Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Agility Classes Starting in Millstone NJ

Agility Class Schedule at Green Leaf Pet Resort & Hotel (Indoor/Heated/Matted)
23 Burnt Tavern Road, Millstone Twp, NJ 08510 • greenleafpetresort.com

The agility training area at The Green Leaf Pet Resort & Hotel 3,800 sq ft (free span) fully matted with Dog Agility Foam Mats (specifically designed for dog agility). This dog sport specific matting is installed over the same stress-free flooring that can be found throughout the entire facility. This adds cushioning and impact resistance as well as increasing the already great traction of this acclaimed agility footing. FMI on the matting visit (www.greatmats.com/products/dogagility.php). Our flooring is cleaned and sanitized every day to insure a healthy working environment for all of our clients. The agility facility boasts brand new Max200 (www.max200.com) agility and training equipment (all rubberized contact equipment). We have indoor, sanitized and climate controlled crating rooms for all dogs enrolled in classes, so there is no need to leave dogs in your vehicle or bring crates to classes if you are enrolled in more than one class, or with more than one dog. The facility also has multiple outdoor grass rings, fully fenced and lighted dedicated to agility, for use during spring, summer and fall.  Indoor restroom facilities as well as ample, paved and lighted parking areas make for a comfortable experience for both you and your dog(s) while taking our classes. This agility/training facility is not available for private ring rental of any kind. A 3,000 sq ft indoor aquatic center for exercise, recreation and relaxation, is currently under construction and is expected to be available for guests to enjoy by Mid 2012.
Monday Evenings Group Classes:
Work with world class instructors to bring your agility skills to the next level  and achieve exceptional results 
Instructed by
Chris Ott-Parker
2x World Team Member, National Champion, USA EO Member (with 2 dogs) and Guinness World Record Holder For Dog Weaving
Jessica Ajoux
AKC and USDAA Finalist and Podium Winner (with both large and small dogs) and Multiple year USA World Team Tryout Participant

Class Dates: January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, 2012
Masters/Advanced Class #1: 6:00pm - 7:30pm 
Masters/Advanced Class #2: 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Class Limit (each class): 12 (2 groups of 6)
6 Week Class: $225
Class Description:
Nowhere in the country are two instructors with this level of experience and performance success offering a class where participants can work with BOTH instructors in the same class! This extended 90 minute agility class offers the participants the unique opportunity to work both a Standard AND a Jumpers course/sequence. The courses/sequences are specifically designed for the arena by a licensed agility Judge to insure accurate spacing and challenges. Each participant gets the opportunity to work a full 45 minutes with each instructor. The class is divided into two groups, with a 4’ solid privacy wall separating the two rings. The class participants are teamed according to competition and skill level to ensure that all dogs in each group are sharing class time with dogs of equal proficiency levels. Competition class levels for these classes are Masters/Excellent & Advanced/Open levels (dogs not currently competing at class level will need instructor approval before being accepted into classes). Limit: 12 working spots per class (split into two working groups, one group of no more then 6 working with each instructor at a time). 6 Weeks: $225.00 FMI and/or to reserve a working spot in any of our classes email: speedoggieagility@me.com
Tuesday Evenings Group Classes
Instructed by
Frankie Joiris
World renowned animal trainer for cinema and television, international seminar presenter and author/columnist of many animal training publications. Specializing in agility and trick training, animal acting and behavior problem solving.
Class Dates: January 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14, 2012
Introduction To Agility 5:30pm-6:30pm
Introduction To Agility 6:45pm-7:45pm
Obstacle Skills & Handling 8:00pm-9:00pm
Class Limit (each class): 8
6 Week Class: $175

Class Descriptions:
Two classes, one at 5:30pm-6:30pm and another at  6:45pm-7:45pm. Beat the winter doldrums and keep Fido from bouncing off the walls with cabin fever.  Agility class is the perfect way to have fun with your dog while learning the basic skills needed for this fast paced team sport you and your dog play together. This class is perfect for puppies and dogs of all ages starting out in agility. You’ll learn the fundamentals of the sport while giving your dog a great workout and you’ll both have a blast!6 Weeks: $175.00  Class Limit (each class): 8. FMI and/or to reserve a working spot in any of our classes email: speedoggieagility@me.com

