Archive for January, 2015

Seeking Jr. Handlers for Dog Agility Reality “Sizzle”

January 24, 2015

I know this is really very short notice… we’re looking for junior handlers (kids) for the filming of a “sizzle” reel for a reality show based on dog agility.  If we put the focus on the preparation and training and competition of youngsters it will be a very very interesting program.

To this end we extend this invitation to participate in the agility competition on which the reality show sizzle reel will be based! We’re looking for young dog agility enthisiasts! Mature players will be welcomed. The competition is in Murietta, Califhnia on February 7th, 2015. First dog on the line at 9:30 a.m.  [I did say it was very short notice. Right?]

We’ve scheduled an agility competition for February 7, 2015 in Murietta, California.

  • Apex Dog Agility
    41674 Corning Place
    Murrieta, CA 92562
  • Out-of-doors, rain or shine

Download the dog registration form here:
http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRegistration.pdf

RSVP to Houston.bud@gmail.com. I’ll reply straight away!

You can download the working rules and regulations here:
http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRules3.5.pdf

Blog979

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.

Advertisements

Cedar’s Back Pass Training

January 16, 2015

I’d like to share with you a couple short recordings of Cedar’s early Back Pass training. Right now I’m teaching a clockwise Back Pass, and I use the verbal “Come By”. I reckon I’m ruining any herding career… but that’s no major loss.

This recording shows a very early introduction to the Back Pass:

http://youtu.be/ZUXL6rAFOpI

I teach this initially by luring around my body with a food treat, while giving the verbal command. This soon becomes a draw with my lead… maybe even a flick of the arm. Gradually I relax the physical cue until it turns to verbal only.

Here’s a recording of the Back Pass not quite a week into the training:

http://youtu.be/9fePPUNIqys

I would probably record more. But don’t you know this is meal-time training. Frankly, sometimes I’m in my robe and big fluffy slippers. And that doesn’t make very attractive video.

Marsha makes the point in one of the recordings that Cedar is a dog who has never had a meal just plopped down for her to eat. From the moment she came into our house she has worked for every bit of every meal. This is the essence of the Two-Minute Dog Trainer.

This protocol makes her keen to learn and anxious to offer performance to earn her meals. When she’s young she’ll learn skills that she’ll hold for life.

You might wonder why I’m teaching this skill. It is certainly not very common in the agility world. I maintain that in another ten years it will be a common skill. The agility world “at large” hasn’t much discovered it yet. Consider these qualities: When calling the dog to a Back Pass the dog drops completely out of obstacle focus and into handler focus; and, it allows the handler to perfectly set the corner of approach to the course.  I’ll leave you to mull over the consequences of these attributes.

Blog978

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.

Building a Semi-Pro Agility League

January 14, 2015

For the express purpose of creating a foundation for competition for a dog agility based reality TV program, I propose that we build a semi-pro agility league. And I am working to accomplish that goal.

We’ve scheduled an agility competition for February 7, 2015 in Murietta, California.

  • Apex Dog Agility
    41674 Corning Place
    Murrieta, CA 92562
  • Out-of-doors, rain or shine

This is a team event (3 dogs & handlers) competing for top honors running three courses.

We’re faced now with the task of creating this semi-pro agility league. In order to be a member of that league the host club needs a venue, which should be a field or floor with adequate floor space.

Clubs joining the league now will be founding members of the league. All league matters will ultimately be the province of a Board of Governors elected from each of the league clubs. They will have oversight in designing the structure of competition, the length of a season, and every other detail for the conduct of the league.

Right now it doesn’t really matter if the league is only three or four clubs. It will grow over time.

For the premier event in Murietta the entry fee is $20. Entry is limited to dogs that are registered with Top Dog Agility Players. For this first competition we will waive the $10 dog registration fee. To make your entry simple:

  1. Download the dog registration form here:
    http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRegistration.pdf
  2. Send your $20 entry fee, and the completed form to Top Dog Agility, 14543 State Route 676, Waterford, OH 45786.
  3. On a separate piece of paper indicate what other handlers and dogs will make up your team (3 dogs and 3 handlers); or indicate if you’d like to be on a draw team.

You can download the working rules and regulations here:
http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRules3.5.pdf

Please note: A club does not have to send a team to Murietta to become a founding member of this league. Most of league competition will be conducted at the host club’s private venue. The club simply has to get a judge approved for the conduct of competition within the league; and that judge can and should be a member of that club.

The only expense for participating in weekly league competition will be a very nominal/inexpensive $1.00 / run.

Semi-Pro?

Before the league becomes the property of some network publisher we must establish that something on the order of half of recording fee income goes to league competition awards.

Reality Show Concept

The vision that I have is like a training center/agility dog gym sit-drama. The show will largely focus on a single team that competes in an ongoing agility league, and principally the coach of that team. The coach’s job is to put together the “A” team for their competition against the world; but of course there’ll be a larger pool of handlers vying with their dogs for a spot on that team. “Against the World” means that any club/group/host in the world can put up the course that will be on the program and compare their scores against the team featured on the program. We’re going to publish these courses for public consumption; and we’ll record their results.

