10 April 2007

Black Flag and Camo

When people start agility, usually they think their dog is the most talented rocket scientist dog of the neighborhood. It can jump the highest, is the smartest, the fastest, whatever the thing that drove them to agility is. Sometimes the most out of control hyper. Then they try agility, and in general, for the non dog training people that have a basic dog that basically sits and comes and goes on walks, it's really hard. Because if the handler doesn't catch on quickly to the fact that dogs do EXACTLY what you show them, the dog really doesn't get it.

Once the handlers start to get that concept, and if they have enough coordination, agility becomes fairly do-able, and you get better at it. But the fast, smart, high jumping dogs sometimes get pulled out of class for being too hyper, too scared, too unfocused, just because the handlers can't get their heads out of their ass, indeed.

I know. I had a hard time with that at first. Now every time my dog isn't getting it, I just figure out what am I doing so wrong here? And the dog usually begins to get it.

There are a lot of fancy trainers with training systems. I am pretty not fancy as a trainer, I don't really even practice, unless I am starting a dog in which case I find a way to practice and it is a pain in the ass because it may involve dragging non portable weave poles out to a school soccer field every morning before kids go to school and doing a few repetitions then packing them back up and doing it again the next day. Heck, I don't even go to the whole dog show because of Work, so I am pitifully behind most dogs in terms of titles and awards. But we do ok. We work through problems and I basically try to keep my head out of my ass.

Right now, training consists of endurance and we do an extra speed walk with the mutant element of the team since the senior citizens need to not walk so far. Can't walk so far. Timmy is currently on lysodren and just holding it together enough to have a drive or bike ride to the park. Matilda inhibits bike rides due to being a big fluffy lunk with bad walking skills so we go in the car a lot. And then I have the bad habit of eating fries and pints of ice cream and pizza which is not so good for the training regeim.

We tried wearing sporty pants and so forth last year but this season I am feeling the camo and punk rock tshirts, so that is our fashion theme. We are very excited about the big dog show this weekend!

Otterpop looks like a little fat meat grinder fox with an upright tail rudder when she runs. She is blazing fast in practice but dog shows freak her out and she goes slow. Someday, she's going to kick ass the way she does in all other parts of her life, but for now I just let her get used to a dog show and hide her frisbee outside the ring and don't even make her do a whole class-if she is speedy and fast I pull her out and play frisbee. Retarded if you want to get prizes, but for the long term will make her a better competitor.

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