Clean Run - November 2012 - 44

I’m a former horse person—hunter/ jumper, speci cally —so when one of my agility instructors (also a former hunter/jumper person) said to me, “You no longer have a practice dog,” I knew exactly what she meant. She said this during what I now call “diagnosis hell,” the months during which we were trying to find the cause of my Bernese Mountain Dog’s on-again, off-again pain and jumping issues. But what she said then holds true now and forever: this is no longer a dog that can practice until I get it right. This is a dog with a finite number of jumps left in him, so it’s up to me and my wonderful instructors to manage every one.

Practice Dog
Anymore
crazed owner, the line is a little blurry!) and I documented every move he made. In the end, my obsession led to me finally being able to describe—in really bad stick drawings—exactly what I was seeing. Nuances sometimes so subtle that no one else would have noticed. These stick drawings led to a visit to my vet’s backyard agility jumps then to a specialist, to a MRI machine, and finally to the neurosurgeon. By Julie Bacon, photos by author ditioning. What he can do, what needs to get stronger, what will have to be managed. Those words from months earlier flood back often, “He’s not a practice dog.” Nope, but let me toss in another variable for consideration: He’s my first agility dog, meaning I need lots of practice. Our timing on course isn’t where it needs to be. So how do we get back to where we were, and then progress to where we need to be? I knew once Karma came back to work I would have to make the most out of every training session, and I would have to let him tell me what he could and couldn’t do anymore. I also knew I would have to find a new way to prepare him for the ring without doing a bunch of full courses across multiple classes at our training facility. And so, it would all be about the basics, the fundamentals. I admit there were a few things we glossed over as we were learning the ropes, excited to move up to the next class, to start doing “real” courses. All of those foundational elements—one-jump work, end behavior on contacts, grids— would not only be perfect for a dog coming back from injury, but become the basis of our training plan forever more.

Not a

Diagnosis Hell

It really was hell. To put it into a nutshell, one day at a trial in June, Karma went into the Standard ring and came out with 19 MACH points. Forty-five minutes later he walked into the JWW ring and couldn’t take the first jump. This was the pinnacle of the madness that had started four months earlier. I had been seeking a diagnosis from professionals, and I had become obsessed with how my dog moved in every possible way. Seven weeks after that trial the neurosurgeon cleaned up a bulging disc, saving 80% of it, and calling an end to his Lumbosacral disease. Let’s skip the part about the guilt I felt about realizing I was running my dog while he was clearly hurting. In truth, some of the best veterinarians, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and rehabilitation professionals all tilted their heads in confusion at one point or another until the MRI silenced the questions. But in the meantime, I learned one unforgettable lesson: listen to my dog. A simple and obvious concept, perhaps, but when everyone we met had a different educated opinion, it was hard to block it all out and just describe what I saw in my dog. I became Karma’s advocate (or
44

Forming a Training Plan

This article is not about the diagnosis, it’s about how I manage the jumps and obstacles Karma still has in him. But all those subtleties I saw during “diagnosis hell” have served me well during his rehab and conditioning. As Karma moves forward and gets ready to go back into the agility ring, it’s those little signs that show up and tell me, “He’s had enough for today,” or “He might be a little sore tomorrow,” and cause me to make adjustments to his plan. Here’s an easy example: curved tunnels. While in “diagnosis hell” I would notice him being a little slow going into and/or coming out of a curved tunnel. Back then I wrote it off to a big boy compressing into a tight space. Wrong. It was a symptom, a sign telling me that tunnels were hard on his back. Fast forward to a seminar in December. During our third run he went into a tunnel fine, but trotted out. We stopped for the day. He was tired and I was asking a lot from his state of condition in that moment. He got his jackpot, I cooled him off, and I audited the rest of the seminar. It’s still an important piece of information; it’s not a symptom now as much as feedback about his state of con-

