Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Get on the Ball practice

This is our 3rd night of doing the beginner section of Get on the Ball 2
Stewie is catching on very quickly. He will do anything that earns him treats. He will get on the ball, lay down, sit up, stand up, bend from side to side, and wave. We did 10 minutes tonight. It is a great time to year to do this program, especially with the cold and wind today.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Watching Get on the Ball 2

Stewie and I got Get on the Ball 2 for Christmas. I am watching the 1st DVD tonight.

Get on the Ball 2 from Clean Run

Happy Birthday Stewie!

Stewie is 7 years old today!Here are a couple of pictures when he was a little guy. He was 5 pounds when we brought him home at 8 weeks old. At the time we had Tobie, a smooth collie, and Aurora, our Siamese cat who has always been very patient with him,and always let him know that she was the boss!
What a great time I have had with him! He is my best boy! Jack Russell Terriers are the best! Always ready for run and any activity at anytime and a lap dog extraordinaire in the evening.


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Stewie's new Safety vest

Stewie got a safety vest for Christmas!


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vote for Stewie!

Please vote for Stewie in a holiday photo contest. You can vote once a day until Dec 26th.
Here is the link: http://johannthedog.com/gallery2/main.php

Scroll to the bottom of the page , and look for Stewie in his Santa outfit in front of the Christmas tree. Click all the stars on his picture to vote!

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Nancy and Stewie

Can a Family Pet be a Great Agility Dog?

Interesting post from Susan Garrett, of course we already know the answer is Yes!

Can a Family Pet be a Great Agility Dog?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bud Houston's thoughts concerning NADAC

Reintroduced to NADAC

Calera Oklahoma was friggin’ cold, and wet, and windy. I did six days of NADAC judging clinic… three mixed classroom/ practical and three practicing judging under NADAC rules for a Fun Raiser trial. I’ve learned heaps and have a lot of notes to sort through.

I’m happy to be home. I left early on Thanksgiving day and now it’s well into December. I especially regret that I didn’t get the haircut I needed about a week before I started the trip. Did I mention that Calera was windy?

Never have I maintained much of a bias for or against any agility venue. You know, it’s all rock ‘n roll to me. With that in mind I find NADAC to be pragmatic and forward-thinking and probably apart from any venue subscribing to the so-called “international standard” for the sport. I say “apart” and intend not to mince words here. This is not the same game as played in the USDAA, TDAA, or AKC. NADAC is founded on a thoughtful sensitivity for safety and fairness to the dog both in the design of courses and in the construction of equipment.

Course design is intuitive. And everything is about speed and flow. You know, the reason I even attended this clinic is because I’ve wanted from the beginning to make my boy Kory’s introduction to the sport of agility in NADAC. I want him to understand from the very beginning that agility is about working at full speed.

As to construction standards… if there is any one thing that has permanently switched in my brain is that contact obstacles should have a rubber surface; (yah, I reckon a NADAC person reading this would be wondering why I’ve been retarded on the point). To tell you the truth, Sharon Nelson did about a 15 minute demonstration on a full-height A-frame with a young pup who’d not been previously introduced to the obstacle. Here was a young dog wiggling around and moving with complete confidence and control on a surface that without the rubber would have had the dog scrabbling his toe-nails against a harder surface and feeling out of control. With the rubber surface the dog was completely nonplussed and in control.

In terms of distance training and handling and directional control of the dog NADAC players are far superior to players in any other venue in this country. I’m sorry, that sounds like quite a preposterous claim based as it is on a nearly insignificant statistical sampling. Given the amazing distance handling I saw this past weekend… I believe it right down to my bones.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Agility Venue coming to USA

Introducing UK Agility International! (UKI)

From the same Organization that has grown to great levels in the UK, we are now expanding to America.

Begin 2010 by starting with a fresh, new, competitor friendly organization,? for all dogs? ? UK Agility International!

Click on our web site to see what we are all about; how you and your dog can compete & how your club or group can run a UKI event.

Attached is a PDF file detailing the benefits of UKI for the competitor and trial manager.


Best Wishes!

Greg and Laura Derrett

Looking for an exciting new venue that offers:

? 5 Jump Heights

? 2 separate programs

? Points system for progression

? Training rounds allowed ? with a toy!

? No up contacts judged!

