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The Ofcial Newsletter for the Lethbridge and District Kennel Club

News

May your Christmas be Spring! Bright


Photos by Andy Hurly

Pouncing into
Julia Wilsons McKeely! ! ! ! ! ! !

Thought of the Month

Judy Hunts Maizie ! !

Photo by Andy Hurly

Live like someone left the Gate Open...


-Unknown Author

Favorite Links
For information on CKC Events, Breed Standings, and to nd a show near you- check out Canuck Dogs. http://canuckdogs.com Check out our own website!! http://www.ldkc.net

Upcoming Events
For information on CKC Events, Breed Standings, and to nd a show near you- check out Canuck Dogs. http://canuckdogs.com

Toni and Walker- Teammates :)


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Members Spotlight
Members are encouraged to submit brags and photos for the newsletter. Email manymuddypaws@hotmail.ca

From Bob and Ev (Seransil Poodles) Feb 28 March 3 attended and competed at 2 Poodle Specialties & 3 All Breed Shows in Phoenix, Arizona with Royal. No big wins but lots of nice comments. Sage & Ashton also competed in their AKC Agility Trials. This was the biggest agility trial we have ever competed in. Over 300 dogs! Sage and Ashton brought home 6 qualifying scores with nothing larger than first and second placements in their categories. Sage completed her Novice and Ashton needs only 1 more to complete his. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the sunny days with temperatures in the high 70s. Camrose Show March 22 24. Ashton finished the weekend as #1 Standard Poodle in Canada in Rally Obedience and #4 Allbreed. Promise now has 2 qualifying scores in Advanced Rally Obedience.

Toni and Andrea headed off to the Fort Saskatchewan Agility Trial at the beginning of March. Tonis Walker aka (Ch Carriagelane Walk the Line AGN, AGIJ) qualified in 5 out of 8 runs! He qualified in 2 Intermediate JWW and attaining his Intermediate JWW Title and 3 Intermediate Standard runs. Unfortunately, he has 4 qualifying Standard Intermediate runs under the same judge, so therefore he needs one more qualified run under a different judge. I was so proud of him, he was watching, happy and running like the wind. Andreas two also did well. Charm came home with her AGI (Agility Intermediate Title!) And Andre earned the last two legs needed for his Intermediate Jumpers title! Congratulations to both of you!

Julia is very proud to announce that her boy True is the first GCHX Weimaraner in Canada! Congratulations Julia!

Effort Errors
Article and Photo By Kim Boyes
http://hyperhoundsshelties.blogspot.ca

I am a positive reinforcement dog trainer. When training I reward behaviours that I like and want to see again. My dogs might get cookies, a game of tug, or I might clap my hands and tell my dog how wonderful she is while she jumps around barking. If my dog does something that I don't like while training I do not use physical corrections. The consequence might be no reward, a time out, a non reward marker like "oops" or something else to that affect. What I am trying to get at is I don't get mad at the dog for making a mistake. Mistakes are a necessary part of leaning and I don't want my dog to be afraid of being wrong. All too often in classes I watch as people get annoyed and angry with their dogs when they make a mistake. The dog breaks it's start line, goes off course, brings the wrong scent article back, or comes to front too early, and the owners are quick to give a loud "no" or "akkk" while rushing in on their dogs with threatening body language. The dogs often look confused or stressed and a little bit of the joy for the game is lost in that moment. These mistakes are what we call "Effort Errors" in obedience. Basically the dog is trying to be correct. The dog is focused, responding to cues, trying to please and trying to get it right. The mistake happen when the dog thinks he knows what is expected of him, but the trainer is actually looking for something else. The dog doesn't know he has made the wrong decision until the trainer tells him. Effort errors occur because the trainer hasn't taught the skill completely, has neglected to teach some foundation behaviours or the trainer hasn't done enough proofing to show the dog that cue "X" means you respond by doing behaviour "Y" and not behaviour "Z". Punishing a dog in any way for effort errors is devastating to your dog and your relationship with him or her. Your dog needs to know that he can trust you. That if he makes a mistake the worst that will happen is the exercise is stopped and there will be a short break. A monotone "oops" lets the dog know that what he just did was not what you are looking for and that you will try again. If you correct your dog for an error like this your dog will be more reluctant to respond to a command in the future. Your dog will worry that if he does the wrong thing you will reprimand him. So most dog's just stop trying. It is safer for them to sit and wait for a double command or wait for help from you instead of risking taking that first move and making another mistake. Here is an example that I see all the time in my agility classes. The handler brings her dog up to the start line and ask for a sit. The handler then leads out and before she has a chance to release the dog it breaks its start line and takes the first obstacle. The handler is angry with the dog for not staying and verbally reprimands the dog while physically placing the dog back into the sit position. What the handler doesn't see is how eager the dog is to respond. That dog really wants to play agility and is excited about taking that first obstacle. The dog is so eager that he is watching the handlers body language for his release cue with so much intensity that he is noticing every little muscle twitch that the owner makes. And he is often interpreting that muscle twitch as his release cue.

