Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Friday, January 28, 2011


If you don't write down your goals, or tell anyone of them, are they really goals? We once had a student who said they had a goal to earn a big title by a certain time, but never told anyone about it until after they finally got that title. It seems to me that to be accountable first to yourself, you have to write down your goals, and then if you let others know about them, even if it's just a select few others, then you may get some assistance and motivation in achieving them.

At FAAD, we submit goals to Katrina in January each year. Since we have to write them down, come the next January, you can measure how you did. With Skye, I can go back a couple years and find we had issues that we still sometimes see still!

So, with that said, I am going to post my goals for Skye and Rip for this coming year. Maybe it makes them more real this way...

For Skye:

Short-term goals:
  1. Continue practicing with toys and not food, keeping Skye very motivated during practice sessions..
  2. Work on various distance skills, like turns from a tunnel and better push outs.
  3. Keep working on the startline in practice – this has been paying off as he’s been much better during competition..
  4. Need to proof frontcrossing the AFrame – these tend to push him off the side. Get him to keep driving down even if I am in front of the frame.
  5. Work on being able to really peel off the weaves without causing popouts.
Long-term goals:
  1. In 2011, I would like to earn Skye’s USDAA PDCH-Bronze. This will take getting 9 more Pairs Qs, 7 Gamble Qs, 3 Jumpers Qs, and 6 Standard Qs. This will not be an easy task.
  2. Qualify for USDAA Nationals and attend the event in October in Kentucky.
  3. Qualify for AKC Nationals for 2012, as we have done the last 2 years.
  4. Earn at least two more placements in AKC. We managed to get a 2nd and 3rd in 2010, so I would like to meet and improve on that. This can be challenging as we never compete against less than 25 dogs. More typically, its 50 - 75 dogs in the 20" class.

For Rip:

Short-term goals:

  1. More practicing on the contact retraining. Continue to use the target to get him driving into position – don’t try to fade it so fast in practice.
  2. Keep working his bar issues by varying jumpheights, including lots of crossing on jumpers type courses, doing figure-8 jumps, and other jumping exercises.
  3. Continue to push for more speed in the weaves. Periodically open the channels to get him moving faster and faster. Once a month, film the weave performance and time it to measure any improvements.
  4. Be more consistent with practice outside of classtime. I’d like to practice at least 2 times a week outside of class, and would prefer 3 or 4 times a week.
  5. Enforce contact performance in competition – at the very least, mark an intentionally jumped contact with a down.

Long-term goals:

  1. For AKC, I would like to earn Rip’s first Double Q, which will require us to get out of Open Standard, and Exc. A Jumpers.
  2. Qualify for USDAA Nationals and attend the event in October in Kentucky. We are already qualified in Team, and have 1 Q in Steeplechase.
  3. Improve our speed enough to be within 2 or 3 seconds of 1st place in a big AKC or USDAA competition.
  4. Advance to the Masters level in USDAA and earn Rip’s MAD. We need 3 Adv. Standard Qs to get to Masters in everything, and then will need 3 Master Standard Qs and 1 Q in each of the games (we already have Pairs and Gamblers)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

USDAA Longmont Recap

This USDAA trial was nice and relaxing with only 1 ring - no conflicts to worry about. It will be nice to get Rip up into Masters for all classes so that I wont ever have conflicts, but that's going to be a little while still.

We had 2 classes to run on Friday afternoon - Gamblers and Grand Prix. Since I've decided I want to go to Cynosport for 2010, I have signed up for Grand Prix to try and get my qualifying Q's.

We started with Master Gamblers. I've never run a Gamblers class where there was a 0% Q rate - and now I can say that I have! There were 46 Master level dogs between Championship and Performance, and not one dog got this gamble. I watched a number of dogs attempt it and get the offcourse jump coming out of the tunnel. I decided to try a resend of sorts, calling Skye toward me, and then trying to resend to the far away jump. This was tricky as they would have to pass the tunnel entrance up if they headed in the right direction. Regardless - Skye grabbed the closest jump and we didnt come close. Rip then got to try, and I attempted a similar tactic, only I rotated before the resend and sent him over the nearby jump back towards the tunnel. This is a gamble I should setup to see what it takes to get the dogs to turn away and seek out the right jump. I posted the coursemap at the bottom (thanks Elayne - I stole your scan)

For Grand Prix, there were a couple challenges with a sharp turn to the weaves at the beginning, and a DW / Tunnel discrimination. Skye ran it really nice, except he jumped his dogwalk contact. That was his only fault. For Rip, we were having a great run until after the dogwalk when I didn't properly support a jump and pulled him off it. I put him over the jump and we finished with Rip running past the Chute (a theme for this trial). Rip did hit all his contacts.

