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Monday, September 19, 2011

how disc changed everything

I haven't updated in a long while... this summer has been FULL of fun and training for the pups. I will more than likely be posting several updates in regards to different topics, but the biggest one of the summer has been canine disc.

I have competed in disc events for the past three years with Clementine, and maybe once or twice with TeeVee. We've never placed in the top 10, thanks to my terrible throwing technique. I'm happy to report at the end of this season, both my dogs tied for 9th place in Intermediate Toss and Catch at the Colorado Disc Dogs - Summerset Fest.

I have some sincere thank yous in order for the Disc Dog community..most notably Mike Hanson. (More on Mike and his awesome dog MaggEY later)...  In my years of dog sports, I have never met anyone so genuine and helpful in teaching newbies how to improve. The world of disc dogs has such an awesome, supportive community it is hard to not get addicted to this sport!

With more and more disc playdates and competitions this year... I've noticed a tremendous improvement in both my dogs.

Clementine has become more comfortable in new venues, and has found even more drive and enthusiasm than she has ever had. My 8 year old girl pulled off running flyball for 2 days, in 90 degree heat and sun. She ran some of her best times and had several 4.7 and 4.8 runs in the lineup! At a DOCNA agility trial last month, she had drive and speed for the first time outside of class..bringing home 3 Qs out of 5 runs. So much of this improvement in her is from me learning to c.h.i.l.l. o.u.t.!

TeeVee has learned to relax at competitive events and has become a lot less reactive with other dogs. I attribute this to the calm and positive atmosphere at disc events. No pinched-mouth snotty competitors here! Normally at flyball and agility events, his anxiety goes through the roof. I'm sure this is because I am also a lot more tense at those events (especially agility). Disc has taught me to relax, which transfers down the lead to him. We are a much happier team now and are starting to find our own communication strategy.  I still get nervous at the line, but having such a great group of people to hang out with during the day really helps me remember to calm down.


Disc has brought me back to what dog sports are all about..having FUN with your dogs. Keep it positive and genuine. And if your dogs screw up?  Whatevs!