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