You’ve learned the basics of the sport, now you and your dog are hooked.  This is the class for teams who have already learned the basics of how to navigate agility equipment and are ready to take it up a notch.  This class incorporates a variety of fun games and exercises to polish up obstacle training and start developing the skills you and your dog need to run sequences and short courses.  Side changes (front and rear crosses), extension and collection cues, impulse control and more are covered in this fast paced class. 6 Weeks: $175.00 Limit 8 working spots. FMI and/or to reserve a working spot in any of our classes email: speedoggieagility@me.com
Detailed Class Description
Thursday Evening Group Classes
Instructed by
Frankie Joiris
World renowned animal trainer for cinema and television, international seminar presenter and author/columnist of many animal training publications. Specializing in trick training, animal acting and behavior problem solving.
Class Dates: January 12, 19, 26, February 2, 9, 16 2012
Puppy & Young Dog Agility Skills 6:45pm-7:45pm
Advanced Skills & Sequencing 8:00pm-9:00pm
Class Limit: 8
6 Week Class: $175

Class Descriptions:
This class teaches agility from the ground up with its focus on competition agility. skills  Introduce your puppy or young dog to the fundamental skills needed for a successful agility career.  The games and exercises in this class incorporate all kinds of flatwork to teach dogs handling and obstacle skills, as well as working on critical core strengthening exercise, balance, and body awareness. Class limit: 8. 6 week session: $175.00. FMI and/or to reserve a working spot in any of our classes email: speedoggieagility@me.com

A class for dogs who have gone thru our Puppy & Young Dog Agility Skills Class or dogs with previous training experience who fit into this class (instructor approval required) with its focus on competition agility skills. Lots more focus on handling, side changes, collection and extension exercises  as well as continued obstacle skills and advanced core strengthening exercises and balance work perfect for growing puppies and young dogs.  Class limit: 8. 6 week session: $175.00. FMI and/or to reserve a working spot in any of our classes email: speedoggieagility@me.com

(all equipment in this photo is regulation size and all jumps are 5 ft wide)

Saturday, January 7th, 2012
8:00am - 12:00pm - Competition Run Thrus - Open To Experienced Agility Teams
1:00pm-4:00pm - Introduction To Agility - Open To All

Location:  Indoor Agility Training Area (heated/matted)
Green Leaf Pet Resort & Hotel
23 Burnt Tavern Road, Millstone Twp, NJ www.greenleafpetresort.com

Come have fun with your dog and see the new facility everyone is talking about.  Whether you’re a seasoned agility competitor or you’ve never even tried it, our fun day has something for you and your dog.

Experienced handlers, we’re having competition run-thrus (Novice/Open & Excellent/Masters) from 8:00 until Noon FREE if you pre-register.  This is an excellent opportunity to have fun, work your dog, tour our facility and meet the entire Speedoggie training staff.

Each dog is allowed 2 minutes per run, handlers are allowed 2 free runs for each dog they pre-register, additional runs $3.  Register by sending your name, your dog’s name, competition level and contact information to speedoggieagility@me.com.  You will receive a confirmation and an estimate of when your walk thru will be. 

Day of event entries are $5 per run.

From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM we invite anyone who has thought about doing agility with their dog to come give it a try.  The Speedoggie staff of highly experienced trainers will work individually with you and your best friend for the best introduction to this wonderful and entertaining sport.  People and dogs of all ages will have a great time.  Agility is fun for any breed or size dog.  Come let us show you how to play the game.  This fun day is completely FREE.  No need to pre-register, just show up and have fun. 

If you and your dog want to continue with the sport, the Speedoggie instructors will all be on hand to answer any questions you might have and help you find the class that is right for you and your dog. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Big BIG News at Speedoggie!

Chris Ott (Parker) of Speedoggie Performance Dog Training is proud to announce the opening of it’s new agility facility in collaboration with The Green Leaf Pet Resort and Hotel located at 23 Burnt Tavern Road, Millstone Twp, NJ 08510 (www.greenleafpetresort.com). 

The Green Leaf Pet Resort & Hotel is located on 56 scenic acres nestled alongside a picturesque lake and blueberry farm and surrounded by an exquisite forest preserve approximately one mile off I-195 exit 16. The facility offers daycare, boarding, training, grooming and much more. The Green Leaf Pet Resort & Hotel hosts a 4,500 sq ft daycare play area with anti-fatigue flooring, 1,500 sq ft grooming area and spa, and a 500 sq ft puppy socializing suite as well as state-of-the art suites for boarding dogs. Additional features include an anti-microbial cleaning systems and hospital-grade air filtration system throughout the green and energy efficient facility that ensures a germ-free environment for all pets.

