Thursday, November 29, 2012

Preparing for our agility class, we practiced lots of sit/stays, down/stays on my lunch break today (who has time to eat lunch?! Certainly not me!) Baer is getting a lot better with it, I think we're going to be just fine for Agility class (which starts next week.)

And now for some good reading: http://animalfarmfoundation.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/all-dogs-are-individuals/

My work is ordering some Flirt Poles (http://squishyfacestudio.com/index.php/dog-toys/flirt-pole/flirt-pole-dog-exercise-toy.html) and I can't wait to try it out.

I won't be surprised when it whiplashes me in the face though!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SO BUSY!

After work I hung around til our Nosework class at 7p, it was definitely fun.

Baer gets so motivated that she's almost wreckless- comes with her personality though, I suppose. I haven't quite figured out the trick to teaching her to slow herself down. But it will come with time. (:

In class, we were putting the reward inside a cone that was laying on its side, Baer was the ONLY dog that shoved her face in the cone so hard that it got stuck. She's probably the most entertaining dog in class. Oh, and she also got her head stuck in a box while getting her reward, and then ran into a wall. She's not hurt or anything but she definitely is fun to watch. And this is one reason why I love her :D

So something funny happened to me today...

First, let me start by saying that weeks ago, there was a nice, long chuck it! at work for the retreat dogs. I have this dinky little one personally, so I enjoyed playing fetch with the longer one. Make the dog work harder. So it's cool.

One day after a particularly long session of fetch with Baer on my lunch break, I finished up and went to leave with the chuck it! over my shoulder with the ball in it. I don't know why I acted surprised when a big black thing came hurtling at me, grabbed the ball in the chuck it!, and landed.

I was still holding the chuck it! stick, and Baer was holding the ball and the scoop-part of the Chuck it!. So she broke one of the cooler things at work. Oops.

So we replaced the chuck it! one of those long scoop shaped throwing toys. It's like a chuck-it only, it requires a little more coordination sometimes than I've got.

Today, we're fetching with it and out of no where, Baer leaps into the air and grabs the ball which is sadly in the scoop. So I drop it instinctively, not wanting to break another toy, and have to start paying for them to get new ones. (My life...) So Baer does this for a while:

(Sorry it's sideways, I'm dumb in the ways of cameras sometimes.)


Was cute (:

Shameless plug, check out my hubby's new song:
http://soundcloud.com/b23m

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The more you know!


  • "Unconsciously unskilled At this stage, the learner (the dog, in this case), doesn’t even know that they don’t know anything.  They’re blissfully ignorant, if you will.As their coach, at this stage, you need to show them what to do, and make sure that you make the learning fun enough that the dog wants more.  Just like with a young human athlete, if the sport is fun at this stage, they’re going to want to do it more. It’s not necessarily important that the finer details of form are perfect at this point, as long as they’re not forgotten about by you the coach, for later refinement. Juno is moving through this stage at the moment (as of the completion of her very first agility trial).  She doesn’t even know that she’s unskilled, and there’s no reason for me to point that out to her.  While she’s busy checking out the ring crew, the obstacles, the spectators, the judge, and ME, I’m busy guiding her through that experience, showing her what to do, and making sure she feels great about herself while she’s attempting to do it.
  • Consciously unskilled At some point, Juno will move in to this stage, and since we can’t directly communicate verbally, it may be that she’s already there to some extent.  This would be the stage that a young athlete might be having a lot of fun and now they want to be better. They’re aware that they’re fairly unskilled, either because they feel it internally, because you’ve pointed it out to them, or, in the case of most of us people, we see others doing better and measure ourselves up against that. I would never push a person or a dog who is consciously (or unconsciously) unskilled to do anything fast; in the case of the dog, if they’re not going fast, it’s highly likely that it’s because they know there is a lot to learn and they don’t know a lot of what there is to learn, and they’re trying to take everything in and process it…and that takes brainpower….which takes time…and so any reasonable creature will do the safe and logical thing….SLOW DOWN!As my dog’s coach, at this stage, it’s my job to make sure that I continue to support their efforts to figure out what to do, but as they are ready for it, to also show them how to do those certain things. I need to be observant enough to see when my dog is asking for help, or asking me a question about how to do something, and I need to be prepared to respond in a way that will help their growth as a teammate.
  • Consciously skilled As the dog gains experiences that they can put in to their own personal playbook of how the game of agility is played, they’re going to gain skill. At this stage, though, employing those skills in the right places and at the right times is going to take conscious effort. At this stage, they’re probably learning (or ready to learn) when to use the particular mechanical skills they’ve previously learned.  Developing your agility dog in to a good team player means you, as coach, need to be ready to spot when they’ve slipped in to this particular stage of their development.  It may be that they suddenly make more mistakes than they made previously, and as coach, it’s important to recognize whether that should be attributed to a deficiency in mechanical skill, or perhaps, the mistakes are due to the dog trying to sort out when to do something, and not quite making the right decision, or making the right decision but not being able to execute it at the right time.At this stage, getting on your dog’s case for mechanical errors (a dropped bar or missed contact) when the reason the dog made the mistake was because she was really making an effort to anticipate correctly what she thought was going to happen is not likely to improve the situation.  In fact, it may make it worse.  Imagine, you’re on a sports team, and you finally think you’ve got it, and so you take some initiative to be proactive and show your coach that you’re getting it.  And then, despite your best efforts, you just don’t quite get it right, because things weren’t quite as they seemed to be.  How would you respond if your coach yelled at you for taking that initiative? Would you try harder the next time, or would you tend to hold off from taking initiative again in the future? What if, on the other hand, your coach congratulated you for your efforts, and then provided meaningful instruction and feedback on why things didn’t quite work out this time around? My guess is that you’d be a LOT more likely to try even harder in the future!
  • Unconsciously skilled Finally, after perhaps several years, you and your dog together are unconsciously skilled.  You’ve gone through the motions enough times, and you’ve been consistent enough, that your dog can read your cues without much conscious effort, leaving more of his brain free to process things like that divot in the dirt that’s right where he’d like to take off, or that splinter in the contact that’s right where he’d like to put his foot.  He can deal with contingencies that arise, because the skills that he has come naturally to him, and he can use his subconscious brain to deal with whatever comes his way. Also, because you’ve been such a supportive coach, moving from the what, to the how and then to the when appropriately, building your dog’s self-image all the way, your dog is a confident and happy teammate.  Although mistakes happen, when they do, the both of you know that they are just honest mistakes, and not due to a lack of effort or understanding on either party’s part."

