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Fur Sure Dog Goals

29 Apr 19
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Click here to receive a welcome email followed by one email a day for four days.

Why This

Many of my dog sports friends are gonna wonder why I spent time on a free course about setting goals in dog sports. They don’t need any help in reaching their goals. However, any given weekend there are people who are not applying these basic principles to accomplish their goals with their dog(s). It is fun to run your dog and — if you are clear about your intentions for each opportunity — you can get an added jolt of Feel Good when you meet your personal markers. Especially true if you are a Not Ready for Prime Time team on a journey to becoming a well-oiled machine. (Ask anyone on their third plus dog!)

Why Now

For years I have wanted to share my tips with more than the folks I get to visit with in-person. Giving them techniques that have stood the test of time means a lot. I used these tools to get thru college, grad school, big work projects, first dog competition goals AND working towards last year’s Cardigan Welsh Corgi Nationals (Dobby did awesome thanks for asking). Cool thing is that technology is at a point of helping me make this so much easier. Fingers crossed!

Yep we took Tri-athalon and the 100 dollar prize

I was shocked the first time I saw a solid dog sport participant reach out for basic help on goals at a seminar. I figured she had it all locked down in a cute training bag and a great lil’ dog. Nope, she had her own gremlins. But she did have a coping mechanism from her “regular” life that could be applied to dog sports. She just needed to be reminded by the presenter. That image has stuck with me.

What to Expect

Here is how it plays out: First you sign up. Next, you get a Welcome email. Then each morning for the next four days, you will find an email waiting for you.

Day ONE 🐾 Get on the PAGE – the power of getting out of your head and writing it out.

Day TWO 🐾 Be SMART about your Goals – things can change along the way but you need a “way” first of all.

Day THREE 🐾 RESOURCE allocation makes fur Success – what is holding you back?

Day FOUR 🐾 TRACKING ain’t just for hounds – it takes a lot of steps to reach a goal and you need to celebrate them.

You never know

You don’t know what you don’t know until you don’t know it. Quote from a first-time agility competitor

You never know what help others need. They may not know themselves. Some folks know these steps and use them at work but not with their dogs. Others have never heard of how to set a goal and achieve it. Still, a few might use these steps but aren’t up for explaining to friends — feel free to share the link.

Ditz Runs

26 Feb 19
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Not a real course just how it makes you feel when you look at the map and know your team has the skills to accomplish some or all of the course.

Ditz runs are a real thing

They can happen in any competition but are really noticeable in agility. Please think of ditz runs as a way to test your whole training package. In some older dogs, they play the ditz card to control the situation. They want to explore a new place. They know the difference between practice and competition. They are quick to learn you don’t have a cookie and that you can’t really get on them or catch them. We call that being ring-wise. We try to avoid that by using trial environments for training often called a Match.

In less experienced dogs, ditz runs can be brought on by pressure the dog feels to perform a task it finds difficult. Those scary tunnels or wobbly teeters or mind-blowing weave poles (“There are TWELVE of the buggars & you want me to do them with that weird guy looking at me?!?” ).

When your training comes in handy

Don’t get panicky, don’t get visibly upset, DO NOT disconnect from the dog.

In the best cases, the dog runs around quickly and comes back to you ready to work having blown off steam. You may or may not be able to save the Q. You should keep it short and get off the course thereby making it clear to the dog the human calls the shots. Don’t get angry — I know that can be really hard in your shock and siappointment. But it confuses the dog and ruins your hard work at building a great recall.

Dog often gets the hard parts but zooms by the easy stuff

Get the leash on —

Good job training that the recall and the leash are part of the fun. Stay connected to the dog as you get back to your car/crating set up. Bonus points for not swearing or sobbing in your volatile state. We have all wanted to have a meltdown at some time. Again, just freaks the teammate out so put the dog up first.

What do you want to try on your next run?

Break it down to one or two things so that you and the dog accomplish something together. Start line stays and getting the leash on are as important as making the contacts and not bailing on the teeter. At some point in your trialing life, you will pat yourself on the back for getting thru a course as designed with a few dropped bars!!

Give yourself space — Give yourself grace

Friends and instructors may want to start helping with observations as soon as you get out of the ring. Feel free to give them a “wait a sec while I put Fido up and we can dissect it.” Friends do this because we are mostly females over 45 years. After spending most of the last two decades keeping track of socks and school books and dinner plans, we can’t keep a fresh thought in our heads for very long. We want to share our observations and move on to our run. Video helps over ride this so try to get video even when you think it is going to be a ditz run.

Take time with your dog

Don’t be surprised if they have no idea what you are grousing about. Take a few moments to find what went right no matter how small. Hold that positive feeling. That will make space in your brain for the next micro-win. Embrace that good thing, then plan for the next run. You have to be able to walk into the ring again with no flinching. You need to shake it off. Try picturing how you are going to replicate what went right and ONE MORE good thing on that next run. Do that by resetting your goals and criteria for the current situation. Meeting your new smaller goal is a success — qualifying is a bonus. And just like Leggo, small wins can stack up to a whole world

Be Safe — Be Happy

Don’t worry too much if everyone and their dog is safe and happy. We have all been there. We know the embarrassment and frustration. Also, we know how happy The Happy Place will be when it all comes together.