The agility training room inside this impressive facility is approx 3,500 sq ft (free span) fully matted with Dog Agility Foam Mats (specifically designed for dog agility). This dog sport specific matting is installed over the same stress-free flooring that can be found throughout the entire facility, adding cushioning and impact resistance as well as increasing the already great traction of this acclaimed agility footing (www.greatmats.com/products/dogagility.php). The agility facility boasts brand new Max200 (www.max200.com) agility and training equipment (all rubberized contact equipment). Indoor, sanitized and climate controlled crating rooms for all dogs enrolled in classes, so there is no need to leave dogs in your vehicle or bring crates to classes if you are enrolled in more then one class, or with more then one dog. The facility also has multiple outdoor grass rings, fully fenced and lighted dedicated to agility, for use during spring, summer and fall. Speedoggie and Green Leaf Pet Resort & Hotel plan to host trials, fun matches & run throughs, camps, seminars, workshops, group classes and private lessons year round both indoors and outdoors (as weather permits). Making us one of the largest agility facilities in the country.

A 3,000 sq ft indoor aquatic center for exercise, recreation and relaxation, is currently under construction and is expected to be available for guests to enjoy by Mid 2012.

Keep a look out for Speedoggie’s Open House announcement, a fun filled day of agility fun runs, activities and guided tours of the new facility. Speedoggie’s 2012 class schedule will be announced next week.

All classes/lessons are being booked directly through Speedoggie at this time. Contact speedoggieagility@me.com for all information concerning agility at this new facility. *This agility/training facility is not available for private ring rental of any kind.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Way Of Looking At Early Take-Off Syndrome

