Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Blog Slacker

Geez I have been a Right Blog Slacker, I cant believe that a month has gone since I last updated. I’ve been very busy teaching and trying to find time to train my own dogs. So a quick catch up is needed, I think! What I have actually managed to do with my dogs, appart from walk them Hummm this should be short!

February 4th Dave Munnings had organised a training seminar with Kamal Frenandez and invited me on it. I didn’t know much about Kamal at the time of the event and with being in South Africa and then very busy when I got back I never had the chance to even ‘google’ him and find out some info first which is unlike me. It was then the 3rd. Dave had just told he that Kamal competes in Champ level obedience and was fantastic at shaping, and getting focus so I was interested. I didn’t really know what to expect and being fairly open minded to what the day was going to entail so packed the notebook and pen to take as many useful notes as I could. I set off very early on the 4th to get there. After my Sat Nav decided that it was going to take me to the middle of a single track road and say ‘Destination’ hummmmm thanks for that TomTom! I managed to find the location and be 30 mins early, god only knows how that happened.

So the session started and Kamal asked everyone for a BRIEF description of what everyone was looking for and about their dogs.
STIG - Gets a bit too excited about working, need to gain more controlled focus in new environments, looking for more rear leg exercises.
Fairly brief for me! The session started and all the dogs came in and we played a few games which were really good. I was pleased because some of what Kamal taught in his ‘games’ were similar to my ‘Games’ just different names. One of the games what I don’t do but certainly am going to now made me more aware of Stig following body language more then the command. So I was straight back to the note pad writing what I needed to train and work on so i didnt forget.
I feel that in agility and me not having the fastest legs in the world! my dogs need to understand verbal aswell as body language so I have been working on verbal commands only and testing them without body language as back up. ie. Pull though command, Left, Right, Come, Go, Wing Wraps and I’ve put a note in March training exercises to go over it again.

Kamal wasn’t talking about agility when we were all playing that game it was general sit, down and stands but that’s the secret and importance of a notebook and pen, You can jot it down go away and think back over the training and plan how it can help in other areas too.It definitely made me think. Thanks for that.
One2ones I had a one to one with Kamal in the afternoon, we focused on rear leg work, I’ve done a lot recently with Stig because of his pole knocking last year. Kamal recommended grids first which I have tried with him and not just for a week either I have tried to stick to them and followed and researched methods but after a month he was getting worse, grids, they wind him up so much. because once he knocks a pole he get more wound up and tried to try harder but because hes getting wound up he forgets then about everything else. Nutty dog!

I wanted something I could do in the house, where he would be calmer to learn it and then I could it take outdoors. I couldn’t see what I was meant to be marking so Kamal worked Stig so that I could observe. I wanted to be clear and to be marking the behaviour correctly and know what I was to be looking. Watching stig work really useful.
I’ve been working on the exercises Kamal gave me and they have been FANTASTIC. I am now doing the exercise in my warm up routine and he is lifting his rear legs now. Whereas before he would hit one pole and plough down the rest now if he hits one he is really trying hard with his rear legs and thinking about them more. There is massive progress.
So all in all that was a really beneficial day for me and I’m glad that I went. Being able to watch the other one2ones were great too because I could observe how Kamal would teach other behaviours. Most, I had already taught to my dogs but its good to see other methods and to have them stored up as a plan B if plan A doesn’t work when teaching.
I have asked Kamal to come and teach at my venue and I have managed to get him on 6th and 7th August, if you click on the picture below it should enlarge. There is info on there about Kamal and how to book your spot.
I then had two weekends of one2ones and classes at my own venues And resumed my weekly classes after a month off.. Can safely say all of the dogs were off their heads, and had missed it.

I have had some training evenings over at Halifax and at my venue . The Fun Filled Puppy Foundation went down really well and I received lots of good feed back so im now running a Fun Filled foundations class every other Wednesday. So much fun shaping and teaching new behaviours getting out young agility dogs as confident and bullet proof as we can before we bring them into the agility world.

I managed to squeeze in time to train my dogs and have just being going over awareness exercises. I’m trying to retrain Bens A-Frame, its proving harder then I thought. And its taken me a month to convince him not to stop and him not to think I was testing him. Bless him
I was then over in Northern Ireland teaching for the weekend, it was another fantastic weekend as it always is over there. I stayed with Kirsty and Irene Jess. I went out Saturday evening with Kirsty and Curtis Mullan. I had a fairly sensible night and only had a few drinks I wouldn’t possibly think of anything worse then teaching with a hangover and lots of noise. So a sensible night… The music was so loud my ears were ringing until Monday. Some weave training, foundation training and advanced training. Cant wait to get back over there in May Judging and teaching.
This weekend I was at Dans’ teaching Foundation/ Drive work then Foundation weaves and independent weaves following my system, some good reviews and more people going to teach my method. I then had a Super see saw session which had a mixture of breeds and lots of talented dogs .
I have started writing for the Agility Voice too so I will post my articles on here once the edition has been sent out.

 So its Crufts next week, I’m not competing this year, I’m glad in a way because otherwise I wouldn’t of had time to retrain Bens A-Frame I’ll just miss the A-Frame out at the coming shows. I’m going to cheer on some students and catch up with some friends. It will be strange not beeing it agility etire.

Looking forward to the start of the show season now! First KC show is on 17th of this month so not long now.

Lucy Osborne