There’s a Grid for That

When Karma was cleared to start jumping, one of his rehab professionals cautioned me to just do a single jump or two until he could do more. Flawed thinking, it turns out. What Karma needed was grid work. He could actually jump flat across a jump quite easily—that just required launching himself off his forehand. But doing grids requires him to use his whole body correctly: rock back
Clean Run | November 12



Clean Run - November 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - November 2012

Clean Run - November 2012
Contents
Editorializing: Sportsmanship Is Not Just About Being Nice
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility...
Backyard Dogs
The Four Agreements
Power Paws Drills: Working Opposites
Training with the Stars: Jeannette Hutchison
What’s in Your Toolbox?
Being a Good Student, Part 1
Analyze This!
Tips for Weave Pole Entries
Not a Practice Dog Anymore
The 2-Minute Warm-up
The Worrier: Solutions for the Dog That Is Worried or Afraid
What Is a Ketschker Turn?
Agility Mind Gym: Persistence and Determination
Building Blocks: Building a Better Lead-out
Clean Run - November 2012 - Clean Run - November 2012
Clean Run - November 2012 - 2
Clean Run - November 2012 - Contents
Clean Run - November 2012 - 4
Clean Run - November 2012 - Editorializing: Sportsmanship Is Not Just About Being Nice
Clean Run - November 2012 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - November 2012 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility...
Clean Run - November 2012 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - November 2012 - 9
Clean Run - November 2012 - 10
Clean Run - November 2012 - 11
Clean Run - November 2012 - The Four Agreements
Clean Run - November 2012 - 13
Clean Run - November 2012 - 14
Clean Run - November 2012 - 15
Clean Run - November 2012 - Power Paws Drills: Working Opposites
Clean Run - November 2012 - 17
Clean Run - November 2012 - 18
Clean Run - November 2012 - Training with the Stars: Jeannette Hutchison
Clean Run - November 2012 - 20
Clean Run - November 2012 - 21
Clean Run - November 2012 - 22
Clean Run - November 2012 - 23
Clean Run - November 2012 - What’s in Your Toolbox?
Clean Run - November 2012 - 25
Clean Run - November 2012 - 26
Clean Run - November 2012 - 27
Clean Run - November 2012 - 28
Clean Run - November 2012 - 29
Clean Run - November 2012 - Being a Good Student, Part 1
Clean Run - November 2012 - 31
Clean Run - November 2012 - Analyze This!
Clean Run - November 2012 - 33
Clean Run - November 2012 - 34
Clean Run - November 2012 - 35
Clean Run - November 2012 - 36
Clean Run - November 2012 - 37
Clean Run - November 2012 - Tips for Weave Pole Entries
Clean Run - November 2012 - 39
Clean Run - November 2012 - 40
Clean Run - November 2012 - 41
Clean Run - November 2012 - 42
Clean Run - November 2012 - 43
Clean Run - November 2012 - Not a Practice Dog Anymore
Clean Run - November 2012 - 45
Clean Run - November 2012 - The 2-Minute Warm-up
Clean Run - November 2012 - 47
Clean Run - November 2012 - 48
Clean Run - November 2012 - 49
Clean Run - November 2012 - The Worrier: Solutions for the Dog That Is Worried or Afraid
Clean Run - November 2012 - 51
Clean Run - November 2012 - 52
Clean Run - November 2012 - 53
Clean Run - November 2012 - 54
Clean Run - November 2012 - What Is a Ketschker Turn?
Clean Run - November 2012 - 56
Clean Run - November 2012 - 57
Clean Run - November 2012 - 58
Clean Run - November 2012 - 59
Clean Run - November 2012 - Agility Mind Gym: Persistence and Determination
Clean Run - November 2012 - 61
Clean Run - November 2012 - Building Blocks: Building a Better Lead-out
Clean Run - November 2012 - 63
Clean Run - November 2012 - 64
Clean Run - November 2012 - 65
Clean Run - November 2012 - 66
Clean Run - November 2012 - 67
Clean Run - November 2012 - 68
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1220
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/1120
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