Another Way Of Looking At Early Take-Off Syndrome
by Chris Ott
The phrase Early Take-Off Syndrome was coined to describe the behavior of taking off in an inappropriately early spot when jumping, usually in relation to agility training and competition.  It appears that, for whatever reason, the dog is not measuring correctly and therefore miscalculates position.  There are a number of theories as to why this happens, but nothing definite is known yet.  There are some breeds, and some lines within certain breeds, that seem to manifest this issue frequently, but it is also seen in individuals of a wide variety of breeds.  It is tempting to assume that this issue is genetic in nature, and further research may indeed find that it is, however it is equally important to realize that at this time there is no definite proof that the problem is genetic, nor is anyone entirely clear on what is actually causing these dogs to manifest this particular jumping style.
There is a common is expression in scientific research, correlation does not imply causation, that is important to bear in mind as we move forward in research on the topic of dogs taking off too early when jumping.  As tempting as it is to point to a specific breed, or a specific line within a breed, or a specific sire or dam within a line as the carrier of the problem, our dogs are raised with far too many variables to make any such clear cut assumptions.  While it is important for people who are searching for dogs as agility prospects to eventually have an understanding of what causes this issue, it is equally important not to present guesses, no matter how educated, as fact, and to proceed carefully as we learn more about the possible causes.  It is also entirely plausible that, while the issue manifests the same symptoms in different breeds, the cause might be different in different breeds, or even in different dogs of the same breed.  
Chris Zink, D.V.M., Ph.D., is a consultant on canine sports medicine, evaluating canine structure and locomotion, with an expertise in re-training problem jumpers.  When asked whether she felt ETS was an actual syndrome or a variety of unrelated jumping issues lumped together, Dr. Zink had this to say:
“I hesitate to call it a syndrome, however, since that implies physical or psychological illness. (Definition of 'syndrome': A group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, psychological disorder, or other abnormal condition.) I truly believe that taking off too early often is exacerbated by vision issues or physical structure, but that at its core it represents a basic misunderstanding on the part of the dog of how to approach the complex job of jumping, particularly jumping in agility, where speed is desirable and complexity is high.”
As published by M.W. Fox in Electroenceophalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 24(3), 1968, pp 213-226, in a study of the development of evoked responses in restrained but unanesthetized dogs of various ages using chronically implanted electrodes in the visual and auditory cortex,
Development of visual and auditory evoked responses was rapid during the 1st 3 wk. of life, attaining relatively mature characteristics by 4-5 wk. Neuronal development in both complexity by 4-5 wk. the most rapid development occurring during the 1st 3 wk. in both the deeper and more superficial cell layers. Subsequent developmental changes were more gradual, and contrasted the rapid development of all parameters studied during the period from birth to 3 wk. 
Early visual stimulation, or the lack thereof, appears to affect the development of vision.  Drs. David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel, recipients of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system clearly demonstrated the lack of early visual stimulation can permanently affect vision, and this research became the basis for programs of early visual stimulation for infants with possible visual impairment.  While again, correlation does not prove causation, puppies from the same litter, in addition to having the same genetic background, also share the same early visual stimulation experiences, so the fact that puppies from the same litter manifest the same visual problem does not automatically indicate a genetic factor.  It is entirely possible that modifying early puppy visual stimulation might cause great improvement in the dogs’ later ability to gauge jump distances correctly.  The method in which the dogs are trained to jump also needs to be taken into consideration as it is not uncommon for dogs from the same litter to be trained in the same classes or with the same trainer.  It is perhaps the case that certain types of training, or certain types of early visual stimulation, are necessary for specific dogs while not being as needed for other dogs.  
Anecdotally, I have found that many dogs who exhibit this form of jumping issue also struggle with impulse control, confidence and/or have other behavioral issues.  Whether this is a cause or an effect, or purely coincidental, we do not know, but it is another factor that perhaps needs to be taken into account when looking at possible causes.
We asked Dr. Zink whether she felt that it was possible that ETS was caused or exacerbated by certain training methods and she responded that,
“I do think that this is the case. And I have only come to this belief recently. With my own dog, once she was mature and I lost a little weight, I started to push her for speed. Certainly we both were capable of moving faster over the ground. But that is when she started to take off earlier. I believe that this was because she was trying harder, running faster and as a result failing to realize that she still had to collect her strides before the jump. The harder she ran the sooner she took off. By retraining her to collect her stride, her jumping problem resolved. But it took about 3 months, and still requires ongoing training to remind her to collect. 
I also wonder whether this problem occurs more with dogs that are pushed for speed at a young age. There is a belief by some trainers that you should not ever have the dog do agility slowly or the dog will never achieve its full speed. Others believe that you should let the dog learn at its own pace, then allow them to ramp up their speed when they become confident. I suspect that dogs in the first group are more likely to have problems with taking off too early.“
There is very little research available on depth perception in dogs.  One paper,  Evidence for averaging of distance from landmarks in the domestic dog. Fiset, Sylvain; Behavioural Processes, Vol 81(3), Jul, 2009. pp. 429-438, looks at several studies in landmark use and finds that studies have shown 
“that animals locate spatial positions by predominantly using perpendicular distance from extended surfaces over distance from individual landmarks. In the current study, I investigated whether the domestic dog encodes perpendicular distance from surfaces and whether they estimate distances from multiple cues.” 
And it is known that dogs who are blind in one eye continue to have functional depth perception, despite no longer having stereoscopic vision.  Indeed, there are several one eyed dogs competing quite successfully in agility.  This is another indication that there are several factors at work in functional depth perception.
Most importantly, dogs who exhibit this form of jumping problem, while not ideally suited for careers in agility competition, are not actually handicapped.  Dog breeds were designed for specific tasks, and in breeding dogs perhaps the most important question is whether the dog is sound and healthy and can excel in performing the task for which the breed was designed.  Very few breeds have jobs that require them to jump in the way that agility competition requires.  Norfolk Terriers, for example, a breed with a very high incidence of dogs who take off inappropriately early when jumping, are bred to hunt varmint, often in burrows and other areas entirely void of light.  They, in effect, hunt blind.  Their ability to correctly gauge the take off spot for a jump is not in any way required for them to live long, productive, healthy lives.  Culling dogs from the gene pool because they manifest this issue would be a disservice to the breed as it would further shrink a very small gene pool and make it harder to breed dogs with low inbreeding coefficients.  Border Collies who manifest this issue also will not suffer any impairment in their ability to perform as herding dogs.  
People who are breeding dogs of any breed specifically to produce agility prospects without concern for the actual original purpose of the breed, must, of course, take into consideration, among many other considerations, whether the dogs manifest this particular jumping issue.  If one is aware that a dog seems to have produced a number of dogs who exhibit difficulty correctly measuring jumping distance and take off too soon, then one has to consider all factors involved to make as educated a decision as possible about whether or not to breed to the animal, and what modifications, if any, they might choose to make when raising and training the resulting puppies if they do choose to breed the dog.  For many breeders it might be most comfortable to abstain from breeding to these dogs until more is known about what might cause dogs to manifest this jumping issue, but neutering dogs who otherwise are excellent additions to the gene pool (dogs structurally and mentally sound dogs with all health and genetic clearances for their breed who have excelled in whatever form of competition they partake in, for example) might be taking it too far.  Rather than cull these dogs from the gene pool entirely, perhaps a more cautious course of action would be to withhold breeding to them at this time, perhaps collecting semen for possible use at a later date when more is known about factors causing the problem.
When Dr. Zink was asked if a dog is otherwise healthy, has passed all health clearances for the breed and is able to excel at the task for which the breed was originally created (herding for BC, ratting for Nors, etc.) do you think that evidence of ETS in a dog is reason enough to cull a dog from the gene pool?  She responded:
“Absolutely not. And I am shocked to hear that people have been spaying/neutering dogs that have this problem, believing it to be genetic. I hope that is just a rumor.”
Research is currently underway to try to tease out what this syndrome actually is and whether there is a single factor causing the issue.  I feel strongly that waiting to make any major decisions about culling dogs from the gene pool until after the research is complete might be the most reasonable course of action.
Copyright 2011 Speedoggie LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nicholas S. Ott

Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott

AGE: 23 • Manchester

Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott, 23, of Manchester, was killed in action on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Born in Neptune, Nick was a lifelong resident of Manchester. He attended and graduated from Manchester High School, where he lettered in football, wrestling and track. Cpl Nicholas Ott was a good leader and he loved his fellow Marines. Cpl. Ott, who was in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, received many medals and awards: the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Bronze Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with Two Bronze Stars, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal-ISAF, Rifle Marksman Badge and Pistol Marksman Badge.

Nick was predeceased by his maternal grandfather, John F. Kleinknecht. He is survived by his loving parents, Stephen and Debra Ott; his cherished sister, Julia Ott; his maternal grandmother, Janet Kleinknecht; his paternal grandparents, Paul and Jacqueline Ott; his aunts, Christine Ott, Sharon Watkins, and Marybeth Spann; and his cousins, Vanessa, Clint, Josh, Loren and Katelyn. He is also survived by his circle of friends.

Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18 at St. John's Roman Catholic Church, 619 Chestnut St., Lakehurst. Family and friends are kindly invited to go right to St. John's R.C. Church, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. Interment to follow at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown. In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund for future Manchester High School graduates has been founded in Nick Ott's memory. Donations can be made by mail to the Manchester Township Education Foundation, P.O. Box 168, Whiting, NJ 08759 (payable to MTEF/Ott) orwww.mtef4kids.org. Tributes can be sent to www.andersoncampbellmanchester.com.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Memorial Services For My Nephew

The viewing for Cpl. Nick Ott will be held on Thursday August 18th at Saint John's Roman Catholic Church, 619 Chestnut St. Lakehurst NJ, from 3 PM to 8 PM.

A mass will be held at 11 AM on Friday August 19th, also at Saint John's Roman Catholic Church, followed by the burial at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery, 350 Province Line Road, Wrightstown NJ.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Very Sad Day

My nephew, a marine, was killed today in Afghanastan. Please pray that this war is over soon.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Three Years... Really?

Is that really how long its been? Time flies... Its been three years since I sat in a hotel room, just me and  my dogs the night before a no-so-local show, checking running orders and marking up my show conformation making sure Im set on which ring each dog will be in and at what time. Deciding if I have time to stop for breakfast in the morning (theres a diner next to the hotel) or do I have to race to the show site caffeine-less so I will make my first walk thru.

Three years ago I was sitting on the hotel bed with my golden retriever "Cajun", my first Border Collie "Mayhem" and his son "Yikes!" Cajun and Mayhem are gone now, keeping an eye on me and the family from the Rainbow Bridge. Yikes! is retired and enjoying a life of leisure watching movies off my iPad and helping me with any chore I might have.. including raising puppies. 

