23 March 2016

Time for a little catch-up

It's been quite a while since I posted on this blog.... Handler's agility opinions in this area aren't that important hehe

I have spent some time training a little, doing some conformation work, breeding a few litters.... also becoming a Conformation Judge. I am still somewhat in the 'game', and have some new dogs, but I feel that my interest have shifted a little.

This uphill battle with my sport in my area has proved too much for me. I feel that I am a competent trainer and handler... also an OK judge... but feel that there are still so many obstacles in my path to great Agility. It is sad, as I do love this sport and so do my dogs. But I feel that I cannot just go out there and compete as others don't seem to value it as they should.

We are STILL being presented with courses that are not suitable for the grades, courses that are still not to the rules, courses that are not "designed" to test skills, but are just thrown together for the sake of placing obstacles on a field ... and equipment that is still not up to scratch! Some courses are so heavily nested that we end up running the same routes over and over again, same tunnel entrances, same weave entries..... how do you spell b-o-r-i-n-g...........?

Handlers lack the skills to direct their dogs around the courses, and most seem unaware of this fact... the poor dogs are darting all over (if they are not being dragged around) and handlers are clueless to the powerful training techniques that will allow them and their dogs to have way much more fun. So they are not looking to get better............

And on that note... I am still refusing to take classes, although I do take the odd private lesson (Thanks, Sam for taking all the classes!) I wouldn't mind if there was the odd student that really was into learning, that is as dedicated to the sport as I was - that trained every day like I did, that progressed steadily........... I long for the enthusiastic student that researches and reads articles off the internet, that downloads sequences, that buys DVD's, that tries new handling skills, that *thinks* for themselves......! Unfortunately most pitch up to class, stand around and wait to be told what to do, they make unnecessary mistakes, don't pay attention to each other's handling, nor to instructions, they blame the dog for numerous errors which should have been sorted in the early basics (that they invariably rushed through).... students that forget what was taught last week and have to be retaught this week, and next week when it is applied in a course, they have no clue how to handle the exact same scenario...... EISH no thanks! Then the more dedicated bunch that give you one story and are serious about their training, but don't follow though - but rather go to other trainers and ask more advice................... eventually they will find someone that will let them do what they wanted to do all along, until it falls apart.... then who do they come back to, to help fix the situation? Aargh

So once again I am changing things around me in order to have some sanity... For 2016 I am taking back some training days for myself, and I'm varying club training time in order to maximise my own time on the field. I have a new boy that sure can use some more Agility training, and we plan to get right on this!
In addition to the above, 2016 will see my taking on quite a number of judging appointments... if you can't change things as a handler, you sure can as a judge! I am prepared for quite a few moans, but none from the handlers this time! And finally, also in 2016, I am stepping up my conformation showing with my 2 super boys & 1 girl that are SO going to excel! And lastly, I have a couple of litters planned for this year :)

SO... we have some goals for 2016.... let's get to it!