Archive for December, 2014

Top Dog 2015

December 30, 2014

We have contracted with Bishop-Lyons Entertainment LLC to shoot a “sizzle” segment to promote a dog agility reality program. Bishop-Lyons will endeavor to sell the program concept in the mass media marketplace.

Concept

The program focuses on the Top Dog team. The captains of the Top Dog team work with their club in the training and development of a competitive squad. A dozen or more dogs and their handlers will vie for a spot on the team. The captains of the team may, or may not, have dogs on the team in competition.

On a weekly basis the featured team competes in the ongoing Top Dog league. And once monthly that team will go into the world to challenge the high scoring league team on their home field.

The television program is uniquely tied to a broader social network. Clubs around the country, and around the world, can field league teams which compete on the same weekly courses as the Top Dog team and compete against them. And all of them will be eligible for a top spot on the program.

Preliminaries

We have identified a venue in Murietta California (near Temecula) for a Top Dog competition which will be used to shoot the sizzle segment.

The competition will be three rounds in a team format. We’re hoping for a lot of local interest to come out and play. Likely we will have to limit entry. At this competition we’ll introduce the Top Dog team.

At the same time, the course will be published as a challenge so that anyone in the world who wants to play these games and field a team in the Top Dog league can do so. All teams that compete on this premier weekend will become founding members of the world’s first semi-pro agility league.

Did I Say Semi-Pro?

Top Dog Agility will create a fund from recording fees to pay out to top performing teams in the league. This idea has some real possibilities. Dog agility is played around the world. We’ll welcome everyone to join the league.

At the same time, we will identify a robust curriculum of titles and meritorious awards for the earnest recreational player. This isn’t going to be about the top players in our sport only.

Consequences

Top Dog Agility will ultimately be the property of any network that buys the production of the reality show. Consequently I’ll be purging and allowing to go dormant existing blogs and Facebook accounts related to Top Dog Agility Players. These will likely get a new start, under the direction of our partners at Bishop-Lyons.

I will publish information about the upcoming competition in Murietta California; how to register dogs and teams, and so forth, on this blog. Email me off-line if you need help getting started with us.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

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Cedar’s Intro to the Teeter

December 29, 2014

I brought our teacup teeter into the basement this morning because it’s time for Cedar to get her introduction the obstacle. You’ll note that I don’t spend a lot of time on a tippy board or a Buja board. I want to see right off the bat how she deals with the movement and noise. If I go to a tippy board it will be for remediation.

Here’s the video: http://youtu.be/x-eQK-90pIs

In the back of my mind

An experienced agility trainer will be well aware of the difficulties associated with the Teeter. Here’s a web log entry I wrote maybe five years ago: Review of Teeter Fear

I’m a little surprised, looking back at it, how much I had to say on the topic. With any luck, all of that is in my mind as we bring a new dog along in her training.

I note that there’s a picture of my old girl Hazard (when she was young) in the blog post. She’s getting an introduction to movement under her feet with a foot pedestal that rocks back and forth. Marsha, armed with a clicker and food treats, has had Cedar in the living room on that very same pedestal in the last couple of days. So my protestations about disdaining intro/training devices should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

Left and Right

December 28, 2014

When teaching a dog absolute directional I begin by luring her into the turn while giving a name or command to the performance. Gradually I stop luring… and indeed I stop giving any physical cue at all. Ultimately I want the dog to understand the performance based on the verbal command only.

Then, for the longest time, each session will focus on a single direction.

I’ve progressed with Cedar to the point that I’m using both Left and Right in the same training session. Now I’m keen to see how she differentiates between the two distinctly different commands. Here’s a video of today’s session: http://youtu.be/tB5BKsCfdVI

You can hear Marsha in the tape explaining how I deal with Cedar’s choice of turning direction. If she gets it right, I praise her and give her a bit of food. If she gets it wrong, I briefly turn my back on her, just to make an emphatic point.

There’s nothing complicated in the pattern of my commands at this point. I do “Right-Right-Right” then “Left-Left-Left”, and repeat. When she’s getting it right in the 80 percentile range, I’ll start using more complicated patterns.

