 The key to success in dog training is knowing what you want. So our first last night was figuring out what we want our final criteria to be.

  Sometimes.... I have trouble with this. I slip into the "Oooh Look at that! That's close enough to what I sort of want! Yayyyyy Dogger-doo! Here are some cookies for your semi-close attempt to what I think I want" sort of phase. Basically it's the reason I am not active in competitive obedience.

 I acknowledge this is something I need to work on, so I guess now is as good a time as ever to start working on it.

 Lilly
A-frame: Jump over apex, striding off. Rear leg separation won't be as pronounced as on the dog-walk, just lookin…

You've Been Acting Aweful Tough Lately

Good lord, I don't know if I used the word "really" enough in my last blog post. That is officially the last time I post around midnight after just four hours of sleep the day before. Yikes. I apologize for putting you through the agony of reading that.

So, here's what's going down. Lilly might have lymes again. She slipped and bumped her leg in the pool last Wednesday, so when she was limping a bit right afterwards I thought it was just bruised and would heal with some rest. Friday was crazy, I got off work at 6, home by 6:30, and had to run and get the papmobile.

The plan was to have the mechanic lock my keys in the papmobile so my mom would drop me off with my spare and I'd drive home. Simple enough plan, right?  Funny how simple plans tend to crash into insanity. I couldn't find my spare key. Long story short, after an hour and a half of tearing apart the house we decided to go to the dealer and see if they left it unlocked by any chance. You have t…

Friday Nights

I love our Friday night agility classes. Tonight was one of those nights when everything really felt like it was coming together.

 I could really see Lilly listening tonight, at our last few trials we've had some hiccups where Lil was going off on her own and doing a course of her own creation for a bit. Tonight she was really listening to my cues, thinking about what I was saying, then following through with what I was directing her to do. We still have some smoothing out to do, but this was a huge leap in the right direction.  I couldn't be more happy with how she ran. She was fast and she was really listening!

 Then there was Knight-man. Wow, running him felt absolutely fantastic. His tunnel sends were awesome, he was listening to me while he was in the tunnel so he had tight turns coming out, brilliant wraps, simply amazing. The only thing I wasn't happy with was his jumping, the bars are set at 8" and he was easily clearing the 12/16" markers. Denise pro…

Summer Goals

"Something here doesn't make sense. Let's go and poke it with a stick." -The Doctor
I'm still alive! I was working Thursday-Monday this past week and was way too beat when I came home to do any semi-intelligent blogging. I had yesterday off, but I ended up taking the paps on a 3 hour hike and just goofed off instead of doing anything productive haha. 
And back to the topic of this post, since most of my time at work is spent walking dogs and cleaning I've had plenty of time to think about what I want to work on with the paps this summer. Now It's time to set some realistic goals! 
Running Contacts  Knight of course has nothing done yet on his RCs, I got some great tips from Devi (check her out, she's pretty awesome) for his flat board jumping. I just need to corner my mother and ask if I can grab some of the extra carpeting downstairs to use. 
Miss Lilly also still has a fair bit of RC work to go. She has running while it's at lower levels down pretty …

To The Papmobile!

I drive a grayish blue mini van that has been deemed "The Papmobile". Most teenagers getting their first car would cringe at the idea of having to drive their friends around in their mom's old mini van... I'm not exactly "most teenagers" though.

 I personally love The Papmobile, it's got enough space for both of my crates along with extra room if I'm traveling to a trial with some friends. The best thing about it is also one of the worst things... it's very spacious. I spend most of my time driving alone, or rather as the only human in the van, so I can very easily toss trash in the middle seats and ignore it until it reaches the point where it starts to smell funny and look just plain scary. This week it reached that point.




It's all organized and you can actually see the floor now! Yay! I also put on the sticker Abby got me back when I was watching Leap.

All the cool kids drive mini vans and got papillons. 'Nuff said

First Step To Assistant Instructor

"Has anyone ever told you that you're a bit weird?" -Craig "They never really stop." -The Doctor

Today I went to the club-  the dog club for those who were mistaken into to thinking that I have a "real" social life- for the assistant instructor training/meeting event. 


  Overall it was a very well put together meeting. Denise did a great job and I'm so excited to be welcomed into the program. As of right now I don't know when the first class I'll be helping out with, but here's how it works. All of the assistant instructors e-mail the times they're available to help out, then the list gets e-mailed to the instructors so they can see who's available when and go from there. Looks like most of the "Family pet" classes, so puppy and basic manners classes, are Tues-Thursday. I should be getting my official work schedule this week so hopefully I'll make sure to note that I'd like one of those evenings off. 


 I can'…

Dreamer of Improbable Dreams

"I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams."  -The Doctor





Thor's Day

Today was the first day of my working interview at a local boarding kennel and I LOVED it.