Jumpers was up first on Saturday. Skye ran a really great run, fast and motivated and we were clean for a 1st place. Rip was then up for his first Advanced jumpers since moving up at the last trial - he really nailed it and ran great. All bars stay up for a Q & 1st place (thanks to Bode dropping a bar).

Rip got to run Steeplechase - I hadn't entered Skye as he already has his 2 Q's for Nationals, and my entry fee was high enough already. Rip did a great job with a nice Steeplechase run and pretty good time. Bummer is, he jumped his AFrame contact, so that 5 point fault kept us out of round 2 and getting a Q by 1/10 of a second over the cutoff.

Contacts became an issue for Standard. Skye missed his dogwalk contact, and then Rip missed his AFrame again, and did not meet criteria on the dogwalk either. We AGAIN had issue with the chute - it was the 2nd obstacle and Rip decided to run around it. I brought him back and he did it right the 2nd time.

Pairs was next. I havent entered Skye in a pairs run since August 2009, since he really is a butthead, and gets all worked up around other dogs, so rather than stress about it, we just didnt enter after getting the 5 Q's needed for his PDCH. Since I decided to try for his PDCH-Bronze, we will need 10 more pairs Q's! Ugh. Well at least Skye got the Q. We ran with a steady but really slow dog. They took 30 seconds, and we took 15 seconds, just fast enough for the Q.

Rip ran pairs in Masters for the first time ever - he moved up at the last trial. We were paired with speedy Bode. We actually had a nice fast run, but each of us had a bar knocked, and Bode also had a refusal. Still our time was only 3 seconds off first place - not bad. Even with the faults, we still managed a Q! This was the only bar Rip knocked all weekend, and he's done this in the past in other pairs runs, where he isnt really paying attention and hits the first bar.

Sunday was snowing, and many competitors bailed, so it was quite a small group of die-hards left for the Snooker and Standard runs. We managed to be done by Noon for the slow ride home in the snow.

Snooker was fun - shortlived for Rip though. Rip backjumped the 2nd red so we were done pretty quick. Skye ran a very nice course, getting 7+6+6 and finishing the closing. He ended up with 1st place and another SuperQ!

Again in Standard, I had contact issues with both dogs. Rip missed his dogwalk contact again. This is pretty painful after all the work we have done to 'fix' this issue already, but back to the drawing board again. He will do the 2on2off in practice, but is too amped in a trial to do it. I need to start pulling him for these obvious misses. Maybe try a DOCNA trial where we can redo. Not only did Rip miss his DW, but AGAIN with the Chute. First try, run past, bring him back, and he runs past it again. Ugh, bring him back a third time and he does it.
Skye ran a good Standard course, though he missed his AFrame. His dogwalk was very close too. I botched the handling of a jump after the AFrame, but generally it was nice and fast.

Over Christmas and New Years, we take 2 weeks off of training. I am afraid this affected our contact performance. They both hit about 50% of their contacts. Not sure what is up with Rip's Chute performance, but I will now be taking that out to do some practice before our next trial - an AKC show the last weekend of January.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

USDAA Weekend coming up!

Finally after a month and a half since our last trial on Thanksgiving weekend we are competing again. We have what should be a relaxing 1 ring USDAA trial in Longmont. Skye and Rip are entered in everything, and this will be Rip's first Masters Pairs run. We still need 1 more Q in Snooker to move up to Masters there, though we dont have any Q's yet in Advanced Std or Jumpers.
This trial is starting on Friday afternoon with Gamblers and Grand Prix.

Katrina is running Baby, Rush and Ice too, though I think she has just one run per day per dog. Baby is just one jumpers Q away from getting her (new name, PDCH), which would give her the champion title in both Performance and Championship divisions.

USDAA has decided to rename some of the titles for the Performance division to more closely match the Championship division names, so what was the APD is now the PDCH.
The P1 is PD (Performance Dog)
The PII is APD (Advanced Performance Dog)
The PIII is MPD (Masters Performance Dog)

We had class this week, though took a 2 week break from training during the holidays. Rip ran well in class but Skye was a bit crazy - glad Gamblers is first!

For Skye, I am going to try and earn his PDCH-Bronze, which means I need to start entering Pairs again. I stopped entering it after 5 Q's since he doesn't like any dogs, and I don't like the stress of worrying if he's going to go after a dog. Hopefully going forward Katrina can enter Baby in pairs and we can get 10 Q's that way ;)
Skye has 15 Snooker Qs, 11 Jumpers, 9 Standards, 8 Gamblers and just the 5 Pairs. We already have our Tournament requirements, so I can see this ultimately coming down to a Pairs run!

Should be a good time!