Sunday, May 26, 2013

Making the Most of Your Instructional DVD's

One of the problems with an instructional DVD is trying to locate the exact information you are looking for.  You know you saw it, but where.  If you're lucky the DVD is divided into chapters and has a menu, but even so, what you're trying to find isn't always in the chapter that you thought it would most likely be in. 

Recently, I was torn between auditing another online class and purchasing a DVD covering the same material.  I ended up purchasing the DVD so I could watch the material over and over whenever I wanted to.  Yesterday, I spent about an hour watching about 10 minutes of my new DVD and then working on what I saw with Belle.  Then I compared what we did with what the guy in the DVD was doing.  I identified several spots where I got it wrong and went out and tried it again.

This morning, I was re-watching the DVD to see if there were still points I had overlooked.  I was about to get out my pen and some paper to make notes when it dawned on me, I could use Word for my notes and just switch back and forth from VLC media player to Word.  Then I had an absolute inspiration.  I could paste screen shots into the Word document and add notes later.  Here's an example:

Not only does this give me the important points of the DVD, it also provides me with where the information is located on the DVD.  (If I decide to print a hard copy, I would probably type out the words and eliminate the pictures to save ink.)  And of course, I'm not limited to just capturing the titles.  If there I'm having problems remembering how to do a certain move, I can take successive screen shots and save them in my Word doc.  Then I can load the document into my Samsung Galaxy Tab 5 and take it out with me when I practice.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Perfect Setup

Over the last few days, I set up two of the courses from the WAO.  I thought we'd do a little better than we did with them.  I was starting to question why I was even bothering to set these courses up since they are so far above our current skill level.  Then yesterday, I received a newletter email from Daisy Peel about goals.  Basically, by definition a goal (in the sense of a challenge) is something that is beyond your current capability.  Yep, these courses certainly fit that description.  Here's the first one we tackled:

Yesterday, I set up a jumpers course from the WAO, and I was totally taken aback at the difficulty Belle had in shifting from obstacle focus to handler focus.  Hmmm.  Time to do some training.  I looked through my binder of Backyard Dog exercises and Power Paws drills, and finally came up with an PP setup (May, 2009) that featured two straight tunnels with plenty of opportunity to bring a dog from obstacle focus to handler focus.  

I set up the course this morning using hoops since our problem stems from handling and training issues and not jumping.  Right off the bat on what was basically an obstacle focus exercise, we hit a snag.  Belle turned the wrong way upon exiting the first tunnel--I wasn't expecting that at all.  Just love it when I pick an exercise that is going to give us the chance to work on multiple skills!  Here's the video of us working it out:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Running Dog Walk

Yesterday, I finally threw in the towel.  We've been at full height for almost five weeks and Belle still doesn't hit the yellow with any regularity even when starting on the cross plank of the DW unless the PVC box is in place.  It's been a very interesting training experience, but it's time to move on and resurrect Belle's 2o2o DW and see if I can breathe some life into it.

I really feel that Silvia's method is a good one, but re-training an older dog who started with 2o2o is a monumental task.