Yay! Favorite thread!
* Pretty much carry on as we have been in our Wednesday class, unless something better comes along (again...) It’s still our best option for proofing in a high-distraction environment.
--- I stopped going to group classes because it wasn't really a good fit anymore, and after Dax being attacked (in class, by a student's dog) for the second time, I also have concerns about how the club handles this kind of incident.
* Possibly, hopefully add a nosework class. We’ve dabbled a little bit in scent detection, mainly in the form of informal hide and seek games, and Dax loves it.
--- Nothing came along in my area. I'm not goign to vaccinate my dog for everything under the sun every single year to take lessons at certain businesses. Startred with a Fenzi "Intro to Nosework" class but didn't really have time to work much.
* Possibly, hopefully start some private lessons in agility somewhere safely fenced.
--- Didn't happen either, sadly, but we did run in some more entry level on-lead classes at JRTCA trials and did well in every one of them. At the Texas 2Step he was Agility Advanced On-Lead High Score on Saturday and Reserve on Sunday.
* Put a heavy focus on off leash heeling and exercises in our training.
--- This is still hard anywhere but here at home, due to a lack of opportunity. I'll just have to keep plugging away at it.
I quit the local obedience group classes several months after Dax got attacked for the second time by an aggressive large breed dog who was managed poorly by his handler (the first time was a Curly Coated Retriever, the second time an Akita). Class time was becoming more of a chore vs. being fun, so I didn't see the point anymore.
We did have some super nice heeling at several trials though, so there's progress.
* Continue building reliability of taking jumps, hopefully agility will help with that as well as with overall off-leash behavior in the ring.
--- Se the two items above.
* Polish our Open obedience routine, so we can eventually qualify. We’ve made big strides last year, I swear we are so close!
--- We've made more progress overall, but Dax' retrieve has deteriated somewhat under trial conditions. Need to focus on that more next year before we trial again in March.
* Continue taking online classes at Fenzi Academy, and working toward video submissions for the TEAM 1 title (and beyond, eventually). Dax has most of the mechanics in place already, but I need to train myself too, to make sure I do everything properly when recording video.
--- Another thing we didn't work much on this past year.
* Go hunting again and if at all possible give Dax a chance to finally earn his Bronze Medallion. I’ve got so much money invested in this now, I’m not going to give up with just one quarry to go.
--- As the crowning achievement of the year, Dax earned his Bronze Medallion on a groundhog on November 11th, under judge Dawn Weiss in Illinois. He found 3 opossums before coming upon the groundhog, during his longest work day in the field so far. He was the only dog being worked, and was out with us for over 8 hours. The next day he gave us another dig to - an opossum, what else! He truly is the Possum King!
* Attend JRTCA trials in CA, NV and TX (March for sure, and possibly also November again).
It’s not certain whether the AZ trial will be held, the CO summer trial is already a no for 2017. I want to conserve my resources for trials that offer rally/obedience/agility, so most likely I’ll skip WA this year. JRTCA Nationals has its 35 year anniversary in 2017, so maybe I’ll go back if Dax is successful with his Bronze.
--- We trialed in TX, WA, and NV this year, and twice (unexpectedly! ) in California: at Spring Fox Frolic in April and California Commotion in October! Dax is up to a total of 11 Weekend High Points.
* Work on Q’s in Open Obedience. This is the last obedience certificate we can earn in JRTCA.
--- Althoug he did well, we didn't finish the title this year. Wewon several Rally and Obedience championships and reserves though.
* Maybe get a Q in JRTCA off lead agility. Even if it’s “just” Jumpers.
--- No agility classes, so I didn't brave any competitive runs off-lead.
* I want to step up my training again this year, after things fizzling out somewhat around the middle of the year in 2017. Plans are to work through several Fenzi classes in my archive again, take some new ones, and I'd really like to achieve at least Team 1, if not 2 as well.
* In addition to the above, I also joined a DMWYD Facebook Group and want to work toward Trick Dog titles. Novice and Advanced shouldn't be an issue as far as capability is concerned, but I need to work on my video recording skills.
* Agility classes are still on the wish list. Now that I'm not going to group obedience class anymore, hopefully it will fall into place.
* Continue to work on the Open routine, first by rebuilding the retrieve. Practicing Team skills should help as well.
* The most exciting thing for 2018 will be that Dax becomes eligible for
1. the JRTCA Bronze Medallion conformation class and
2. JRTCA Veteran classes (6+ years of age) for both conformation and performance. This gives us some new competition opportunities.
* Although Dax earned his Bronze, I want to take him hunting again. He needs two more NHC's (doesn't matter which quarry), earned after his 6th birthday, to qualify for his Lifetime Achievement Award. We have to wait until Nationals 2018 to pick up his Bronze, so hopefully the Lifetime will fall into place by then as well.
* Attend some more JRTCA trials. Texas in March is already a firm plan (yay for another road trip with my mom!). 2018 will be the last Battleborn weekend, and I won $100 worth in entries for California Commotion in an auction, so these are firm commitments as well. I'd really like to add a new trial I haven't been to in 2018, so I may not go to WA, but we'll see. Due to 1. above Nationals are also in the plans for 2018.
* There might possibly be some WCRL rally trials on the radar on the West Coast, so we'll see about that.
* Whatever else we can find, hopefully some lure coursing, maybe we'll give weight pull a shot. I bought him a harness but haven't started training yet.