This kennel had a very interesting mix of boarders. I saw a Cane Corso, Shiloh Shepherd, Goldens, Labs, Poodles, Westies, Mini Schnauzers, Komordor, and a Malamute.

It was just day one of the working interview, so I mostly got introduced to how things ran around the kennel, did a bit of dog walking, and helped with feeding/refilling water bowls.

I'm going back tomorrow afternoon, then again this weekend to finish up the working interview and decide if this is something I want to continue doing. (Which I do)

I didn't have time for any RC work with the Knight man today, and tomorrow we have agility class.... I might be able to get some video there. We'll see if I can bribe my sister into going with me haha.

A Bit Too Insane

Behold, the reason I trained Knight's 2o2o in the first place. Knight jumping on a totally flat board like the yellow is electrified.



During the above reps I was using a bowl with food in it about 8-10 ft away from the end of the board. He still got a bit of a treat after each rep (whatever tidbit I put in the bowl to get him running out) but no huge jackpots. I did give him a mini jackpot after the fourth rep, since that was the closest I had gotten to an actual running this session.

After that we went inside, worked on some tricks with Lilly, then he chilled while I did schoolwork and a bit of  "Leap week" repair on my room. (Leap week is like shark week, only with a Leapazoid instead of sharks.... and me being too tired out from entertaining a BC to actually clean my room)

Around 8:00 pm, it was finally starting to cool down outside so I decided to give the flat board another shot.



Much better results this time around!

I swapped out the bowl for one of Knight's ma…

The Time Has Come- Knight's Running Contacts

The time has come for me to finally work on Knight's running contacts. I've done some work here and there in the past, but nothing solid enough to get him doing a full height RC. His jumping is a bad habit that I'd like to smooth out before we get up into the excellent ring. Not to mention the fact that I'm just not a big 2o2o fan at all.

Yesterday I unhooked my teeter base and got him started on a totally flat board. I just did two reps for a few reasons:
-He ran both of them, believe it or not but a week ago he would actually jump on even a flat board
-Leap was barking her head off while my neighbors were working outside



My goal is to train his RCs fully and correctly this time around. So height will be added very, very slowly. You can expect lots of short clips of Knight's contact work over the next few months.

Lilly is no where near done her contact training either, I want to fix up her entries to the dog-walk, along with her turns off of it, and a bit more wor…

Game Face

Leap is the 13 month old Border Collie I was dog sitting this week. This was my first experience actually living with a BC and it was kind of insane.

Don't get me wrong, I love Leap to bits, but I also enjoy sleeping past 6:30 in the morning haha.

On Friday night I took Leap with me to agility class. It's a drop in class free for members, and membership is charged by the person, not by the dog so I figured I might as well run the Leapazoid too. It ended up being one of my favorite nights at agility so far.

The whole class was just a dream. Leap was a speed demon, then the paps got jealous so they were tearing it up too. Lilly gave me some phenomenal distance work and Knight-man showed off his beautiful wraps, basically everyone was absolutely fantastic so they made me look extremely talented.



-I apologize if this post is extremely choppy, I'm a bit sleep deprived and stressed. Any writing talent I might have evaporates as stress levels go up.

In non-Leap news I'm attem…

Always Talking About Changes

Okay maybe "change" isn't quite the right word for this post. It's more along the lines of Progress.

One week after having a friendly chat about my plans to attend the KPA I received an e-mail, this e-mail to be exact:

"Greetings all!

You may or may not be aware that in the past we have had an “official” assistant program at DTCCC which allows instructors to have a club member in beginning level classes (KPT, L1 & L2) to assist them with conducting class.  In general, these folks are club members who demonstrate good training skills, good people skills, good communication skills, may or may not have worked with a variety of breeds, and usually have earned a Canine Good Citizen title on at least one dog.  They serve as an extra set of eyes & ears in class and are available to explain things further to any class members who might be having difficulty (or to work with class members who are “getting it” while an instructor deals with a particularly challengi…

The Next Step

"The deep dark yawning pit of the next step of your life might look like a fall but it could be a flight"
-Hank Green


Who is that Dog Nerd?    You know the person that won't shut up about dogs and seems unaware of the fact that they're pretty much speaking a totally different language? Yeah.... I'm kind of one of "those" people.

  I'm also a 17 year old high school student who's attempting to finish high school a semester early so I can run off to the Karen Pryor Academy in hopes of one day having "dog trainer" be my job.

 When I'm not doing dog stuff you can find me shooting at the archery range, reading a book....or watching Doctor Who.


Why the new Blog?
    As some of you may -or may not- know, I previously had the blog "HeavensGlory Agility" but pieces of future plans have started to fall into place. HeavensGlory Agility is starting to become part of the past, but foundation for something bigger is laying. I think I…