Sunday, 15 January 2012

Training In Cape Town

Training in Cape Town
Update 4

Wednesday 11th January
We didn’t have any official lessons or classes again untill 3.30 but I went with Kath to her field to talk over handling criteria, and verbal commands.  We left Lee at home in bed, we got back about an hour later to find Lee feeding his SKYPE addiction!  We had some sandwiches for lunch and then we spoke about a course that I would think the ‘General Advanced; dogs would find beneficial doing. And that Lee could then use later for his ‘Judges workshop.’

We left early as Kath wanted to show us the kite surfers on the beach next to the venue we were going to be teaching at -Cape Handlers  Dog Club. (On the west cost) Although when we got their there was no wind and therefore no surfers (DAMM) I was sooo looking forward to seeing some surfers ;-)
 We then went to set up. I had a ‘General Advanced’ class first whilst Lee had beginners. I set up the course below.

All handlers ran it and then we discussed  looking for the fastest lines, what you should be looking for whilst walking a course and focused on the handling of turns.  Where the turn should be qued, and/or handled in order for the dog to be able to collect/gather their stride to turn tight. We then worked on the tunnel - weave sequence.  This highlighted grey areas for most and proved if we always que our dogs to weave, the jump before the weave  (Before they take off for the jump) they will look/want and maybe stutter wanting to jump or worse jump the unwanted jump  on the ‘weave’ command, because ‘weave’ has always previously meant jump and then the weave. Not just straight to the weaves.

I then had a one2one  working on turns and how to increase speed off turns, contacts and reward value being more positive and confident.

I then had got a massive tea and watched Lee do his Judging Seminar. It was great as it wasn’t intense and everyone took notes on how and what the should be including within grades.

Thursday 12th January
Today was another day off .. Goorr looking back the past few days seamed like we have done nothing but we crammed most of the training into the first few days.
So we planned today to go to the Theme Park. Unfortunately when we got there it was closed and their last day open was Tuesday  and the close when the children go back to school. So we decided to go to Robin Island to see where Nelson Mandela was summoned to imprisonment. We were shown the conditions he had to live in and what jobs he was made to do.
We were shown around by and X-convict who was imprisoned their. He was imprisoned for treason. He told us about the Gangs and how the criminals were separated into race. If you were in communal cells they could be up to 60 people in one room. Each newcomer would be faced with a challenge to join their gang. And even if they didn’t want to do it, they had to or the gang would turn on them. This could be as serious and killing a other race in a different gang. I’m glad I went and learnt and saw their conditions and how they suffered and what life was really like, It was such a depressing place, everywhere looked deserted and dead and there were still 200 people living on the island. On of the people asked the guide why do you work here when it holds no good memories? He replied ‘a man needs to eat and to eat he needs money and  to get money he needs to work, doesn’t matter it I like it.’  It was definitely a touching experience. Below are some pictures that I took of Robin Island.

Tour Guide
Few inspirational quotes this island gave to me
‘In my lifetime I shall step out into the sunshine, walk with firm feet.’ - Nelson Mandela
'' The Journeys Never Far When Freedom's The Destination.''
''Driven By Freedom.''

Friday 13th January

Friday 13th Doom day! Lee was teaching in Port Elizabeth  for the day so had to get off early to the airport whilst I had  more classes  in the afternoon.
So Kath and I got up and we went to see the Penguins and see if we could see any baboons.  We had just started our journey to see the penguins when it started raining . When we got their it stopped it was a mad search for the penguins but we found them, again it was really good to see a wild animal in their habit and living where they should be and not a faults place.  Some pictures should be below.

We then drove down the road and a baboon appeared out of the trees running alongside the road towards us so we stopped and watched it. It was so surreal that we were driving down the road and this Babbon just is going about its life with not a care in the world. He jumped up onto a tree and started calling and scanning around looking for others. Peoples houses were so close, yet its just normal here to see them again, I had to snap some pictures.

