Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goals yesterday and today

Every January I like to have a look back over the past year and see how we did with the goals set a year ago, and set more for the upcoming year.

So, starting with last year's goals:

  • Add tunnel/contact discriminations and "out" to skill set
    We made some progress, and these skills came in handy for Walter's first Masters Gamblers Q, but at this point I'm not convinced that there isn't some fluking going on with the discriminations so more work is needed.

  • Add hard and soft weave entries to skill set
    Didn't do any work on these other than a few living room sessions -- I've just been happy if he's able to weave all the way through without popping. It's totally cool to watch a dog independently nail a tough entry, but it just hasn't been a priority for us since aside from an occasional weave gamble one can generally futz about to help the dog get the entry. So we've focused on acquiring other skills this year.

  • Improve distance skills and have a try at Masters Gamblers
    Done! After fluking his way to a Q in his two first tries at Advanced Gamblers in July and September 2007, Walter took a hiatus from Gamblers to work on distance skills. He entered his first Masters Gamblers class this past June and earned his Gamblers title in November.

  • Take time off trialing this summer to train a running frame
    Nah. His completely untrained "running" frame (we abandoned 2o2o and didn't retrain anything in its place) hasn't caused the problems that Lucy's has, so why try to fix something that isn't broken?

  • Achieve fully independent contacts
    Good progress made with lateral and send-ahead distance, though his speed and confidence need work.

  • It'd be awfully nice to get two more Advanced Standard Qs for his SAADC
    Done! Walter had breezed through the Advanced Games, and with his second ATR Q in January sealed the deal on his having earned a Q in every advanced games course he had ever been entered in (yes I'm quite happy about that brag). However, those Advanced Standard runs sure were a long time coming and are our ultimate anti-brag: Took us about 15 tries at Advanced Standard to get the three Qs needed for his SAADC title which he got in April.

And so, here, in no particular order, are my goals for 2009:

  • Solidify tunnel/contact discrimination skills
  • Improve speed and confidence on dogwalk and teeter at a distance
  • Turn Walter into a tunnel suck Get Walter to be happy about sending ahead to tunnels (we've blown a few gambles due to this issue)
  • It'd be awfully nice to get one more Masters Standard Q for his ATChC!
  • Get back into playing Steeplechase! (given his weave issues he hasn't run Steeplechase since the spring since I wanted to "save" his good weaves for Standards)
  • Edit on 4-Jan-09: Forgot a big one, which is to get a lot better at cuing tight turns.
  • And another: Add 270s to skill set.
  • And yet another: Some general things to aim for: Trust my dog more by letting him work at a greater distance and not babysitting every obstacle; Run faster!


Elf said...

Good progress on last year's goals. The important thing is having some goals and taking some steps forward. That's success!

andrea said...

what an awesome year
and I love your brag too :)

Nat said...

Looks like you've accomplished one of this year's goals already :)


LucyandWalter said...

Jeez, if only all goals could be accomplished so quickly ;-) Just about to publish the post about the trial.