? Nursery classes for debuting dogs

? Next day move ups

? Friendly equipment specs, 5?7? A-frame, no triple jump

? Free personal online account for record keeping

? Transfer to UKI at current competing level

? WE listen, yearly competitor surveys

? Online entries

? And?much more

Agility for all competitors, run by competitors!

Check out UKAgilityInternational.com for all the details!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cute Pets!

Here is a picture of Aurora and Stewie out in the kitchen with my while I made dinner.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stewie reviews the ComfortFlex Sport Harness by Clean Run

Stewie got the ComfortFlex Sport Harness from Clean Run, and he loves it! Stewie likes the fact that it goes on over his head, he doesn't have to pick up his feet and put them in, or be worried that the strap will pinch his tummy when it is buckled up. The ComfortFlex harness goes on in a snap, over the dog's head and then the velcro strap goes under his stomach and attached to the other side, and is also secured with a buckle snap.
It is Stewie, Jack Russell Terrier approved!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Get on the Ball DVD, any thoughts?


I noticed there is a new DVD, Get on the Ball 2, and wondered if anyone can tell me if they have tried this, and how they like it, the dogs like it, and whether they have noticed improvement after using it.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Backyard training today

After a good walk, we got just few minutes in the backyard before it got dark. I wanted to work on directionals. I set up a hoop with another hoop 8 paces directly in front of it. I also put a tunnel off to the left of the 1st hoop.
I sent Stewie to the hoop, told him "left" and he took the tunnel, good boy! I worked him off of both sides, and also sent him straight ahead with a "go on" several times as well. He only made a mistake a couple of times.

Tomorrow we work on "right", Stewie is not quite as consistent on rights.

Clean Run Search Now On Googility!

Clean Run Search Now On Googility!

Check this out, it is awesome. Now I can quickly find all the "Distance Challenge articles in a snap, instead of going thru each issue looking for them.
Thanks Steve!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Revisiting Crate Games by Susan Garrett

Today since it was raining, I got our the Crate Games CD, and brought in Stewie's travel crate. We have not done this formally since last winter, but Stewie remembered it. He has a memory like a little elephant! We had a great practice with some of the games, and the cat was a handy distraction.
Tomorrow I will bring over my son's dog Cleveland to really up the distraction factor.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday at NAE Glastonbury, CT

Sunday's classes started with Tunnelers. It was a really nice, flowing course, but we managed to mess it up! After a tunnel, Stewie turned the wrong way, which somehow caused me to trip, and it went downhill from there, since I forgot where to go after that. Oh well, Stewie had fun anyway.

Regular 1 and 2 were next, both were great, flowing courses. Stewie got the weaves first shot again, and weaved very fast and confidently! I am so pleased with his weaves this weekend. This was an almost perfect run, but I pulled him too hard at jump #11 since I was afraid he would take the A-frame, but we recovered and the rest of the run was perfect, but no Q

Regular 2 was an awesome run, he got the weave pole entry again, and he was going fast when he entered them. He got his tunnel/dog walk discrimination with no problems. A Q and a 1st place. Yards per second were 4.79.
Chances was next, and it looked challenging. We got a good start, but Stewie did not turn out to the # 7 jump, and we didn't make it to the # 8 tunnel.

Our last run of the day was Jumpers and it was a fast course! Look at the beginning, it is lucky I can send Stewie on ahead of me, or I would never have made it. Stewie had a great run and made it look easy and ended the weekend with a Q and a 1st place, with a yard per second of 5.07.

NAE Glastonbury CT

We got to the horse barn in South Glastonbury, CT Friday afternoon. We ran in Touch and Go and Tunnelers. I am glad we put in to run on Friday, since Stewie left me to sniff the first run, and we were eliminated from Touch and Go. Darn rodents! We managed to get around the ring in Tunnelers, he did stop and sniff once right after a tunnel but I called him and he got going again. Stewie earned a Q and a 2nd place. Yard per second were 4.85

Saturday our first run was Touch and Go again. Here is the course, it was very fun and fast, and we got a Q and a 1st place. Course time was 47.62, and Stewie's time was 31.04. His yards per second was 5.92. I think this was a personal best for Touch and Go.
Next were Regular 1 and 2.

Regular 1 was a great run, Stewie was really fast and he got his weave pole entry first shot and weaved really fast, just like he goes at home! At last! He also got his tunnel/dog walk discrimination with no problems. We got a Q and a 1st place. Yards per second were 4.51.
This course was just as nice turned around. This time we started with the jump and the dog walk. It was another fast, awesome run and more perfect weave poles! We got another first and a Q. Yards per second were 4.71, which means he did the course turned around even faster.