Wildlife as it should be, in their natural habitat, not cramped in zoos driving them insane making them perform such unnatural behaviours to the ones displayed in the wild.
We then had a massive feta and beetroot salad it was soo scrummy! We them preped for my last two training sessions, filled the cool box with cold juice and bananas and food and set off
My first class was
• Managing Rewards & Proofing Skills

We touched on loads on managing rewards Why, What , Where & When we should reward. Where rewards should go to the individual dog.  How to get a high valued verbal and how we can train a verbal to be as high as a toy for in the ring, also where the verbal ‘Yes’ should be used. The importance of toys and reward in proofing skills and how we would proof such things as rear crosses, contacts and turns.

  • Super Power Advanced Agility
This session I set various exercise dirlls up. This was a class with G2 G3 dogs in to should be our G5-7. I set drills up to test independent weaves and a send around command. We also spoke and disgused contact methods and weather their dog was independent - can they do them without you at their side or behind them, can you run away or in front? Will the still find the position still? We then touched of reasons why contacts may be slow and where I feel the reward should be. How courses can be hard without independence and discrimination at this level and again how we should look to train and reward to build independent dive to obstacles, When do we command and what do our commands mean and the biggest most important factor IS IT CONSISTANT?????

At the end of the session I got given 2 Bottles of Cape Town and a Handmade Cape Town Necklace, that was really nice. (Although I suppose I have to give Lee a bottle of wine too!) Along with lots of thanks and hugs.  So that’s the end of my Teaching in Cape Town, I can honestly say I have loved every session and hope that the students were honest in there feedback and did get loads out of the sessions, and now have a structured plan for this years training. Its been great! 

Now it’s a weekend off before Joburg on Monday . Let the weekend begin : - )

Lucy Osborne
For Indpendent Weaves DVD follow the above link.

Take a look at Lee's blog

Friday, 13 January 2012

Training in Cape Town

Training in Cape Town
Update 3

Monday 9th Jan
We wasn’t training till  3pm today so we had the whole morning off .  We wanted to get some postcards and look around the town. We also went to the gardens.

In the afternoon I had a one2one and two classes.

Within the one2one we focused on turns and drive off turns and contact criteria.
The classes were

  • Drive 2 The Top. (for high drive dogs )
Within this session I focused on short courses and the importance of clear handling instruction at distance, timing, looking for the best lines. Sending the dogs so that the handler could position better for upcoming sections. The students handled the course their own way. I the spoke of the benefits of  different paces in which to sent and collect. I enjoyed the class because although the sequence wasn’t for dogs at the G1 standard here and more at G3 the G1 dogs and handler flew around clear and fast once they understood handling and positioning , sending and collecting. Below is two of the small courses we handled in two different ways.

My second class was
  • Top Speed Drive (for dogs lacking motivation and drive)
This was a really enjoyable session, extremely high energy and high reward. All the handlers and dogs certainly worked hard and were all puffing. The excitement and communication between both dog and handler was positive and exciting. We also touched on how certain methods of wait training can easy flatten a unmotivated dog and ways in which we can train a wait with excitement and make it more of a game.

We then came home and had tea and relaxed.

Tuesday 10th  Jan
We had a bit of a lie in today and got up about 9am Today was our first full day off so we to the waterfront and caught one of the tour busses. The tour bus took us around the town centre first showing us all the different churches and museums  and parliament and district six. The tour the took us up table mountain to the cable cars and then back along onto the beaches.

We decided to get off the bus at the beach and get something to eat and a cocktail and then we jumped back on and came back.