Tonight I sit in this hotel room with the "New Guard". 'Wow!" and "Got'cha", both Mayhem sons, and a Mayhem Granddaughter "Tease". Its amazing how much your life can change in three years. Tonight I feel like Ive come full circle. After I lost Cajun and Mayhem I also lost a lot of my desire for competition. But over the last 6 months its been coming back. I booked this trip, a 3+ hour travel from my house, a few months back. Decided I was tired of the local shows and wanted to take a trip with the dogs. Originally a few friends were also showing at this event and we were all to attend it together. As fate would have it my friends either pulled their entires or couldn't come due to work conflicts. So... here I am with my dogs showing at a not-so-local show, by myself. 

Driving up here, thru horrible thunderstorms, I was reminded of the old days. Driving the RV thru all kinds of weather to get to all kinds of off the beaten path competitions. Finding great events like ones held in Stowe, Blackthorn and Fryburg. Wonderful competitors, decent accommodation  and spectacular scenery. Just me and the dogs, traveling all over the country together. Those were the days before two of my dogs fought against cancer... and lost, before I was diagnosed with diabetes... and am determined to win.

Three years later I sit in this hotel room preparing for tomorrows event. Not exactly a fantastic hotel room, but my dogs are with me so how bad can it be? Watching them all sleeping, crashed out all over the room, brings back so many memories of the "old guard" (Cajun, Mayhem and Yikes!) and I cant help but smile. My happiest times are when Im alone with my dogs. No matter what the weekend results are, its a great weekend because I have my "kids" here with me... if only for a little while. Time flies, and I need to make sure I appreciate every minute of it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Winner of this weeks Bowling Game in our FTBT Class!


This dog wins the most progress award in class today! Were on week 2 of FTBT Level I class and this little rescue BC just learned how to "push" and object last week! This is the first step in our "Bowling" game. We use this game to teach dogs the behavior of "push", which can then be used to teach the dogs to navigate an agility chute obstacle (especially when the material is wet from rain). The next progression of this game is to push the ball into bowling pins and the dogs learn to knock the pins over. This game is what we use to desensitize dogs to things falling (like jump bars, which can be a leading cause of jumping anxiety and inappropriate take off positions). We then take the game in the Level II class and move on to the sport of "Treibball" where the dogs herd exercise balls into a goal. A really fun game that dogs of all breeds and sizes can play.

Fit To Be Tricked Class focuses on specialized trick training designed to improve your dog's abilities in performance events while keeping them fit, increasing physical strength, decreasing muscle recovery time and raising your dog’s learning ability and focus. Seminars available: contact information@speedoggie.com FMI

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fit To Be Tricked Seminar Coming To Pittsburgh PA Area

Speedoggie Performance Dog Training
is pleased to announce a one of a kind training opportunity
"Fit To Be Tricked"
Specialized Trick Training
A Fun Way To Optimize Fitness, Flexibility & Coordination
World Renowned Animal Trainer
Sassie Frankie Joiris
Agility Champion and Guinness World Record Holder
Chris Ott-Parker
Comprehensive program designed with
Internationally Recognized Physical Therapist "Ria Acciani, MPT"
This one of a kind seminar focuses on specialized trick training designed to improve your dog's abilities in performance events while keeping them fit, increasing physical strength, decreasing muscle recovery time and raising your dog’s learning ability and focus.
Frankie (Sassie) Joiris and Chris Ott-Parker are international seminar presenters and full time dog trainers with a combined 60 years experience training dogs in agility, obedience, conformation, search and rescue, hunting events, as well extensive experience in television and film. Both Frankie and Chris have competed at the top levels of multiple dog sports venues with multiple breeds of dogs and are well known for their ability to customize training to fit each team’s unique strengths and ability.
Date: June 25-26, 2011
Location: You Go Little Dog LLC
11099 Route 993, North Huntingdon, PA  15642
(Indoors, artificial turf footing)
Cost: $175