Ass Pass

Chris Miele asks to see a video of the Back Pass (aka the “Ass Pass”). What I really want to do is show the training steps, using our young girl Cedar as a for reals learn-it-from-scratch dog. But, I did dredge up at least one video that shows me doing a Back Pass with my boy Kory. On this jumpers course the dog’s approach to the weave poles was nearly perpendicular; and there was a high NQ rate for dogs missing the entry. So I used the Back Pass to bring Kory around square to the entry:

http://youtu.be/ZVEhSkitJ7Y ~ Thanks to Brenda Gilday for the recording.

Blogging

It strikes me that in about a month I will write my 1000th web log.

When I started this I ran a big training center, doing six or eight camps each year. I was out in the world doing a lot of seminars, and on many weekends showing my dogs. I lived agility pretty much every waking hour of the day.

The pace has certainly slowed down, mostly because I’ve slowed down. Arthritis has brought a premature end to my campaigning days. My boy Kory is almost constantly lame these days, though it’s a bit of a phantom condition that comes and goes almost at whip. And I don’t much feel an urgent need either to cure him or rush out and get another dog.

The Teacup Dogs Agility Association keeps my brain in the sport. It’s not a big titling organization compared to just about any other. But it is honest and challenging and provides a modest income (add to our “landlord” income, and at least we have a roof over our heads).

Early next year there’s a group of agility fans who will descend on us for a “Training with Bud ~ old-timer’s camp”. The camp is being organized by the notorious Sue Sternberg, one of my favorite students. That should be fun. I’ll see if I can still make them cry.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

A solemn day

December 27, 2014

Today was pretty much given over to the funeral of James Martin, my father in-law. He was 89 years old. He served his country honorably in World War II. And he was a good provider for his family. A large number of family and friends attended to pay their respects.

When I die, I would not like a funeral. Maybe I’ll donate my body to science. If they can find any usable parts, take them with my blessings. I’m sure I won’t need them.

Instead of a funeral or a wake, my friends will have an agility trial and run some of the toughest courses I’ve ever designed. Then I can go on to my final rest with people cursing me and behaving pretty much as they did when I was alive. I’d like that.

Those that don’t actually have dogs can be put to productive use… you know, leash running and fluffing the chute.

No Cheating

Okay, I promised to write a new blog entry for 100 days in a row, repeating an exercise I did a few years ago. I want to cover some new ground… I’m especially interested in giving good documentation to the Back Pass, including some video to make my training points for me.

There’s a book I’ve wanted to write for several years to cover the fundamentals of agility handling. The working title has been Agility Chi. I’ve actually written most of it already. The material needs to be gathered up, organized, and presented in a consistent voice.

The thing about fundamentals is that fundamentals never change. Consequently the need for the exposition of the basic science of agility handling is, if anything, as relevant today as it has ever been. I’ll let you know how that project progresses.

I have another project up and coming. We are going to endeavor to launch a Top Dog agility league in southern California in the February/March 2015 timeframe. I’m ever the optimist.

Errors in the Tandem

This is a variation of the Tandem that I call the “New Jersey Left,” or the “Whiplash Turn.” Have you ever driven a car in New Jersey? In order to turn left you actually have to turn right three times.

BLOG04_06Sure, it gets the job done. The handler changes lead hands and goes on without mishap. The bad part of this movement is that it uses about three seconds without actually going anywhere.

Sometimes the New Jersey left is done intentionally. Sometimes it’s done by accident. Refer to the same drawing, above. The handler picks up his counter-arm and points the wrong direction. Sometimes the handler will actually lean in the opposite direction of the turn, or take a little sidestep that way, before pushing into the turn.

The only fix for this is to demonstrate how a person turns a corner. You move to the corner, and then you turn and go in the direction of the turn. What you don’t do is flap your arms, or lean away from the turn. The handler, in a Tandem Turn, should turn the corner the very same way he’s been turning corners his entire life.

BLOG04_07This illustration shows the handler stepping in front of the dog, intruding on the dog’s path, turning the dog more sharply than intended. This is not a Tandem Turn. The handler isn’t in position to do anything about it. The Tandem is a cross “behind” the dog. If there’s any question of anatomy, the “behind” is the bit with the tail, a difficult concept for those who own Aussies or Corgis.