Here is the Chances course, it looked really doable. It started with 2 jumps and then an out to the A-frame. I was not worried about the discrimination since Stewie favors the contact obstacles, or so I thought. He took the tunnel instead of the frame, and of course the rest of the course we did flawlessly. Another Chances without a Q.

Next was Jumpers and it was a great course. Stewie and I did it without a hitch and got a Q and a 2nd place.
All in all we went 4 for 5, and got everything but Chances. And there was no more sniffing, good dog!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Connecticut here we come!

This weekend will be our first trial in Ct. It is being held at a horse barn in S. Glastonbury, Ct. Mary and Lexi are headed down on Friday. We signed up for 2 runs Friday, Touch and Go and Tunnelers, and 5 runs on Sat and Sunday. It should be fun, and we will have some new dogs to run against.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ace-Mt Holyoke Nov 14

Ace's trial in Mt Holyoke started with Elite Chances. Stewie was wired and did not hold his start line. I really need to get serious about this. We were not connected in this run but I did get him into the #7 tunnel and out over the #8 jump, but then he came in and took the jump. Only two Elite dogs Q'ed in this run.

The next run was Elite Touch and Go. It was a fun course, with 2 A-frames, and two contact discriminations. The run was fast and fun, and Stewie got the out to the # 5 tunnel, the only other spot I was worried about was the last tunnel, it was a turn off the A-frame, and I was afraid that if I was too far behind I would not be able to turn him in time. I was able to turn him no problem and it was a Q and a 1st place run.

Elite Regular was next, it was a really nice course, but somehow Stewie ran by jump #5, and then back jumped it, we kept going and the rest of the run was beautiful. I was able to send him out to tunnel # 17 and get running along the dog walk to keep up with him. He had a fabulous entry to the weaves, and weaved beautifully. He also got the discrimination to # 13 perfectly. All in all a great run except for the bobble in the beginning.

Here was the tunnelers course, not as pretty as Regular, I had to call him hard a couple of places, and one wide turn, but we got a Q and a 2nd.

Align Left
I helped course build and this course looked really crowded, but it walked a lot better than it looked and it ran like a dream! It was a smooth, focused, fast and fun run, and Stewie got a Q and a 1st place win. What a great boy, and he was still raring to go at the end of the day! I wished we could have tried Chances again, once I got the edge off of him.
All in all 4 great runs, 3 Q's, two 1sts, and a 2nd place.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finally we can do Hoop Serpentines

Hoop serpentines were our nemesis for awhile, but we have finally mastered them! Yesterday and today Stewie was doing great serpentines! Hurray! I am so glad my son made me some hoops, they have been great for backyard practice.
Stewie also did some great weaves and sends out to tunnels. All in all a great practice.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Practice and Mousing!

Stewie and I got in some practice in the yard today, but it was hard to keep his attention long, since he has found mice in the yard.
I did get him to go some nice weave poles, and we are still practicing sending to hoops and dogwalk/tunnel discrimination. Then I let him go out in the tall grass and sniff around.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Practice

Stewie and I got some practice in today in the yard. We worked on weaves, which he did wonderfully several times. We also did several outs to a tunnel next to the dog walk. He is getting very consistent outs to tunnels next to contacts. I am very pleased with that. Now we just have to decide which of his Halloween costumes he wants to wear tomorrow!

NEAT Show and Go

NEAT held its annual Show and Go on October 25th. It was a beautiful, crisp fall day, a little chilly for the first couple of hours. We had a lot of novice and pre novice folks show up and they had some great runs with their dogs and got some good practice in. We also had a puppy/veteran dog run for pups younger than 18 months and some retired agility dogs to have a fun run! 
The only sad part of they day was that we had to pack our agility equipment up for the winter, every year it is a sad end to a fun day. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Act-up Agility Trial-Saturday

Stewie and I had a good day at Act-Up trial in Wrentham, MA last weekend. The first class was Chances. It looked very doable. It was deceptive, since not many people qualified.
The next class was Regular 1,
This was an excellent run, we got the discrimination, Stewie nailed the weave poles at speed, and we got a Q and a blue ribbon.