Frankie (Sassie) Joiris trains animal actors (birds, farm animals, turtles, cats and dogs) for television, film and print advertisements. Her dogs include Norfolk Terrier Ch MACH Stamp, RN NF JE, Boing! , a whippet, and puppy Toggle, a Pyrenean Shepherd. Frankie teaches agility at Morris K9 Campus in NJ, Talbot KC in MD, and Animal Haven in NYC. She is also an instructor at Camp Gone to the Dogs in Vermont. She writes on the subject of animal training for several publications, including Clean Run, American Animal Trainer, Pet Bird Report and Companion Parrot Quarterly. She also has a widely read blog at http://fjoiris.livejournal.com. Her style of training is eclectic and conversational and is focused on an individual approach to each animal. Frankie is a popular instructor since she works with and excels at training non-traditional performance breeds using many nontraditional methods. A link to student testimonials http://home.netcom.com/~joiris/id13.html

Chris Ott-Parker is an international level dog agility competitor, trainer and coach. Two time USA/AKC World Agility Team Member, National Agility Champion, Guinness World Record Holder and USA European Agility Open Team Member with two dogs. She is also one of the USAs top breeders of performance Border Collies with multiple dogs of her breeding being selected to represent the USA at FCI World Championships and Crufts as well as winning National Agility Championships. 
Well known for her ability to work with many breeds, dozens of Chris’ students regularly represent their breed each year at the prestigious AKC/Eukanuba National Agility Invitational (breeds including: Spanish Water Dog, Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Wire Fox Terrier, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Briard and Border Collie). 
Chris works with all breeds of dogs including mixed breeds at all levels of training and all ages. Her training program produces dogs that run and play in agility well into their senior years while remaining sound and healthy. Many of Chris' senior dogs (both her own and her students) are still very competitive in the championship programs of AKC and USDAA as well as other nationally recognized programs such as NADAC, CPE and DOCNA. Chris is also known for her problem solving skills and customizing training programs to fit each teams individual needs.
Chris' 30+ years of experience coupled with her outstanding accomplishments and those of her students makes her one of the highest qualified instructors in the entire country. More info on Chris Ott-Parker available at: www.speedoggie.com

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wowwie 2011 AKC National Agility Championships

To say its been a while since Ive written on this blog is an understatement. Life has been busy, my day to day and dog news gets updated on Facebook... and Im lazy :) But, I just returned from this years AKC Agility Nationals in Lexington VA and felt the need to update. So here goes.

Bonnie and I arrived late afternoon on Thursday with plenty of time to unload, check out the rings and visit. I of course made a beeline to find Gayle and John York (who own Wowwies mother) and who also did all the videotaping for NAC (www.bowwowvideo.com). It was great to see them and catch up. Wowwie got to see and play with his Momma and baby sister... he had a really good time! This year Gayle DID NOT put a kiss print on Wowwies head before his runs... and now that we see how well he did without his traditional lipstick lip print, I will make sure she restrains from putting it on him in the future :) Sorry Gayle, but you know how superstitious I am.

The lucky drink! This would be all I drink at dinners before/during important events :)

Bonnie and I shared a stall with my training partner Jessica Ajoux, friend Stephanie Rainer, and mentor Diane Bauman. Linda Bohm a photographer (www.bohm-marrazzo.com) friend and fellow agility enthusiast also shared the stall with us. We all had a great time together and at the end of the day saturday, Bonnie, Jessica, Stephanie and myself were all 100% for the weekend! Talk about the power of surrounding yourself with positive energy! Jess, Diane and I been working together successfully for years. Add Bonnie, Stephanie and Linda and we have ourselves a "success party'. Amazing people, each bringing their own energy into the group. Lets do it again next year ladies!

Wowwie in the hotel room the evening before the NAC. He was feeling very sure of himself this weekend :)

Wow! and I only ran one run on Friday (State Team Tournament Day) because I wanted to take it easy on both of us. One run to determine where we both were mentally, physically etc was all we needed. Unfortunately that one run was in a ring that we would not be in again all weekend. The dirt in the rings in the one building was packed different than the other building, which caused a problem for many. 

Ria and David Acciani of Advanced Canine (http://www.dogpt.com) worked on Wow! all weekend to keep him in top shape. Wowwie loves them both and it gave us an opportunity to unwind and relax a bit at the end of our days.

Ria Acciani working on Wowwie on the weeks leading up to the NAC

David Acciani working on Wowwie during the NAC event.

