Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 37

relaxation response takes over and your body returns to its normal functioning. Anxiety, on the other hand, is non-specific, difficult to define. For example, you are waiting your turn to enter the ring. You start thinking about the last trial, when you were so anxious that you tripped over your own feet during the run, fell flat on your face, and your dog left the ring. You felt humiliated. You worry it will happen again, jump starting the fight or flight response because the brain cannot distinguish between real danger and the perception of danger. An agility trial is not physically dangerous, of course, but if you fear being embarrassed an emotional danger to “self” occurs. It is the possibility of something bad happening, the “what if,” that you cannot prepare for or bear that makes anxiety so tough to cope with. To compete well, to charge up your dog for the run, to do your personal best, you need to use your anxious energy: muscles tensed ready for action, the adrenaline rush, heart pumping, laser-beam focus and concentration, all necessary to give you the spark and vitality to direct your dog to run as fast and clean as possible. But as Gerri and Cynthia can attest, and maybe you can too, when ring nerves hit, the opposite happens. Anxiety runs amok, leaving you and your dog feeling and behaving out of control. Breathing Ring Nerves Away When ring nerves strike, it’s not your dog’s fault that you don’t qualify. Your dog is affected too and will attempt to calm himself by doing any of the following behaviors: disconnect from you/avoid eye contact; shut down; lag or get frantic and out of control; scratch, urinate, or leave the ring. You can’t think ring nerves away, or make believe you don’t have them. But, a simple breathing technique can change you from a nervous wreck into a calm competitor. During an anxiety attack, physical and mental changes occur due to the fight or flight response. One of those changes is that breathing becomes rapid and shallow, using only the chest muscles. By changing that pattern, and filling the lungs using the diaphragm, the fight or flight response can either be prevented or stopped. With diaphragmatic breathing. Belly breathing offers the following benefits: activates the relaxation response, stops panic, increases energy, heightens concentration and focus, promotes mental/physical health, and its residual effects last for hours. Practice belly breathing while sitting with your eyes open, standing, and while walking every day. Throughout the day, switch to belly breathing as often as possible at home, work, and play, so it will become natural to use when you’re at a trial and feeling stressed. At a trial belly breathe while walking from your vehicle to the site, while waiting your turn, and right before you start your run. If you are an experienced competitor or an anxious one, and your dog is used to your nervous shallow breathing, he will have to be retrained to accept this new way of breathing, this new you, and that could take time. Novices, from the beginning of competition, make belly breathing an intrinsic part of your dog’s training. For all handlers, the best way to begin is to practice belly breathing every time you go to training class, as if you are competing at a trial. In essence, you will be rehearsing over and over again with your dog for the real thing. Your dog will thank you. Happy training! Belly Breathing Exercise Breathe only through your nose. Think of your belly as a balloon. When you inhale, your belly expands; when you exhale, it relaxes. Inhale and exhale slowly and smoothly without strain, keeping your chest as still as possible. This takes some practice to feel comfortable breathing in this way, but eventually you will get it. First, lie down or sit in a comfortable chair. Next, relax your head, neck, and shoulders. Close your eyes, and inhale to a count of three while your belly expands. Then exhale to a count of three while your belly relaxes. Concentrate on each breath as it goes in and out of your body. As thoughts enter your mind, examine them for a moment then refocus on the exercise. Continue for five minutes. Stop to see how you feel. Repeat two more times. during training? Do you have a rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, shaking/ trembling, extreme tension in limbs, nausea, vomiting, shallow breathing, loss of concentration, or faintness? Do you feel tearful, angry, overwhelmed, helpless, ashamed, or panicky? During training or at competitions do any of the following take place? You disconnect from your dog; are terrified of making a mistake; train well, but show poorly; obsess about past performances; fear being judged and compared; get angry at your dog. or belly breathing, the brain gets the message that no danger exists, enabling you to take control of your anxiety, channeling it into a great run. Belly breathing can be used while lying down, sitting, standing, and walking, but not at a full run. Then you must revert to chest D Diane Peters Mayer, M.S.W. is a psychotherapist and performance anxiety coach who has practiced in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, for 17 years. In 2000, she created a “ring nerves” program for competitive dog handlers and has presented seminars throughout the U.S. Her book Conquering Ring Nerves was published by Howell in 2004. The ring nerves program is for handlers, but dogs are the beneficiaries. Contact her at Dpetersmayer@aol.com or visit her website: www.conqueringringnerves.com. 37 February 08 | Clean Run
http://www.conqueringringnerves.com

Clean Run Magazine - February 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - February 2008

Clean Run Magazine - February 2008
Contents
Editorializing: Barbarians at the Gate?
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
On Course with Annie Lehman
Basic Turns
Trainer’s Forum
Do You Have a Preferred Handling Speed?
Foundation Fundamentals: Dealing with Distractions, Part 2
Case Study: The King of the Off-course
Conquering Ring Nerves: How Do I Stop Shaking When I Step to the Line?
Sports Retraining for Agility Athletes
When Pigs Fly: What Is an Operant Dog? Why Should I Care?
Power Paws Patterns: Number Three
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Increasing Challenges on the Ball
Spy Kids: Balance in Training
Skill of the Month
When the Click Doesn’t End the Behavior: Conditioning a Release Signal
Shelter Champs: Dunk
Distance Challenge
Letters
Agility Organization Update
Nested Courses for Mardi Gras
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - February 2008
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Editorializing: Barbarians at the Gate?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - On Course with Annie Lehman
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Basic Turns
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 18
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Do You Have a Preferred Handling Speed?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Dealing with Distractions, Part 2
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Case Study: The King of the Off-course
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Conquering Ring Nerves: How Do I Stop Shaking When I Step to the Line?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 38
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Sports Retraining for Agility Athletes
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 42
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - When Pigs Fly: What Is an Operant Dog? Why Should I Care?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 45
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 46
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Power Paws Patterns: Number Three
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 50
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Increasing Challenges on the Ball
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Spy Kids: Balance in Training
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 59
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - When the Click Doesn’t End the Behavior: Conditioning a Release Signal
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 68
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Shelter Champs: Dunk
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Distance Challenge
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Letters
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Agility Organization Update
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 84
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0920
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0820
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0720
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0620
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0520
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0420
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0320
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0220
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0120
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1219
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1119
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0919
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0819
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0719
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0619
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0519
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0419
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0319
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0219
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0119
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1218
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1118
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0918
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0818
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0718
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0618
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0518
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0418
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1217
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1117
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0917
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0817
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0717
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1116
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0916
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0816
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0716
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1215
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1115
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0915
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0815
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0715
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0615
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0515
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0115
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1114
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0914
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0814
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0714
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0614
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0514
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0913
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0813
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0713
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0613
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0513
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/comp-demo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0106
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com