The confusion comes because the handler hasn't been consistent with her release cue. Sometimes she releases the dog with forward body motion (she suddenly takes off running), sometimes she releases with an arm gesture forward (like waving the dog onward), other times she releases with a verbal "ok" or maybe the dog's name. Her dog notices every single one of these cues and because he believes that all of the above is permission to move forward the dog breaks position on the first cue that he recognises. If this is not the cue the handler meant to use to release the dog then the dog is reprimanded and taken back to the start line for "breaking" position. The dog is confused and maybe even stressed because he thought he did what was asked of him and now suddenly he has upset his owner with his error. With too many reprimands like this one the dog will start to show stress signals when approaching the start line. The dog might move slowly, sniff, suddenly become deaf to your commands, or do zoomies around the ring. All of these stress behaviours are an attempt on the dog's behalf to let the handler know that he is worried about what is about to be asked of him. He doesn't understand his job and he is afraid to make a mistake. Agility is no longer a fun game you both play together, but instead is serious business and he had better not make an error. The error belongs to the handler for not being consistent in her release and for neglecting to teach the dog that you only break position if I do "X". For me I always lead out to my position and stop all motion, raise my arm to indicate which side and in what direction we will be going, I make eye contact with my dog, wait a second and then release with a verbal "Go" command. My dogs are taught that my moving away from then is not a release, raising my hand is not a release, stopping in position is not a release. The only release is the verbal "Go". This way there is no confusion on my dogs part. They know every time what to watch for and how to respond appropriately. If my dog left position early because she misread the release, then we will simply start the exercise again. As dog trainers and handlers we should all celebrate effort errors. It lets us know that our dogs are eager, they want to play this game with us and they are trying hard to get it right. The errors let us see the holes in our training and what needs improving. It helps us get an idea of what our dogs are thinking and how they perceive the exercise. Effort errors help us improve our dogs understanding of the skills and in turn will lead to more success in training and the ring. So the next time your dog makes an effort error, thank him for his enthusiasm, figure out a way to communicate to him what you actually want him to do and then try the exercise again. **Reprinted with Permission. Thanks Kim!

Jolene and her Collie Kort practicing their heeling. 5

Dog Show Humour


Cartoons by https://www.facebook.com/KabukiCartoons Reprinted with Permission from Author.

Attitude is Everything. ;)

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The Tail End


O E M M T U O T H C V H E H E E H D T W R A O O A S N R C T K I N I

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W A S M Y F A T C H I N G R A N S H E P H H H I S P A C E I N L O V E W A N D T H E W O W M H A O I S N G N D I S O G F T P E F I T D E L I R L O S E N I

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I C P E E E U D T ,

A few thoughts from the editor

N C E N T B T H E S H A

T H E N . R E E D S , S A M E , V E C H A

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Just like Spring, I bet you thought this Newsletter would never get here. ;) I apologize for being late, no excuses or reasons other than time seems to y by so quick. This time of year especially. As we head into good weather, dog show weekends, and all of the fun that Summer brings- we are always looking ahead into the future instead of focusing on the now, this moment. I am trying very hard to change that in myself- being able to really focus on each day instead of letting it slip by without notice. Our dogs always live in the moment- and that is something that I think we can really learn from them. They arent thinking any further ahead then when Dinner might be. ;) So as we settle into Spring I encourage you all to take time to enjoy it. Enjoy the rain, the sprouts on the trees, the chirping birds (even at 5am), and just each moment we have with our family, friends, and of course our dogs! -Amanda

Want to join the LDKC?


We are always on the lookout for responsible dog lovers to join the club! Contact Andrea at andidog@telus.net for more information!

Comments/ Suggestions/ Submissions


Editor: Amanda Labadie: manymuddypaws@hotmail.ca

P.S Dont be afraid to pass on the newsletter to your friends! Maybe it would be incentive to join so they can show off their wins and brags too! :)