I came across the incredible website of Derek Sivers a few months ago, and have sort of been absorbing it a piece at a time.  Sivers.org

Derek calls himself (from his home page) Entrepeneur, programmer and avid student of life.

I love his book Anything You Want

I got it in audible form so I could listen to him read it himself. It came with a couple hundred free songs that he has gathered over the years as well. And then I got a PERSONAL response back from him after I responded to his “thanks for buying my book email”. WOW. This guy must be super busy and he took time to respond to my mail. The hook was set.

I listened to all his TED Talks, some are just a few minutes long. This is my favorite. Listen to this three minute talk if you have any big goals in your life.

“Keep your goals to yourself”

I especially love his article:

Ideas are just a multiplier of execution

I love his concepts about execution. For those (of us) dreamers that only execute half of the ideas we have every day, his words really hit home. You will need to read his article yourself first before you read my comparison to execution in our sport of dog agility. His article describes how even a brilliant idea is worth nothing without execution. My Comparison of Dog Agility Execution to Derek Sivers “Ideas are just a multiplier of execution” Sivers Execution vs Dog Agility

Our most brilliant agility dogs while not “worth nothing” as they are still our treasured companions after all, will never experience the glory of a National or International podium without the handler’s brilliant execution. I have known many brilliant as well as many so-so or good dogs. I’ve known dogs who could be the fastest on the planet, and dogs who run at a middle speed but have perfect turns and the handler has perfect timing. The brilliant dogs don’t always win and the so-so or just good dogs don’t always lose.

It is all about the execution not just of a trial course, but the day to day training and conditioning and attention and the downright zen of it all. Even “average” dogs have been on world teams, and I have stood beside both brilliant and just “good” dogs and their handlers as teammates and as a coach on the podium as they accepted their awards.

What makes an awful dog? Physical and emotional issues beyond what most handlers are capable of solving, without going into the nature/nurture theory! What makes a brilliant dog? It is one born with brains and a body to match and a handler who can bring out the best in them. Most of us have dogs in the middle of those comparisons and it is the execution that changes some of those dogs from awful to brilliant.

I hope you can relate to my comparison between Derek’s Execution theories and mine as it relates to dog agility.

Go out there and execute.

Nancy Gyes


Scoop OAJ

I can hardly believe that Scoop will be three years old in a month. I want my lost year back! Ok, enough whining:) Scoop and I went to his first competition in almost a year and he did really well. No Q’s on day one, but on the second day he got his third open jumpers leg to finish the title and this weekend he will run in EX jumpers for the first time. His last time in the AKC ring was exactly a year ago, his 2nd open jumpers leg was on 2.12.2011, almost exactly one year between open jumpers legs!

Here is a video of the jumpers run and the EX standard Q we almost got till I dumped him in the weaves and had to pay for it with his departure.

Scoop is still getting weekly massages and last week he got one on both Friday and Saturday, Maybe that was why he was good on Sunday!

My student Mary VanWormer sent me a link to a really interesting article on why massage heals. I found it an eye opener and it has even more confirmed the need to have body work done on my dogs. I am now trying to adjust the time I spend working on Scoop myself so that I save time after training and not necessarily before. I really don’t think I can make time for both! Warm-up, stretch, train, then a least a little time devoted to massaging his tightest parts.

I hope our success continues and am really looking forward to this weekend instead of with the trepidation I have felt for so long on his progress.

I hope your youngster is right on track and that you make some time and same some money to spend on those valuable massages for your competition partner!


Show report

Scoop and I had a great time at the Portland AKC trial. I have been to that show almost every year since 1996, and this was one of the best ever. It is indoors on good matting, the same as the AKC Nationals. The courses were fun, the Time to Beat demo on Saturday night was perfect, allowing the handlers to run as often as they liked for $5. a run for charity. Some of the 2010 World Team Members (and coach:)) were at the event and we offered to run other handlers dog for a further $20. donation to the World Team. Those dogs that were willing to go round the ring with us had a great time as did we!

The weekend ended with ISC jumpers which I obviously do not enter with my dogs because as the World Team Coach I believe it would be inappropriate. However fate stepped in this year. My 7 year old BC Ace tied with a team for first in Excellent JWW and the course was torn down before we could have a run off. The ISC jumpers was offered as an alternative for the runoff and we gladly accepted. We ran at our 20 inch height at the end of the class, and thankfully had a fast and clean run on the challenging ISC course as the very last run of the entire show weekend. The grandstands cheered, and Ace and I had a blast.

Scoop was a pretty good boy. We made our debut in Novice standard and got 2 out of 4 legs. The wheel sort of fell off the last two standard runs. A ticked broad jump, refusal on the teeter, a tunnel off course when I was trying to reset to take the teeter, and a couple more bumbles in there as well.  We did get our third Novice JWW leg and got to move to Open JWW the last day. We had a pretty nice run but pulled a bar. You can watch our run here.

It took Scoop a couple runs to get used to the mats and the indoor trial setting as he has never trained in that environment. My bad, I should have made some trips to work in that kind of setting, but we got lucky anyway and he adjusted to the different footing just fine. He didn’t show as much speed or turning ability as he does on grass, and he added some extra strides I wish he would have left out, but fine for his first experience on mats. The first two days they held the FAST class as well and we qualified both times. So the weekend results were fairly nice for my green green boy. 2 Fast legs, 2 standard legs and a finished title in jumpers over the 4 day event.

Today is a training day. Scoop’s 2o2o behavior on the DW and teeter were pretty funky at the event. He stopped short on both contacts and reached back between his legs and nose touched the board. Two things going on there. First, I think the surface change from wood to rubber was something he thought was odd and he just doesn’t have any reinforcement history on that surface change. And maybe a bigger reason is that last week when running the contacts he was stopping with his feet barely off the board in 2o2o, and when he reached between his legs to nose touch, his nose came back almost to the board and I inadvertently marked that exaggerated behavior. Whoops!!

I am going to do a refresher course this week on 2o2o to remind him how far off the board his feet should be and that he needs to touch straight to the ground not reach back for the board. We already had one session this morning and it went well, but I have the plexi target out and we are just working on proofing on a flat board. I need to get the target away again, and proof on lots of different surfaces. This morning we worked wood to cement. I will drag out a long rubber mat to work on later, and I am going to skip wood to grass training for a couple days.

I am thinking about which alphabet drill to work on today….maybe letter “J”.

Thank you Mia for sending the nice photos of Jerry Ross from Santa Barbara a couple weeks ago. Can one ever have enough dog photos? Nah!

If you got to run your baby dog at a show on the weekend I hope you had as much fun as I did and that your dog did perfect start lines like Scoop did, and played every time you asked as well. If you accomplished that then the weekend was a successful one.