I love what I read from Daisy Peel. She always seems to understand WHAT is going on in the mind of a dog when it's performing. 

If you like agility, I suggest you check her out (:


For anyone who enjoys Electro/House/Techno

My husband, Byron, has begun making music. And he is quite good (this has been MY genre for years. I can tell when someone's good, I promise.)

http://soundcloud.com/b23m

Give his song a listen and if you enjoy it, give his profile a little love.

When he is an amazing, famous DJ, I can sit here and go "See, I helped!" haha

And now, for a photo of the wonderful snow day we had today!


I also did some CGC work with Baer and my friend Lea and her dog on my lunch break today. And... well.... it's going to take work. I'll say that much. But we can do it (:

"The only purpose in life, is to enjoy it."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oh, forgot to say, Hardwell at the Shrine @ MGM Foxwoods was SO GOOD.

Hardwell KILLED it. He absolutely murked everything.

And I may have a teeny tiny celeb crush? I can't help it, Hardwell smiles at his fans and it's pretty cute. Anyone with a genuine smile is cool by me (:


Do you ever get that feeling that you're not doing enough in life? But it's evident that you ARE, you just don't really feel like you're living up to your potential?

My search for a part time job on the weekends is on. I just haven't decided if I want to carry on with grooming, or try and get an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop (or at least WORK in the tattoo shop). I also am starting my agility classes in a week. Even with 900 things going on in my life, I still feel like I'm not doing enough.

About to take Baer to the field and train some with the ball. It's my last day off before another work week, at least I know at work I can get her the exercise she needs.


She's been relaxing a little TOO much, as evidenced by this photo. :P






Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Had a FANTASTIC tournament this weekend.

Our team won first in its division. We were all very focused, and all the dogs did great. 

Baer got her fastest time yet, 4.082 seconds. She got a lot of 4.1's too, she was flying!

One of our teammate's old dogs came to race with us this weekend too (: And he got his Flyball Master Excellent title at the last heat on Sunday. We also had one of the border collie's get his FM title, and our newest team member competed for the first time and did great.

Great tournament (:




video



Sunday, November 11, 2012

We are conquerors of worlds. 

We are adventure seeking adrenaline junkies. 

We are dedicated and determined, we do not give up.

We seek our real potential and inner strength daily.

We are not your average girl and dog.




Thursday, November 8, 2012

A day after the massive amounts of snow... we are playing in it!

And going aerial, might I add.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Snow! Holy crap, snow.

I am excited that it's snowing. However, I am not excited that it's a huge snow storm two days before the last flyball practice before a tournament, and we haven't competed in two months. Uh.... :(

I have been working on conditioning Baer for the past 3 days. Sadly, our nose work class was canceled tonight, so we didn't get to do that, but we will practice at home. I really like nose work, it's interesting and the dogs seem to really enjoy it.

11 days before Revolution tourney... bring it onnnnn!