November 30, 2006

Agility hiatus

We've had a bit of a break from agility. Dusty was spayed, and developed internal bleeding afterwards and we had an anxious few hours before they brought it under control. It ended up being major surgery, and she has been recuperating with light exercise.

She is now fit and well - if still fairly bald in patches - so we will be starting training again.

We have signed up for both of Keith and Le's Summer Camps at Canine Fun Sports. The first camp is on distance handling and the second on games strategies - both looking at how to get your dog around the course fast and efficiently. At both camps there is an opportunity for individual lessons, and mock trials. The camps are always great fun and we learn a lot from having the extended period of training.

November 08, 2006

Video Ref

I'm aware of two agility runs this year where a competitor who queried a judge's decision had a video tape of their run. In one, an ANKC event, the judge agreed to look at the competitor's tape and reversed his decision. In the other, an ADAA trial, after discussion with officials it was agreed that the decision should be made on the basis of what the judge saw, without recourse to video or other witnesses, and the result stood.

Eric Larsen has posted slow motion video and stills from the USDAA Grand Prix Nationals which show that Susan Garrett and Decaff (winners of the 16" class) and Rhonda Carter and Blast (winners of the 22" class) might have been penalised under the rule "See-saw not touching the ground before the dog leaving, but after it begins to tilt, is a fly-off penalty."

That rule is actually a good argument for having a professional editor go over some of the regulations designed by committee: what does it actually say?? Why not "Dog leaving the see-saw after it begins to tilt, but before it touches the ground, is a fly-off penalty." Or even more simply "If the dog does not have at least one foot in contact with the see-saw when it touches the ground, it is a fly-off penalty."

In any case there is some lively discussion on judging decisions and video referees on the Agility Vision site.

November 06, 2006

Training With Mental Telepathy

This looks interesting. The book, Directional Control for Dog Agility and Training with Mental Telepathy is, as the name suggests, two books in one.

"The first functionality is the Distance Directional Control System of handling. The handler uses the techniques and procedures of distance directional control to produce a competitive working team for the dog sport of agility."

If the handler chooses, the handler can then go on to increase telepathic communications with the dog by continuing to develop the intuitive bridge created with directional control work.

For distance directional control, the book outlines a structured series of exercises designed to build the dog's visual sensitivity and response to handler body movements and signals. The distance body signal techniques are coupled with a small number of verbal obstacle and directional commands to produce a dog capable of independent distance work directed by a handler that is located at sizeable distances from the dog.
The blurb goes on to say:
"The flexibility and power of this system come from the integrated combination of body and verbal commands coupled with planned transitional synchronization of both dog and handler skills. The handler develops mental timing and synchronization skills rather than physical running skills. The dog develops independent working skills."

November 03, 2006

Planning mischief

Dusty in the storm-water drain euphemistically known as Throsby Creek.

Wheel Covers

Love My Pet have a special on 4wd wheel covers - for border collie agiliteers in Aus, especially.