Wednesday, July 24, 2013

If Only's, Have To's and What Not's

I have just been having the dandiest time training my dogs the last while... Not because I have been having a 100% consistency rate or anything silly like that... In fact the REASON I have been having such a jolly time, is because I have been making those 'fine line' mistakes and as awesome as my dogs are they have done precisely what I asked them, hence making mistakes I asked for!  On the edge, that is how I roll baby... AND I have some loo paper to show for it! But I am getting ahead of myself.

If you haven't pulled of your dog too early, how do you know that you are going as tight as you can?  How hard can you really push down a straight line without risking your dogs striding?  How quick is a quick release?  If you are not CROSSING these boundaries in training, you cannot push them in competition.  I made the video to this specific song, because every Agility nut and his mate seems to be doing it... which got this song stuck my head for 3 weeks, so I thought I would pay it forward.... take this suckers.

Maybe I am just so 'training happy' since I have been jumping The Spaz again!  Yup, he is back baby!  Well mostly, obviously we are a slight spot rusty, but that just gives a good excuse to train some more.  I made the decision to jump him at WODAC (an indoor event which is really not my cup of tea), since Chaos just has more brains and less slip on horrible surfaces.  And you ask why I call him Spaz?  He didn't disappoint though, if certain morons *points finger at self* didn't maybe kind of sort of forget to cue 'tunnel', he would have even run clear.  Volt however managed to win and what a prize it was... not single ply, but DOUBLE ply loo paper... which in all fairness, is expensive these days so I shouldn't moan.... and of course the sash, medal and a small cash prize.  How Volt won we won't really talk about... bad surfaces is NOT for him, traction was a major problem.

Back to the point  linked to a recent post, I have sadly seen many many victims of PTC... yup you guessed it, Pressure To Compete.  I have seen two specific strains of PTC recently: A. Handlers that have done well with past dogs, trying to recreate their glory or prove a point, in their rush to do this, they forget their previous steps to success, they forget that the importance of the small things.  B. Handlers that are blessed with those 'X-factor' dogs, that want to fast track into mainstream success, they rush development and turn a blind eye to small niggly problems (that will soon turn into huge gaping flaws).  I can write a book on this subject... but today I only want to remind myself that I should appreciate each unique relationship with each unique canine Agility partner I may be fortunate enough to have.  The only pressure I should ever feel is the pressure not to fail my dogs.

This weekend brings what many are calling the 'unofficial world championships', the European Open Agility.  I have been receiving updates from our team members and I admit that I am truly jealous!  To say that 'if I knew then what I know now', would be lying, but if I had known how I would FEEL about what I know, I might have made a plan to be there with many of my Agility friends.  But I do look forward spending the weekend with my feet up, watching 700 odd dogs competing for the title. Good luck to all!

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