So, I’m on the road again, doing 5 days of seminar followed by 3 days of judging (NADAC). It’s a life and a routine with which I’m very familiar… with about 20 years of history. I’ve got my young boy Kory with. The routine is new to him. Today, literally, was the first time he’s been on equipment other than his own. I’m happy to report that he was quite credible as a demo dog.

I’m staying in a Red Roof in Peoria. But the seminar proper is down in an inconspicuous berg called Pottstown; a blink-and-you-miss-it whistle stop that doesn’t even register as a town on my GPS. The Red Roof is packed to the gills with Bull Terriers. Apparently they have a big shindig show here in Peoria for the weekend. They’ve formally been a UKC registry but in the past couple of years have formed their own, the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). I’ve chatted up a couple of them and they assure me that this is a registry antithetic to breeding of fighting dogs; and they are in fact dedicated to the rescue of individual dogs and the reputation of the breed overall.

Breeding bullies must be a lucrative gig for those who do it well. There were about four hummers in the parking lot. I also spied license plates from Maine to Minnesota to Texas. So this must have been an important shindig for them. My only real complaint is that they’re only slightly better than AKC breed competitors in the fine art of picking up dog poop. That means, of course, that only about half of them clean up after their dogs.

I’m pretty darned tired. The night before I left I stayed up til near midnight getting the Jokers Notebook #5 (June, 2010) finished and published. It’s really a lot of work. I have more than 100 pages that go into every issue, And then, of course, I kind of geek out on the product. I still insist on allowing the reader of the ebook to click on the upper right corner of any course map and immediately spwn it into the Clean Run Course Designer. That’s a meticulous piece of design work, don’t you know.

Last night I didn’t sleep so well either. I stayed up doing a bit of work. I woke up and took a peak at the clock this morning and about had a panic attack as I read the time as 9:11… ish. I immediately surmised that I’d missed my 6:00 am wakeup call and jumped out of bed like I was afire. After a couple minutes of grabbing stuff to make a hasty exit I realized that it was only just after 5:00 am and my bleary eyes had just misread the clock. Of course I couldn’t go back to bed. But at least I managed to turn more leisurely in my preparations.

We worked inside today. It was very hot and very humid outside, and thunderstorm soakers rolled through two or three times. We were all tickled pink about not being outside in the weather.

It was a very nice group I worked with. There were, I think, 12 working spots and an auditor or two. And, there wasn’t a Border Collie in the bunch. If I have mellowed over the years as a presenter, it is on this point… the handler should approach any handling riddle by doing what is right for that dog. I find myself completely opposed to the idea that there is any one-size-fits-all solution to any handling riddle.

This is an adaptation of a handling drill I first saw Stuart Mah teaching something on the order of 20 years ago. He called it the “oscillation exercise”. This was one of maybe three exercises we did in our work today. I think that this is going to become one of the foundation drills I do in the Jokers Notebook some time in the next month. While it’s simple in concept, there’s nothing really easy about it. We found at least three prominent strategies that emerged from our work based on the type of dog in the drill.

Joker’s Notebook

Okay, like I said, the Joker’s Notebook for June 2010 has been published.

Add to Cart

Issue #5 features a four week distance training curriculum complete with a weekly game, handouts, and copious notes for the agility instructor or the back yard enthusiast. This notebook is packed with distance training exercises.

Our price: $10.00. 111 pp.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

Where is the “Scorching Wind Desert”?

First correct answer, posted as a reply to this blog post, wins a free copy of the June Jokers Notebook.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – June 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: .

3 Responses to “Peoria”

  1. Laurie Mercer Says:

    Isn’t the Scorching Wind Desert in the anime game Grand Fantasia??

  2. Betty Says:

    And, according to that game’s World Map of Saphael (credited to AKFrost), the Scorching Wind Desert is bordered on its west by the Lost Highlands, on its south by Steam Mine Mountain and by Ironwheel Beach, on its north by Blakatoa Range , and on its east by the Kaslow Plains.

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