- Continue practicing with toys and not food, keeping Skye very motivated during practice sessions.. Met - except for rewarding on contacts, I always use a toy instead of treats as rewards.
- Work on various distance skills, like turns from a tunnel and better push outs. Partial - we have worked on these, but Skye is still not a great gambler dog. We only got 4 out of 11 USDAA gamblers Q's in 2011.
- Keep working on the startline in practice – this has been paying off as he’s been much better during competition.. Partial - I have found that it's more motivating to Skye (and Rip) if I just run with them off the line, so I have been using startlines less anyway.
- 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. Met - I have not found this to be an issue lately.
- Work on being able to really peel off the weaves without causing popouts. Partial - I think this is better, but I recall a trial in November when he popped early.
- 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. Almost - At the end of 2011, Skye needs just 2 more Pairs Qs and 3 more Gamble Qs for PDCH-Bronze.
- Qualify for USDAA Nationals and attend the event in October in Kentucky. Met - had a good time at Nationals!
- Qualify for AKC Nationals for 2012, as we have done the last 2 years. Met - We qualified and have entered the nationals.
- 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. Met - I didnt keep good track of this, but we definitely had a few 3rd places and a 2nd place.
- 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. Met - Rip's contacts are holding up really well in competition now.
- Keep working his bar issues by varying jumpheights, including lots of crossing on jumpers type courses, doing figure-8 jumps, and other jumping exercises. Met - Rip is really doing well keeping bars up. He recently Q'd his last 6 straight Master Jumpers courses in USDAA and is just 1 Q away from MXJ in AKC!
- 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. Met - I've continued to practice with channels opened a little, and in competition, he is really doing much better with some fabulous weave performances.
- 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. Partial - Not sure I met the 3 or 4 times a week, but we are practicing usually 2 times a week outside of class.
- Enforce contact performance in competition – at the very least, mark an intentionally jumped contact with a down. Partial - I still have a hard time not getting caught up in the moment and quick releasing. We have had plenty of wait-to-release performances, but nowhere near 100%.
- 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. Almost - Rip earned his AX title and moved into Exc. B Std for 1 run at his last trial in November, so we didnt get but 1 chance. We did however get a 'virtual' double Q by Qing Exc. A Std and Exc. B JWW.
- Qualify for USDAA Nationals and attend the event in October in Kentucky. We are already qualified in Team, and have 1 Q in Steeplechase. Met - we had a good time at Nationals!
- Improve our speed enough to be within 2 or 3 seconds of 1st place in a big AKC or USDAA competition. Met - Rip has been picking up speed. He got a 2nd place in JWW in November and has been within 2 seconds of the 1st place dog frequently.
- 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) Almost - We got into Masters, though the Standard legs have been tough for us. We have masters titles in Pairs and Jumpers, are just 1 Q away from Gamblers title, and need 2 more super Qs for our Snooker title. NO Master Standard legs yet!