When teaching the dog the Tandem a handler who consistently steps in front of the dog rather than behind the dog may shut the dog down. Great care should be taken to avoid stepping in front of the dog.

BLOG04_08In this illustration the dog has taken the off course jump. The Tandem Turn tends to go wide in the presence of an “option” or a “trap.”

This might be saved first of all by showing a very aggressive rotation of the handler’s shoulders. In the illustration the handler is using an inside-arm Tandem. It might be better to use the counter-arm so that the turn goes hard and deep.

The real problem here is the selection of movements. On the approach the handler probably should plan on a Back Cross rather than a Tandem. One of the attributes of a Back Cross is a tightened turn on the landing side of the jump. This is an instance in which a tightened turn might be desirable.

The Tandem Turn is fast dog handing. The handler is mostly behind and pushing.

The handler should practice with both the counter-arm signal and the inside-arm signal.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

The Tandem Turn ~ Continuing Discussion

December 26, 2014

I started a discussion a couple days ago on the Tandem Turn. I propose that dogs understand natural movement and a clever handler will use that movement to communicate direction and speed to the dog.

The Tandem is a tricky bit in some ways. A dog is disposed to turn most naturally towards the handler. The Tandem, being a form of the Rear Cross does just the opposite. The handler is asking the dog to turn away.

Some dogs don’t immediately “get it” and will towards the handler rather than away. Sometimes this is due to an error in the handler’s movement.  More often it’s simply counter-intuitive to the dog.

For a dog like this you should take exceptional training measures. You’re in luck if the dog is toy or ball motivated. The handler can shape the turn away by throwing the toy or ball at the corner of the turn. Practice this with the dog with a lot of repetition until the dog is taking the movement and arm as a cue to turn.

To test the method, handler will approach the turn and pretend to throw the toy. When the dog makes the turn the handler will throw the toy as a reward. The handler has made a transition from “lure” to “reward,” a very important step in training the dog.

Just because a dog understands the turn in one direction, that doesn’t mean he understands it in the opposite direction. Both directions should be taught to the dog.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

December 25, 2014

This is a poem attributed to a gentleman named Clement Clarke Moore an American Professor of Greek Literature and Biblical Studies. He was also a political writer and polemicist; and a dire critic of Thomas Jefferson mostly for Jefferson’s religious views.

The poem which we know by the more popular title “The Night Before Christmas” was first published in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823, with anonymous author credit.

There’s a theory that Clement Clarke Moore plagiarized the poem, taking credit after the death of the real author, Major Henry Livingston. Livingston’s family claims he wrote the poem in 1808.

* * *

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

 

Cedar’s “Go-On” Training

December 24, 2014

When teaching a “Go On” directional I will continue to advance the exercise, always keen to take it to the next step. Young Cedar is showing plenty of willingness and aptitude for the training. We shot this video this evening: http://youtu.be/o_hKS3qd8vo

It’s about time for me to take the exercise into the back yard to give me a bit more room for the send.

Notes on the Tandem Turn

A Tandem Turn is a cross behind the dog on the dismount of an obstacle, or on the flat. Contrast this with the Back Cross, which is a cross behind the dog on the approach to an obstacle.

An experienced handler will try to be positioned on the side of the turn because the dog turns most naturally towards the handler. The clever and evil judge may design a course that intentionally traps the handler on the wrong side away from the turn. The handler needs an answer to that riddle.

We rely on the premise that our dogs already understand how we move. So in the Tandem we turn towards the dog, distinctly and boldly. The dog, understanding our movement should make the turn in this new direction although the turn is toward his side.

This illustration shows the “off-arm” Tandem. As the dog comes up over the jump the handler brings up his opposite arm, pointing out in the direction of the turn.

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Of course, the turn is more than just an arm signal. At the same time the handler is rotating his body, turning, and moving in the direction of the turn. It’s also a good idea to develop a verbal command to coincide with all of these other cues.

The handler’s position should be only slightly forward of the dog for the dog to see the cues for the turn. At the same time the handler should not be so far ahead that he can’t step behind the dog (it is a form of the Rear Cross, after all).