The “situation” in this sit-drama is the very human and compelling drama of the pressures of competition and how we strive for perfections/excellence, or at the very least, not to look the fool. And with any artistry at all we can capture the personality, devotion and working attitude of some of the great agility dogs of our day.

The way I would like see it there will be this bigger league spread around the country (and possibly around the world) that competes in a weekly competition. And then, once a month the Top Dog team would go out into the world to have a head-to-head competition with them on their own field.

Back to Reality

Frankly we’re relying on Bishop-Lyons Entertainment LLC to use their expertise to direct the focus of the show. It’s possible that my vision won’t be anywhere near the finished product. And, of course, they have to find a network broadcaster interested in the concept.

Top Dog (the name ultimately won’t pass the TM test) is an important asset for whoever adopts the program idea. There’s a real possibility that the program could bring in something on the order of $30K every month in recording fees from around the world. In order for that to happen, however, we need to have the underlying league that is the foundation of the ongoing competition.

Blog977

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 Diversion

January 13, 2015

OH10

I have a bunch of work to do today. But I’ve decided to waste a bit of time on a diversion. I dreamt of a jumpers course last night and had to get up this morning to sketch it out.

Have a good day today Buckeye fans.

Blog976

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 Riddle of Reflection

January 11, 2015

I wrote this maybe five years ago. Not much has changed. I must have been in an interesting mood!

Bud Houston's Blog

The Riddle of Reflection: Why is it that a mirror reverses everything left and right… but not up and down?

I should slow down to reflect from time to time on the question of validation. Validation in dog agility is the psychological pressure against the trainer and handler who will be measured by the dog’s ability in competition. Oh, and measured every time he takes the floor for a turn at the most simple and modest of sequencing drills in classes. Your dog is a direct reflection of your skill as a dog trainer. He is the litmus of your worth. He is your validation. Isn’t that true? Aren’t you the sum total of your dog’s drive and skill in the sport of dog agility?

Ours is a young sport. And yet already most essential riddles are dictates of rote textbook formula.

I don’t actually believe that a person…

View original post 363 more words

Getting Real

January 9, 2015

We’ve working to create a Reality Show based on the sport of dog agility. Bishop-Lyons Entertainment LLC has been contracted to create a “sizzle reel” for presentation to network executives.

To this end we have scheduled an agility competition:

  • February 7th 2015
  • Apex Dog Agility
    41610 Oak Trail Court,
    Murrieta, CA 92562
  • Out-of-doors, rain or shine

This is a team event (3 dogs & handlers) competing for top honors running three courses.

The Concept

The program will be based on the competition within a semi-pro agility league. And so we are building not just the “reality show” but the semi-pro agility league as well. A primary objective in this first competition will be to establish the league and the teams that make up the league.

The entry to the competition in Murrieta is limited. The event will be filled by the first entries that we receive. This is a production of Top Dog Agility Players. For the record, that name may change as it is unlikely to pass the “Trademark” test.

The entry fee is $20 and; entry is limited to dogs that are registered with Top Dog Agility Players. For this first competition we will waive the $10 dog registration fee. To make your entry simple:

  1. Download the dog registration form here:
    http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRegistration.pdf
  2. Send your $20 entry fee, and the completed form to Top Dog Agility, 14543 State Route 676, Waterford, OH 45786.
  3. On a separate piece of paper indicate what other handlers and dogs will make up your team (3 dogs and 3 handlers); or indicate if you’d like to be on a draw team.

You can download the working rules and regulations here:
http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRules3.5.pdf

The Agility Challenge League

The semi-pro agility league we are starting is not limited to southern California. Weekly competitions will be in a simul-match format. The only real expenses to participating clubs is the dog registration fee and very nominal recording fees.

If you would like to establish a club (one or more teams), get in touch: BudHouston@gmail.com.

Blog975

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 Continued Teeter Training

January 5, 2015

Blog974

Click on the picture above for a very short video of Cedar working the teeter after four or five days of training. You can compare that to the intro video we published a few days ago: http://youtu.be/x-eQK-90pIs

The Tell?

The other day I had a remarkable session with Cedar in which I gave her a series of 9 Left and Right commands, and she spun the correct direction each time. Then I handed over the job (and the treats) to Marsha, who conducted the same experiment. Cedar’s success rate plunged to around 50%.

What do you think that was about?

I have this idea that maybe I have a subtle “tell”. Cedar has become expert at reading my tell and promptly follows this reading to tell which direction to turn. For many years I studied what I call “phantom” movements; that is, the dog follows a cue that the handler isn’t aware that he’s given. There’s a phantom Blind Cross and a phantom Front Cross… even a phantom Tandem Turn.

Most physical cues that we give actually have a complicated chain of physical events which lead eventually to the substantial cue. The dog becomes expert at reading that chain and begins working backwards, down the chain, to take the cue on a precursor event.

Of course, I’m actually engaged in teaching Cedar verbal cues rather than physical cues. It makes me believe that no matter how much I’m endeavoring to put the performance on a verbal-only cue my body can’t help but give a helpful twitch that betrays my intent.

Fascinating study!

Blog974

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.