Monday, January 10, 2011

2011: the year of progress?

It says that this was posted January 10, but that was because I saved the draft on that date...I really posted this on January 17.

(Okay, so this is super late because I was having trouble publishing my posts on Blogger. I know I'm always late with posts, but I'm really on time with stuff in real life -- honest! :)

So...first post of the year :) Let's all say a big welcome to 2011!

I don't have any big goals for this year; no Regionals, no Nationals, no ATChC. (We still need too many Q's for Mika's ATChC, so realistically, we won't achieve it this year and probably not next year.) *Maybe* SuperDogs again with Mika. But I still have some big hopes for this year. Last year was kind of "meh"; I slowed down my handling to try to learn how to handle the very fast Wall-e, and as a result Mika's speed suffered because she adjusted to my slower speed. None of that this year! I plan to handle both dogs fearlessly because that's the way I want them to run. We're going to have some awesome, fast runs this year. (I should mention though that Wall-e had a really good year last year; he started trialing and really amped up his speed, and we also re-trained his contacts to a fast, reliable 2on2off.)

I've already stated my 2011 training and competition goals in a previous post, so I won't say them again here. I just wanted to add a few things.

I really hope to improve Mika's reactivity this year. Last year we had one pretty big "incident" at a trial, which has never happened before, and I definitely don't want that to happen again. (I'm sure Mika doesn't either!) We're going to work as much as possible on reactivity; once the snow melts, every day if possible, every second day at the least. We've been doing this since 2007 when Mika was first diagnosed with reactivity, but armed with some new and "refreshed" knowledge, I hope to make some more progress with her this year. I'm re-reading one of my very favourite books, Suzanne Clothier's Bones Would Rain From the Sky, which has some great stuff on aggression. I'm also reading everything I can online about aggression and reactivity. Mika's made some great progress last year, but our battle isn't over.

And of course there's Wall-e. We've made lots of progress on his extreme fears of constant/loud noises, but we're still not at the point where he can trial indoors. I've entered him in an indoor evening trial in April, but he's not ready for that at the moment. Along with continuing our noise sensitivity training daily, I'm planning on ordering the Indoor Agility Sounds CD to help desensitize/counter-condition him to the sounds of a trial environment at home. I'm also looking into trying a herbal or natural stress product (no drugs!!) to help put him in the right frame of mind for training. Right now I'm thinking Rescue Remedy, but we'll see. I've realized that Wall-e might not ever be able to trial at noisy indoor venues. He's made TONS of progress, but indoor trials seem to be a big step for him.

So to sum it up, this year will be The Year of Progress. Progress with agility, of course, and also reactivity and fears. Bring it on!


  1. I've heard Rescue Remedy is quite good, one of my instructors in Barrie, Lisa McPherson used it for her BC Reiver. Lisa and Reiver did extremely well at Nationals. I think Lisa even used the human variant.

  2. The real important this is that Mika and Wall-e are you best chums. All the letters are really minor things. From what we have seen, they are most excellent chums.

    Dog Speed,

    Essex & Deacon