Anyway, November has been a busy month for me. We started out with an AKC trial Nov 10/11, where Strafe went 3/4 picking up his 8th QQ, and Drifter was 2/3 picking up his 38th QQ. Kiba was not entered - she is qualified for Nationals and I don't like to trial her more than necessary, both to save her body and my money! The week after that I attended an evening lecture and 2-day high-level handling seminar with Jaakko Suoknuuti and Janita Leinonen from Finland (I think I've finally memorized the spelling for their names!). Since I have been trending towards that style of handling for a while now, I was excited to go and learn their thoughts on different techniques and maneuvers, and it was worth it. They do a lot of foundation that complements what I already teach my dogs regarding commitment and jumping. Strafe did really well and I feel like I did too - there are some small differences in how we do things, but I am going to take some time to consider which way I like better before deciding "I am right" or "they are right" - after all, nobody's really RIGHT so much as they are FASTER out on course.... it really comes down to how well the dog executes what you've trained, which is partially a factor of how easy it is to understand. Making the dog think too hard is never good, thus consistency is key! Anyway, I really enjoyed training with them, and if I ever could afford it, would definitely take some time to go do it again! I hope they return to the States again next year.
This past weekend was another AKC trial, Drifter picked up QQ #39 and won 3 classes out of 4, not bad for a 10-year old dog in the 20" class (with over 100 dogs in it!) I do think his feet were a little sore on Monday, so it does reinforce my thought that he will retire as soon as he gets QQ #40 and finishes MACH2 - which he won't get another chance at until February due to my trial schedule, but that's OK, he's in pretty good shape physically and won't be unable to jump anytime soon, barring catostrophic injury, which is unlikely since I don't work him that much!
This weekend Strafe and Kiba are entered in a USDAA trial, Tournaments and Challenge classes only (they even have "Open Challenge" for dogs without their Masters titles!) Both dogs seem to have a tight back this week, so they are on partial rest, lasering, and are hanging around in their Back on Track coats today while it rains.
Various trial and seminar video can be found at my youtube page (link to the side of this page)
I hope to keep more updated now that I can type faster! Here are some pics detailing what we've been doing for the past month!
|Survived our 2nd hurricane!|
|Started going on longer hikes of 5-6 miles at a time, even when it's cold!|
|Strafe's OFA came back Good!|
|And more hiking!|