Back at home, I was updating everyone via my Facebook page. The support from my friends and students was amazing. I cant thank everyone enough for keeping me focused and boosting my confidence in myself and my team. There were times on Sunday when I got a bit shaky. My friends and fellow "stall mates" werent having the best day of it. It finally came down to me to master that Round 3 course. From Diane Bauman at my side in the stands reminding  me of how prepared we were and going over the course together, Jessica Ajoux ringside working out the details of every handling maneuver to Bonnie Waseleski walking my dog when I was pressed for time, picking me up healthy food so I didnt forget to eat AND listening to me recite every command for my run over and over out loud to make sure my timing was perfect. I have a support staff second to none! Thank you guys, for every laugh, every hug and every high five. Im so lucky to have you all in my life.

Ive never known a happier dog in my life!

Wowwie and I are very proud of ourselves. We worked extremely hard since September of last year getting him back from his whiplash (fell off a dogwalk) and getting our timing on dirt down to as close to perfect as we could get. And THANK GOD we did practice so hard as the footing in rings 1 & 2 were difficult.  Hard packed with a fine layer of loose slippery "gravely" dirt. The dogs had very little traction (as proven by watching the dogs in the Challenger Round and then the wide turns in the Finals). 

I also want to congratulate Wowwie's daughter "Thriller" and Bonnie McDonnald of Florida for running clear every round too! And finishing 4th in the 16" finals. Amazing accomplishment with a very young dog. Bonnie and Thriller will be at World Team Tryouts this year too! Incredible! from 16" to 26" in the blink of an eye! what'a team! 

Also Ann Braue and Wowwie's brother "Scream" were in the Challenger Round and were the demo dog for the 26" finals. As always Annie and Scream looked amazing! 

Donna Brown and "BAM" a half sister to Wowwie out of my dog "Mayhem" and my bitch "Frenzy" were also in the Challenger Round 20" and had a smoking clean round but were beaten out of first place :( Still an amazing team to behold! 

Sue Tovino and "Whip" (a repeat breeding of Wow),  and Denise Thomas and "Zippity" (a litter sister to Wowwie) were also competing this weekend. It was great to see all the babies! From what Julie Jenkins told me (Mayhem's breeder) there were 8 relatives competing this weekend! GO SPRINT BABIES!!!

I will post better video as soon as I receive it from Bow Wow Video. But for now, heres what we shot with the Flip Video camera

Wowwie NAC Rounds 1 & 2

Wowwie NAC Round 3 & Finals

I would love to run those courses on great footing and really push the dogs, but having to hang back and compensate for my teammate who was struggling to keep his feet under him was also a challenge we trained for (having run at on "dirt" many times, it can range from almost beach sand to concrete so we practiced everywhere). Im very proud of my boy and of our team. We will be working our butts off now fixing some skill issues we couldnt address before nationals (ie the dogwalk, which has been an issue since the whiplash). With the blessings of the universe Wowwie and I will have many more opportunities to compete and play with the big dogs.

The other great thing is that my health held up all weekend long. As many of you know I have been very sick. After struggling with health issues for a few years my health finally took a major decline starting in the fall of last year and hitting rock bottom two months ago. After failing with a few doctors to find the cause, I was finally diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and I have some heart complications. We started a new medicine regime. The medicines are pretty brutal to me physically but I did finally come up with a system to where I can take what I need to take and not be too sick to live. Im still having good days and bad days, but lucky for Wowwie and I, this weekend were all "good days"! :)

Another mental complication is that my nephew. who is a marine,  was air-dropped on the boarder of Afghanistan and Pakistan this friday (right when NAC started) with just the cloths on his back, his backpack and his gun. He will meet up with his supply plane at some point but he will be gone for 7-9 months. I said goodbye to him on Wednesday night. One of the hardest thing Ive ever had to do. To say that my entire world has been put into a totally different perspective is an understatement. And as I listened to the national anthem at the NAC this weekend, I thanked him and every other solider who risk their lives every day for my freedom. Before I left my nephew, he told me to "kick it" at nationals. I did my very best to make him proud. I look forward to seeing him this thanksgiving and showing him the footage from the NAC. He loves my dogs and he knows how hard we work to do what we do. He's always been one of my #1 fans. Somewhere I hope he knows in his heart we did good.

Wowwie and I have been thru a lot together, and our AKC Nationals experience this past weekend will be ranked as one of the best. He's the best partner anyone could ask for and I am blessed to be able to share an agility ring with such a spectacular animal. Thanks buddy for making my agility dreams come true. I cant wait to see where our journey goes from here.