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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dogs Enjoying Fall, Updates & New Electronic Timers

This year's fall leaves are just beautiful and make the perfect backdrop to take some updated doggy profile pictures. As usual, some of the dogs were more cooperative than others

I'll have to share Spot's picture in another post since I'm limited to 5 pictures per blog, but he's one who isn't fond of cameras. Rouge as well, (can't you tell by the not-so-thrilled look in the picture below). I'm certain she'd rather be running around : )

The Latest Updates

Being Sick: It's been a while since I wrote, but I have been so sick for the last 3 weeks. They're assuming it was the flu of some sort, but as time goes on and my symptoms continue to morph, I'm not so sure.

Ironically, last time I was sick (earlier this year) it also rolled on through a bunch of symptoms and I was convinced it was allergies. Humm....

Clicker Training a Horse: One of my friends/former students has a horse that she would like to clicker train. She didn't have a chance to clicker train (CT) her dog as he is deaf, so this will be a new experience for her.

For years now I've had an open invitation to go out with her to get some horse experience. And now to CT a horse? Yeah, I invited myself along and being the great pal that she is, she heartily embraced my attendance . I'll be sure to write about the experience as I have no doubt it will be amazing!

Seminar: Next weekend I'm out of town conducting an agility seminar, which I'm very excited about. I love doing seminars and there is so much going through my mind on all of the things we could cover. So many choices and only 8 hours to work with them : ) I'll be sure to do a post-seminar write up.

New Electronic Timers: This is a preliminary write-up on the new electronic timers we purchased. While ETs may not sound so exciting, these absolutely are!

First, they're made by a different company and are not your big and expensive trial timers. While those are great for the big events, they take a ton of batteries, require a car trunk for transportation and cost about the same as a used compact car (costs can range from $2,500-$6,000). In other words, not feasible for the average Agility Joe (Josephine) .

Our new timers were made by a different company, and were designed specifically for personal and class training. They are amazingly simple and a fraction of the cost. We opted for 2 sets (a start & finish set) which also comes with the main console for around $450 (without tax & shipping).

We just started using the timers last night at class and we're working to get a baseline on all of our students' dogs on each obstacle.

Specifically, we've started with the individual contact obstacles, different shaped tunnels and a couple of basic jump sequences. Next week we'll do weave poles and play with different style crosses.

The system is very easy to use, is small and the accuracy is spot on. Feedback from my students has been overwhelmingly positive not only on the system itself (they helped to put the timers in place at each jump height and read the console), but they LOVE the additional information obstacle timing has given to them. It has also brought out a bit of healthy competition among the groups so people are pushing harder, just like they would in a real trial. So many positives!

I doubt this is the last time you'll hear me write about this product (no, I'm not getting paid by the company), but I encourage each of you to check out the details at Finally, someone came up with a timing alternative for us 'budget conscious' (yet quality minded) agility folks.


  1. If you need any help with clicker training a horse, you can find info on the click-ryder blog:

    or the horse clicker training list:

  2. re the seminar here next week - for those of us with 2 dogs, would you rather a dog that is ready to begin competing/has competed some or a dog that is more novice?
    Is there anything you'd like us to prepare/bring (clickers?)

  3. Oh yes, I love clickers & small, soft treats to bring to the seminar. Also, it's up to you as to which dog you want to work. I'm used to working with most levels at one time. Whichever dog you feel you need the most assistance with : )

    See you soon!