Dogs Are Therapy

It’s a tough time right now, isn’t it? Honestly, I didn’t think Shelter in Place due to the pandemic would be too hard. I’m an introvert who needs solitude to recharge. So I had all these grand plans for self improvement. Teach the dogs new skills. Declutter the house. Run every day. Refresh my French.Continue reading “Dogs Are Therapy”

Happy 16th Birthday, Darby Lynn!!!

Our home is an infirmary these days, full of accomplished, retired sports dogs. They’ve earned the right to be ridiculously spoiled in their golden years. Darby Lynn, the naughty Dalmatian who started my passion for dog training, is 16 years old today. (As a rescue and Daddy’s girl, we picked Father’s Day for her birthday.)Continue reading “Happy 16th Birthday, Darby Lynn!!!”

You Give Me (Puppy) Fever!

I knew I was in trouble when I was staying up past midnight searching Border Collie breeder websites. It seemed like all my friends and students were getting puppies. They were adorable, silly, and gave me serious puppy fever. During another late night cybersearch, I found my puppy, a stunning blue merle tricolor. Latte was partContinue reading “You Give Me (Puppy) Fever!”

Is 10 Too Old to ADCH?

Aging has been on my mind a lot lately. This October, I will celebrate my 41st birthday and 15th wedding anniversary. In February 2014, I will welcome my first child, a baby boy. It’s a fact that he will change my life – which has largely revolved around my dogs and agility till now –Continue reading “Is 10 Too Old to ADCH?”

What Makes a Good Coach

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” – popular wisdom If you agree with that sentiment, I’ll wager that you haven’t yet experienced a great coach. Recently, I’ve taken up running again, an activity I enjoyed competitively in high school and college. It’s brought back a lot of memories of my high school girls’Continue reading “What Makes a Good Coach”

“Hideous” Jumpers Course

We kicked off class with the Excellent Jumpers course (white circles). While my students walked, I overheard them describe it with colorful adjectives, such as “hideous.” One student jokingly inquired if I’d gotten into a fight with my husband before designing these courses. Of course, their comments are all good natured – well, usually. AsContinue reading ““Hideous” Jumpers Course”

Small Space Handling Skills

Tuesday mornings, I teach private lessons for students whose dogs can perform all the obstacles, but the human part of the team needs help with handling. We use a small matted space (80 x 30) which is often used for group classes such as obedience, puppy kindergarten, nose work, tricks and rally. I find thatContinue reading “Small Space Handling Skills”

When the Teacher Is the Student, Part I

Last week, I took Magnum to his first agility class. It was disastrous. An epic fail. Worthy of many, many cartons of ice cream. In hindsight, my expectations were so sky high they were from another planet. Since he was familiar with the facility, and had prior group class experience, I had assumed we’d beContinue reading “When the Teacher Is the Student, Part I”

Thu Agility Class Courses

Although the courses are numbered here, I deliberately did not number them for my students to encourage them to use muscle memory instead of relying on or being distracted by numbered cones littered throughout the course. Across the board, with all four classes tonight, the biggest challenge I saw was keeping the dog’s focus. ForContinue reading “Thu Agility Class Courses”