Sunday, November 6, 2011

To Passive

Yesterday I went to a Stuart Mah seminar.  I drove down in the morning and figured I would get there at 7am. That would give me an hour to play with the dogs and let Java run around a little. But I forgot its dark until almost 8am.  I dont know why daylight savings times is in Nov now. They need to move it up about 2 weeks.  So we just sat in the car unitl maybe 7:40 when you could see.  It was freezing cold.  They had those tall propane  heaters under these tents , that was nice.  It was also suppose to be really windy, 25 mph winds.  I figured I would be miserable. But the sun came out, the winds werent bad and it turned out to be a really nice day.
If you have ever been to a SM seminar then you  know its starts out with you running a full course so he can see what your handling is like and what your problems are.  The course had 25 obstacles and your were to act like you were at a trial.  It started out the tire, 90 degrees to two jumps that serpentined.  Well Miley took the tire and cut behind me.  We got back on course, made some more mistakes and she self released all her contacts.  After wards he came up to me and said that I really wasnt giving Miley any information at all about running the course.  That Miley is guessing and sometimes she guesses right and sometimes she guesses wrong.  Oh boy was that hard to hear.  It made me feel terrible. So two years have gone by since I went to the LM camp and found out I wasnt cuing jumps and I guess I havent improved at all. Ugh! Then I thought, what am I doing with a new puppy if Im not doing it correctly with Miley? 
Next was working on turning our dogs tight. I need to tell Miley that we are turning tight before it happens. My body motion alone is not enough.  Once I did this she was turning so tight I was shocked. Someone even came up to me and said, "I want my dog to turn like Miley".  So we started with two  jumps going back and forth and then added more and more jumps.  Miley was awesome.  Then we ran a course. And it all fell apart.  Im to passive on course.  I need to run it aggressively. Run it like I mean it.   Miley did  much better when I did this. But as soon as she would go wide, I would back off and then things really fell apart. So when I see her go wide, thats my cue that Im being to passive and start giving her more information. Dont just stand there thinking thats going to force collection. Its doesnt.
To bad it always took me a second run to run it aggressively.  I would run and things would fall apart and S would tell me you are being to passive. So then I would run it again, and she was much better.  I hope I can remember this when I step to the line.
We also did some of the drills that have been in "Clean Run".  There were 8 jumps and tunnel combination.  You had to do the 8 obstacles and then one other obstacle of your choice , then run the sequence again, add another obstacle at the end ( a different one) and then run the sequence again. So you ran the sequence 3 times in a row. Wow that really got your head thinking.  Most people can run an 8 obstacle sequence correctly but add that little twist to it and run it three times back to back. You will really see where your problems are. So that was 27 obstacles run several times in a row. What a lot of running.
Then we did another drill that was in "Clean Run".  You have  jumps and a tunnel.

 I dont know if the distances and stuff are correct but you get the idea.  You had to do 5 jumps. Every time you took a wing jump , you had to take the tunnel entrance furthest away from that jump. Every time you took a wingless jump , you had to take the tunnel entrance closet to the jump.  And you had to do a total of 5 jumps. This was to help you with your snooker skills. Of course Miley and I had trouble. She kept flinging off at taking that side jumps that were in the middle of the tunnel section. You were to use the jumps at either end of the tunnel.  So he had me put Miley at a wing jump, then go stand halfway between the tunnel, turn and face Miley. Then call her to come front.  She did that with no problem. So he had me do it again, once she came front,  turn and put her into the correct tunnel entrance. Well when I turned it  flung her out over the  middle dummy jump.  He said she is using my motion at a cue to fling out and take an obstacle. So I had to work on treating her to come front, turn and keep her with me  while moving and send her into the correct tunnel entrance while giving her treats. We had a very hard time with that. LOL 
So I have lots of things to work on and now I feel bad about going to the trial that is at that same field next weekend. I feel like Im no where near ready. I have to many problems.  But Im going to try and go and just run it like I mean it. Be aggressive.  
Poor Java came with us and spent a lot of time in the crate. There were no breaks during the day and lunch was very short. So you got a lot of bang for your buck. I did take her out at lunch but it was over quickly. I felt bad that I brought her. To much crate time.  I thought about going straight home but since she was crated so much I didnt think that was fair to her. My plan was to spend the night at the beach. So I drove out to the  beach. Now it was very dark and cloudy. Im not sure why. I thought it was suppose to be sunny all weekend.