Kath had something planned in the evening, all we were told was we were going for a meal and we had to dress smartly. Both lee and I had no idea at all where we were going to be going and even after a million guesses I still don’t think we would have been at all close.  We were in this very smart tent everyones tables were in around the edge and their was a stage in the middle. We then were told by the ‘hippy’ dressed waitress what was happening.
It was like a dinner show, we were going to get our starters and then there would be acts planing in front of us and then we would get our main and then again acts would then play, we then got our dessert and there was some small acts and then followed by a party. It was a very different night and I really enjoyed it and tried food I hadn’t tried before spring box for main was delicious. Also I would never of thought vodka tiny bit of lime and lemonade and chopped mint leaves would be sooo nice deffo going to try that one again at home …
Here is some pictures of the night. Really strange but wow a fantastic night, again massive thanks to Kath and James for organising it. Cheers x

Lucy Osborne

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Training in Cape Town

Lucy Osborne and lee Gibson
Training in Cape Town
Update 2
Sunday 8th January

The Mock Show

Today was the day of the 'Mock Show' Both Lee and myself had talked over various courses. We wanted something to test handling, and independence which also had handling decisions for the handlers to make, I.e. which way to turn, to rear cross or front cross. I think the course did exactly that. Lee had already used this course twice before and said he had enjoyed judging it.
There should be a picture of the course below.

Ok so Lee was judging, I bet your now thinking so what did Lucy do?

Well as its a mock show and we are the trainers I believe the student should see how both myself and Lee would prepare for a course too.
So while Lee set up the course I did a warm up/ pre comp preparation talk and demonstration. Getting the handlers involved with their dogs too.
I have my own warm up routine which not only warms my dog up, but myself too. Its surprising how many people forget they need to warm up to!
The warm up included stretches the dog and handlers can do at the same time, pulse raisers, games and short exercises to get both yourself and your dog in the correct mind frame to go out and compete to the best that you can, to attack the course and give it your all. To get you in a positive, confident state.

Then the course was available for walking. We only allowed 8minuites to walk the course, this was to increase the pressure on the handlers to try and create a more show stimulated experience.
All of the handlers then ran the course, Lee started the handlers with a whistle and judged by their agility rules and regs. I got the easy job then of sitting at watching and assessing where and why the handlers were making mistakes, loosing time. We then split the course up into two sections. Lee then spoke about the course up to numbers 1- 11. Why he had designed it and what he wanted to test.
I then did my work and gave handling options and advice for handling at the begging, quickest routes, routes where the handler has more control in front, and independent weaves and people that didn’t have independent weaves for each dog and handler combination.

(I also had a lovely comment about my DVD - Independent Weaves from a lady who purchased my DVD a few days before which was also very nice.).- For more information about the DVD go to

We then moved onto the next section 11-20. Again Lee spoke about the design, then I explained handling techniques for both handlers with independence on contacts and those with out independent/solid contacts.
The handlers then took the advice Lee had given about the course and i had given for handling and attacking and pushing themselves as handlers more and did the course again, in full.

It was great to see the differences in times, from one attacking the course more, pushing ALL the way round and not slowing before the end as a handler. Being more certain about handling and making decisions straight away and being clear in the decisions and handling, verbally rewarding throughout the course and a positive attitude when walking onto the course.. The times dropped dramatically for a lot of people some by up to 6 seconds.

The day was very productive for the handlers and highlighted that training should be done in an upbeat (show like) attitude. How important warm up is not only for you and your dog to be physically prepared but getting you both mentally 'in the zone' too.

Fantastic day and my dear friend the sun attached to both Lee and I that day very well!

Later that evening we went to Old Mutual Kirstenbosch which holds a summer of concerts. We went with Kath and James and met Kaths friends there and had a 'few' drinks, Lee however decided that mixing was a good idea and had bear, wine, Vk’s and the champagne.. humm think it hit him... The venue was massive an was in a gardens the walk the venue area was filled by bright flowers.
We watched two bands Plush and The Graeme Watkins Project. Both of these bands are South African too Plush from Cape Town and The Graeme Watkins Project were originally from Johannesburg which made it a bit more cultural for us :-p The bands were fab and we all had a really good evening then finished buy going to get some cake. now cake over here is served in two sizes small and large. and i can safely say our large isn’t even their small but of cake over here, i was stuffed and finished in second place behind James and Lee well he was beaten by me at eating!
Another Fantastic day and evening.

Lucy Osborne
Both Lee and Lucy both have agility DVD's available. visit the sites or click on the website address, it should link you.

Lucy Osborne
Independent Weaves -

Lee Gibson
LGT workshop