Regular 2 was a bit of a different story. Here is the course:
The run was going really well, and I sent Stewie to the poles, #13, he went right to the first pole, and then ran over and took the #3 tunnel. I called him back and he did the same thing! I asked the judge if I could make him do the weaves, and he said be my guest. So we did them the 3rd time and then went on and finished the rest of the course beautifully. What a fresh terrier!

Jumpers was a great course, we got a Q and it finished up Stewie's Elite Jumpers Superior Title. That is 20 Q's in Elite Jumpers.
Tunnelers was at the end of the day, it was a fast course, and other than crashing into Stewie(he just kept on going) it was a great run, a Q and a 4th place, behind the Shelties.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saturday in Dummerston

Saturday was a great day except for the drizzle. Our first run was Elite Jumpers, and we had a great run, with a blue and a Q. The 2nd run was Chances, and we got it, it was a fabulous run with no bobbles at all, just very smooth. Here is the course:

Next two runs were Regular and Stewie did an awesome job on both runs. The first course was the hardest, I had to call him hard a couple of times but we didn't have any off courses. There was a dogwalk tunnel discrimination and Stewie got the out to the tunnel easily.
The 2nd run was actually smoother, both were Q's and 1st's.

The next run was Touch and Go. Here is the course
The only spot I was afraid of was that he would take the off course tunnel after the dogwalk. I went way toward the center of the ring to stay laterally away from the tunnel, and called him. It worked, in fact so well I pulled him off of the #11 hoop and he went right to #12. Oh well.

Tunnelers was great until he went into a tunnel and then popped right back out to sniff! , I got him back in but was over time. Another JRT right before him had done the same thing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Heading to agility trial!

Stewie and I are headed to an NAE trial to get some elusive Chances Q's!
Rain gear is packed too. :(

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NADAC Champs Video Here!

NADAC Championship streaming video here!


NADAC Championships

The New England group has arrived in Tennessee and the champs start tomorrow. I wish them a great time and super runs!

The requirements are 250 lifetime points in Regular with 100 points earned in the current year. The rest of the classes require an Open or Elite title with 3 qualifying scores in the current year. I reviewed the requirements for Champs and Stewie did qualify in all classes except Weavers.
It makes me pretty proud that he was qualifed to go. Maybe someday...........

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chances Success Sunday

Chances was the 1st class of the day again and we ran right away so I didn't get much chance to get nervous, that was probably a good thing. This Chances course was doable also! Stewie did a flawless job and also got the out at the end which was 2 tunnels right next to each other. Luckily I got there in time to push him out. It was a great run and we got to check another Chances Q off of our score sheet. We are down to 8 more to go!
Mary and Lexi got Chances Q's both days, that was awesome! Lexi has six more Chances to go to get her NATCH.

Elite Tunnelers Run Video

Thanks Carolyn for taking this video of Stewie's Tunnelers run on Sunday. It was a fun one!
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Addicted to Agilty-Saturday!

Kudos to Ray Wheeler, our great judge this weekend at Addicted to Agility, and for another great trial Michelle and Mike, have an awesome time in Tennessee at the NADAC Nationals!

Our first run was Chances and it was doable! I Unfortunately there were no course maps at all to make copies from. There was a send out and then the dogs had to come back in, and I didn't pull Stewie quick enough and pulled him off a jump. What a dunce! Other than that it was a great run and I was proud of Stewie's performance.

Jumpers was next and it was a really tight and tough one. I actually did a front cross to turn Stewie off a tunnel, and I think I performed it correctly and the brat cut behind me and took the tunnel after all. No Q there.

Regular was next and the first set of poles was the 2nd obstacle, after the start hoop. Mary thought he was get the poles since he wouldn't have gotten up to speed yet. But he blasted by them and I had to bring him back.

Regular 2: The poles were the 2nd to last obstacle and he got them first try and weaved great! Yahoo! Too bad we had missed a jump earlier in the run, drat!

We did redeem ourselves in Tunnelers and got a Q and a 3rd place. That Q gave Stewie his Superior Tunnelers Title, that is 200 points in Elite Tunnelers. Michelle gave us a title ribbon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Who’s Shaping Me?

Who’s Shaping Me?: " Could it be a Jack Russell Terrier??

Isn’t it funny how all of these posts on dogs shaping people have ended up having picture of a terrier with them. And not coincidentally many of your comments are about Jack Russell Terriers! Hmm, yes indeed Terriers are just masterful at shaping their people. It is because they are so brilliant and have a tenacity that allows them to continue to try something over and over until it finally works.

