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  1. Another Blog so quickly - I hope you are all impressed? Or at least shocked :-) 

    Thanks to everyone on FB for the kind commemts on the last blog - I am still amazed anyone reads them!

     

    Last weekend saw my final competitive runs of 2014 - my show season is at an end - and unusally for me I don’t feel ‘show-ed’ out. Usually by September I am exhausted and looking forward to starting to winter training. This year I haven’t done as many shows for one reason or another and I don’t actually feel that i got into the zone at any point!

    I am still looking forward to winter training although it will be an unusual winter for me personally, with one dog to focus on. Raq has now retired to anysize / Veterans - Last weekend was his final run and he had a fab run. I am going to miss running him on difficult courses but I am grateful I will still be able to do anysize with him and get the adrenaline rush that he gives me - my agility dog of a lifetime.  

    Maid should be coming in to season in Nov and hopefully will have some fun with Raq to give me my first ever litter in the New year - I am very excited about having a puppy, so fingers crossed everything goes to plan.

    That leaves Glee - oh the fun!!! :-)

     

    This week despite the wonderful sunshine I have started on winter training with lots of SWAT members  and it is so exciting to be setting some goals. I am looking forward to Bootcamp at Rexon in 2 weeks time and starting off lots of other people.

    Setting criteria is one of the most important things we do as handlers, yet so many people are unable to tell me their criteria for certain things - how do they expect their dogs to know if they themselves can’t explain it!?!  

     

    I have to be honest and admit that I get frustrated when I am at a show with how many people struggle with a start line wait, yet accept their dogs breaking as “one of those things”. I have been there - Raq was a nightmare! But we eventually got it with consistency and clear criteria.

     

    How to solve a wait issue is one of the most common questions I get asked - yet our Startline wait workshop is always the one we struggle to fill. Everyone that does it goes away so pleased with the session and we get great feedback. I guess it is a boring thing to work on - not exciting like European turns :-) But if your startline routine goes wrong - the rest of the run will to…… At no point will you be in control, and the run will become more frantic.

     

    Startline issues also include slow starting dogs - again an issue that can be resolved, but again one that people don’t seem to want to fix once it comes to signing on a workshop…..

     

    That is the joy of winter training, decide what you need to fix - what do you always complain about - and do something to fix it. I am a grump - If our members don’t do the startline wait workshop - and then have issues with their starts, they get very little sympathy from me !! :-)

    We do have a few odd spaces in some workshops coming up this winter - a rarity for SWAT but we have increased how many we are doing - check out the events page and get booked on. Start your winter training off with a positive session and lots of smiles :-)

  2. It has been a long time since I wrote a blog - a common theme it seems in my blogging career! There has been so much going on that it has been impossible to write honestly about anything - and i don’t do fake!

    But at the moment Life is a little more settled and I have been wanting to share some agility stuff so here we go again…..

     

    It has been an amazing season for SWAT - our results speak for themselves - check out the agility Club’s league table. We are the highest placed club in the South West yet again!  Everyone who has contributed points to our amazing total is a member - and to be a member of SWAT you have to train with us at least once a month so that we are having a consistent input into your agility. The roll of honour of achievements this year will be huge. So many people have gone up grades and achieved their personal goals -It is wonderful to see so many dogs and handlers having lots of fun and being successful is the added bonus -  especially as it means cake on group nights!!  :-)

     

    One of the things that I hope makes SWAT different is our aim to run the business as morally and ethically as we can - It is a business but that does not mean we have an excuse to offer training that is not of a high quality and good value for money - We ensure we advertise exactly how much a session is, how many dogs will be in the session, exactly what the session will entail in an easy to understand manner, and of course you know who will be training you….. basically we are totally transparent about what we do.

    Agility is a hobby, not life and death, and is meant to enhance your life not make it more stressful! I hope that our prices reflect this as well as our club ethos.

     

    The downside to this, is all our sessions sell out very quickly! Usually within an hour of being announced and then we have disappointed people :-( I have upped how many sessions I am doing on my Rexon handling days to fit more people in but this only solves the problem in the short term, and doesn’t solve issues for other sessions. I have asked all our members for feedback - so if you have any bright ideas please shout!

     

    At the last few shows i have been to, I have stood around the rings listening to people moan about courses, judges, trainers, clubs etc…. Please remember, that everyone has a choice.

     

    • You can choose to run a course or not.
    • You can choose to enter a show when you know you don’t like the judges courses usually - or not.
    • You can choose to go to your nearest trainer even if you don’t like them - or not.
    • You can choose to be honest and transparent in all you do - or not.

     

    Everything is a choice - The alternative may not be ideal but surely it is better than being unhappy, moaning to everyone and letting it affect your hobby?

    After all, we play choice games with our puppys……     :-)