Which arm should be used to signal the turn is a bit controversial. It’s reported that Susan Garret calls the counter-arm Tandem the “evil-Ohio-arm,” and advocates using only the inside arm (the arm nearer to the dog).

The inside-arm Tandem was originally shown to me by a lady from Los Angeles (Barbara Mah.) I thought it looked so silly that for a long time I called in the “La La” turn.

BLOG04_02

However, I discovered that one of my dogs, who I’d been struggling for over a year to teach the off-arm Tandem, understood the “inside” arm immediately. He got it the first time he saw it, and made the turn perfectly. So, I no longer call it the La La turn. This is now the Inside-Arm Tandem.

All the other elements of the turn are the same. The handler should rotate his body, turn the corner, and move in the direction of the turn.

Oh, as to the controversy about which arm to use: we’ll use the arm that our dog implicitly understands. There are no “one size fits all” solutions in agility. The Tandem Turn should always be learned with practice.

Some dogs respond to both signals, but give a different response to each. This illustration shows a scenario in which the turn is still away from the handler’s position, but the true course is the gentler path up to jump #2.

BLOG04_03

I would always use the inside-arm Tandem in this situation. I had a dog (Bogie) who always took the off-arm as a “hard and deep” instruction. He’d flip back to jump #3, giving jump #2 a pass. He’d interpret the inside-arm Tandem as a gentler turn, and would be, properly, directed to jump #2.

These aren’t hard and fast rules of the performance. The handler should experiment with both arms and understand the dog’s response to each. Know thy dog.

The Tandem Turn can be used on the dismount from technical obstacles, on the exit of a tunnel. The biggest danger is that the handler’s turn mightn’t have enough “push” to get the dog away before turning back. A Tandem is only successful when the dog believes in the turn. It must be convincing, and compelling.

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Oh, one final detail worth mentioning. The Tandem Turn “creates” distance. It’s a great movement to use to open up the real estate between dog and handler. In this illustration the handler is working parallel to the dog over the first two jumps with a bit of lateral distance. At the “corner” the handler surges into the turn showing the arm signal for the turn.

BLOG04_05

To the dog’s point of view the handler is making the turn; and the dog frankly won’t know until after jump #3 that the handler did not attend. It doesn’t matter. The dog should work faithfully in a path parallel to the handler to get to jump #4, even at a substantial distance.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

What Did You Learn Today?

December 23, 2014

Years ago, at the end of a seminar I taught, somebody asked me “What did you learn today?” The interesting thing for me then, and ever since, is that I had an immediate answer for her. It never fails that when I teach, I get to learn.

8 Kinds of Front Cross?

The mechanics of each type of Front Cross is different.

The basic attribute of a Front Cross could be stated: Counter rotation draws the dog to the handler.  So the 8 different kinds of Front Crosses all (mostly) rely on the basic “drawing the dog”. Subtle differences in the mechanics deliver different strategic objectives without losing sight of the basic attribute.

Each is like a choreographed dance. Posture, position and timing define each movement.

Simple Front Cross – the handler changes sides to the dog in a Front Cross on the flat; this is an simple change of sides, unworried and unhurried. All other types of Front Cross are variations of the Simple Front Cross.

Layered Front Cross – The handler layers to the landing side of a jump then: 1) using counter rotation to create a corner of approach to the jump; or  2) using position to a turn the dog after the jump.

Pre-cue Front Cross – The handler cues the dog to an impending turn by prematurely showing the counter-rotation of the Front Cross or by adopting a posture facing back to the dog.

Rolling Front Cross – The handler rolls through space while counter rotating

Squaring Front Cross – The handler uses the Front Cross to set a  square corner of approach

Serpentine Front Cross – The handler turns the Front Cross into a combination movement: either Post & Cross or Cross & Post.

Technical Front Cross – The handler Front Crosses the dog on the dismount of a technical obstacle (contacts or weave poles).

Blind Cross – This is a racing movement. The handler effects the change of sides by turning away from the dog rather than to.

Drop Dead Boring

I sure managed to make all of those Front Cross notes above sound drop-dead boring. Well, I’m an old technical writer where drop-dead boring is a way of life. But to be kinder to the muse I’m not ashamed of a “Just the facts, ma’am!” attitude towards writing.