There were lots of deer out on the island. This one was unusual, so  I took a picture.

I cant believe Miley can still run after all that work. It was a lot of running courses. There were only 6 people in the seminar and two jumps heights. So you had lots of time on course.

Sorry the pictures are do dark. It was just so cloudy.

I cant believe this guy was swimming.  I didnt see anyone with him. Crazy. The water looked rough to me.

If there had been more light my pictures would be awesome. Darn.


Boondocks Love Shack Pack said...

Amazing pictures. Your dogs are GORGEOUS!! That deer is too cool - we've never seen anything like it!

Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

Sara said...

Wow! You got a lot out of that seminar. It is always interesting to get a new person's perspective on things.

Java looks like she LOVES the beach. Lucky girl.

Nicole said...

despite the lack of light your pictures still turn out beautifully!
the deer is awesome and the seminar sounded like a lot of fun!
Java is growing up into a gorgeous girl!!

corbinwooten said...

I read your post and felt myself nodding at everything that you heard from Stuart. I have heard all of those things a lot.

At our last Stuart seminar I felt so depressed. I think you have to remember that we don't pay him to tell us the things that we are doing right. Also, think of all the things that Miley can do now that she couldn't do before. You can't get too caught up in the mistakes that you make. And don't think that just because Miley isn't perfect that you shouldn't have gotten another dog. You'll never have a perfect dog...there will always be something to work on. I think every dog is on our lives to teach us something--and that holds true for agility, too. So you made some mistakes with'll work to correct them with her, and help Java to not have those same problems.

Sophie said...

Very cool photos.

I'd love for you to do a post on aggressive versus passive running of an agility course - as a non-agility (maybe one day!) person, I don't know the distinction, but it sounds curious. :)

Brianne said...

Your pictures are always just beautiful.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Sounds like a great seminar - 6 people and two jumps heights is a dream and you got so much time to run and try things again. Definitely worth the money. I agree with Ashley that they are there to tell you what you do wrong and give you ideas on what to do better. You and Miley have learned a lot in the last two years but it is constantly a process.

I love the beach photos. Which beaches in the Charleston area are dog-friendly?

Diana said...

I'm not sure Rickey. Seabrook island has an off leash dog area on the north beach. But you have to be staying there or with someone to get on Seabrook. I think you can bring dogs on Folly beach and hunting island . Hunting island is further south , not really in Charleston.

Dawn said...

What a great seminar, to only have 6 people means you got a lot of attention and the chance to work on what you really need to work on v.s. standing around waiting for your turn.

I love the dark and stormy pictures! They had such fun! I'd love to give Katie the opportunity to run like that.

corbinwooten said...

Just wanted to respond to Christina...Folly Beach is the best one for dogs. On Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms the dogs have to have a specific license.

But, on Folly dogs are required to be on leash. We would let Lexi off when there was no one around (she has a good recall and leaves other people alone), but it's something you have to be really careful about. There are also rules about times dogs can't be on the beach at all (10 to 6, I think) during high season.

Nicki said...

Cool deer. isn't amazing how there is always more to work on?

Helen said...

It sounds like you got a lot out of the seminar. That deer was very unusual, I've never seen one like it before. I would love to take my boys to a beach but there's none around where we live.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds like a good seminar, I love working with a smaller group where you get lots of chances to run. It sounds like he was kind of tough on you. But I guess we don't go to seminars to hear how great we do. Maybe thats why I am taking a break from seminars! Ha ha. Your pics are beautiful as always. Java is getting so pretty. - Diane

Kathy said...

amazing pictures, really great and Java is such a cutie. It sounds like the eminar really had some good info and just because there are areas to work on it doesnt mean that you two arent terrific

Priscilla said...

The pictures are awesome! I really like your pictures as you always get the right colours and atmosphere of the surroundings.

Doggies look so happy in the pictures!

Jules said...

Sounds like it was an awesome seminar. Well worth the money.