So let me start off by sharing some of the things my terrier have managed to shape me to do. Twister was magnificent at it. When I used to be in sales my dogs traveled with me. We would come home from work at night and I would rush to the bathroom. Twister would go to the office and take any new fax that came in from the fax machine and delivery them, one page at a time, to me sitting on the toilet. Now this was a good thing and she would get reinforced for it. However when I left sales and became a full time dog trainer there where no longer daily faxes for my little terrier to deliver. That didn’t stop Twister. Every once in a while as I worked at my desk in my office, she would dig through trash until she found an intact sheet of paper. She would then leave the office with it and then prance back with it in her mouth, proud as can be as if to announce “here, you didn’t see this one, this is a fax that just came in.” I would laugh my butt off and of course I would reward her. She then went on to include John’s desk in on the game. She would jump on his desk and take a piece of mail from his stack to deliver it to me. It always cracked me up (although it soon grew tiresome for John:)).

I had trained Twister to sit on a chair in the kitchen anytime anyone prepared food (dogs meals or human) in

Twister (1992-2008) working her chair routine

Twister (1992-2008) working her chair routine

the kitchen. When she got on her chair she would earn the chance to be rewarded. It wasn’t a gaurenteed reward, although Twister believed it should be. If I was preparing a big meal and was in the kitchen for a long time she would get on and off the chair as if to let me know she been rewarded enough. That never worked, what did work (and it took me giving her quite few reinforcements before I clued it) was if Twist didn’t get her cookies she would start to rattle the chair. She did it by shifting her weight back and forth on it in order to get it rocking against the tile floor. This quiet noise brought my attention to her in a more subtle way and allowed her to earn several rewards before I realized what was going on. She was a gem that Twister girl and I continued to reward that little game of hers long after I knew what she was doing. Sometimes cute gets rewarded too.

DeCaff shaped me to do something that later caused me about 9 months of training grief. Here is what happened. When she was a puppy and we would tug I would play Smack Da Baby with her (wacking her with my free hand as she tugged) and she loved the game. However if I smacked her anywhere from her shoulders forward she would drop the toy. She always was happy to re-grip but she always dropped the toy. So her behaviour unconsciously shaped me not to Smack Da Baby above her shoulders. No big deal right? Wrong. It took me 9 months to figure out why I struggled getting any speed or rhythm with DeCaff in her weave pole performance. It took her over 4 seconds to weave 12 poles. Once I realized it was that she didn’t the poles touching her anywhere near her shoulders or face I fixed my problem with less a month of counter-conditioning. When I was done not only could I Smack Da Baby anywhere on her body (including in her face) I also could also play the new game of smack-a-wee-baby-face-into-the polies. I never had a problem with her weave poles again and she went on to have one of the fastest times for Jack Russell and mini dogs in the Clean Run 60 Weave Pole Challenge.

Don’t think terriers are the only dogs that can shape behaviour either. All dogs have this skill. My Border Collies are just to obvious though. Clearly they haven’t learned the subtitles of the terriers. That is until Feature. I have always thought of her as Terrier in a Border Collie’s body. The most annoying behaviours Feature has pulled on me involve her crate games. Notice how she has managed to get me to leave her on an agility table rather than in her crate when I teach or train. She is just brilliant.

Okay, your turn. Continue to tell me the things your dogs have managed to shape you to do. Do be shy, I’ve showed you mine, now you should me yours!

Today I am grateful how all of my dogs; those past and present, continue to teach me that reinforcement really does build behaviour.


Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Eastern Regionals on ESPN this weekend & FCI updates, results and maps!

Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Eastern Regionals on ESPN this weekend & FCI updates, results and maps!: "The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Eastern Regional that was held here in Indianapolis this past August will be broadcast (delayed) on ESPN and ESPN2 this Sunday. Guess we'll see if any of the competitors needed some cheap health insurance after the event, BOL!! Here's the schedule:

09/20/09 Sunday 12:00 - 1:00 PM ESPN2
09/20/09 Sunday 5:00 - 6:00 PM ESPN

Spoiler Alert: Here are results from the event last August.


Don't miss some of the results & course maps we're posting with the FCI World Agility Championships being held in Austria this weekend. We've got one post going and will be updating that post throughout the weekend.