Behind the stone-faced presentation there’s some real emotion in those words too. And I can prove it:

The handler approaches a moment in the course where he’s got to change sides to his dog, and the change of sides must set the dog up square for the path ahead. But the handler doesn’t know where to set the corner, or even where the corner is, and begins the counter-rotation of the cross before he’s in the correct position and before it was time to turn the dog in any case. His run goes to hell! He cries, he spits, he blames the course! It’s a very emotional moment.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

Two-a-Day

December 22, 2014

I’m actually busy on a lot of fronts these past few days. There’s a bunch of stuff that I can’t share on my blog (not quite yet). These are tough days for other reasons. Marsha’s father passed away about a week ago. And I don’t really want to talk about the goings on as a public matter.

Cedar is getting her two-a-day training. Her “distance” training is bringing us to the point that we’ll have to take her out of the basement and to the training building (or out to the lower field if this really nice warm weather lasts much longer). Though she’s only five months old this is an important time in a dog’s life to build some great behaviors that she will own for her whole life.

By this time next year we’ll be filling out her very first trial entries! It’s funny that it’s a whole year away. It sounds like a lot of time. But it’s not so much when you consider that there’s so much to do.

Football

I used to be a for real NFL football fan. I’m thinking that Michael Vick took that away from me. He was like a complete scumbag that horribly mistreated dogs in his care. I know that he “paid his time.” I resent that he can crawl out of prison and earn millions as a professional football player.

On a morning sports talk show I remember a group of expert pundits, so called, sitting around a table, talking about Vick. One of them said “You’ve got to admire that he was a stand-up guy and didn’t roll on anyone else!” That means he didn’t expose the other scumbags who were out enjoying their vicious sport.

I’m trying to imagine the same bunch of guys sitting around a table talking about Jerry Sandusky…  “You’ve got to admire that he was a stand-up guy and didn’t roll on anyone else!”

The idea that the NFL would allow Michael Vick into their league… that the NY Jets would take this man reflects so poorly on them. Since he got out of prison he’s been a complete lowlife as a player. He doesn’t prepare for his games and doesn’t care if his team wins or loses. He just shows up and cashes his check. That’s what kind of man he is. Both the Jets and the NFL got what they deserve out of this scumbag.

* * *

The proliferation of sports talk shows is really kind of a grind. You tune into these things to hear who’s going to win and lose upcoming games. And to the credit of these “experts” they manage to be right about 50% of the time.

It’s funny listening to their awkward use of the English language. That’s the only thing fun about any of these programs. A fellow the other day said “Cam Newton’s injury looks worse than it appears to be!”

And all of them sing praise to their patron sport: “If it wasn’t for football, I wouldn’t be playing football today!”

The Hobbit

Did you see the trilogy of Hobbit movies? What did you think?

Tomorrow I want to chat about them.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

Fantasy Dog Agility

December 21, 2014

I have this really cool fantasy about a reality show for television. On this program several dog agility trainers will each work with a big Hollywood celebrity to teach them how to run an agility dog. And then we have an agility competition with the celebs and their borrowed dogs.

I’ve got first dibs on Mark Wahlberg! He can run my boy Kory (or even Marsha’s Phoenix). I’m comfortable taking on any smart aleck agility trainer in the business to train up a celeb to beat us! I believe Mark could be a hell of an agility handler. It’s just a hunch.

Go On Then

I’m sorry that we’re not capturing the full granularity of Cedar’s ongoing training. By rights we’d be filming twice a day. We are only filming about every other day. So you miss some of the incremental steps we take in the training.

Here: http://youtu.be/J4EoJXrAANs. We’ve progressed to three hoops. As she becomes comfortable with our performance expectations and begins to own the exercise, we’ll move them farther and farther apart. I fully expect that in about a month I’ll be sending Cedar straight away from me a good 40′. . The dead-away send is truly one of the most difficult distance challenges in agility.

The training methodology we’re using here is completely documented in The Joker’s Notebook, which is available on my web-store. The cool thing about distance training is that all skills that we own with our dogs are earned and deserved through training and practice. If you take the time to establish the foundation, you will have those special skills.

Top Secret

I’m fairly excited by developments with Top Dog. I’m sorry to say that it’s all secret and amazing. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.