About ffluffy

I have been doing agility since 2001 and have been teaching agility since 2004. I started my agility journey with two Corgis, a rescue, Annie, and her “surprise” puppy, Moose. Since then I have run Border Collies, a Swedish Vallhund and a Papillion. I believe that dog training is a very important aspect of dog agility and encourage a strong foundation for agility dogs. Agility is a sport, which requires mental toughness and goal setting while keeping in mind that your canine partner is in it for FUN! I teach all levels of agility handling, from foundation to international level classes. I also teach competition obedience, focus & relationship, puppy classes, how to coach yourself classes, tricks, and many more. “Goals are an important part of the journey, it's HOW you attain them that matters!” – Alicia Nicholas

Cardboard and Girl Scout Cookies VS Fun Agility Courses and a Bottle of Wine

A woman who meant well offered me cardboard to “keep me warm” the last night I was camping at the agility trial.  I was dirty and dressed in my awesome striped PJ’s pants and mismatched top.  I thanked her gratefully and suggested she leave it by the dumpster for the next person who might need it.  I also learned that Grasshopper Cookies ($2 at walmart) taste as good as or better than Girl Scout Thin Mints ($4 from your local girl scout).  I know this sounds too good to be true but we did a genuine taste test around the campfire.  It might have been the beers, but I swear the Grasshoppers won out.  And you can buy them year round!!! Woot!

To top the weekend off I scored an AMAZING bottle of wine from some good friends, got to run a really cool dog (sorry about the ankle) and watched a cool MACH Run!  More WOOT!

Check out these two courses by Dan Butcher from this weekend.  Some neat challenges that kept people on their feet and caught a few of us off guard!  My best advice to the worry warts: #wootyurlife  It’s the only option when the doubt flies in, just kick it out with some heartfelt woot and even if you don’t Q you can still feel AWESOME!!! LOL!

Can’t wait for next weekend; I’m running for margaritas!!!!

course 1 course 2

Harald Schjelderup Agility Course

We tried an interesting course last night by Harald Schjelderup, an international judge from NORWAY.  This course is from last year at Drobak.  Thanx to all of you who came out!


This is a photo with some ideas and then a summary follows.

hopp 3 course analysis

There are a few options for handling starting with the beginning #4 – #7.  Either do a serpentine, where you really have to work the send to #5 OR try 3 front crosses which means you really have to hustle your butt!

It helps the dog to know they are going to the weaves if you send and start to move away from the tunnel as they enter.  Saw a lot of wide turns there.  Staying with the dog on the left out of the tunnel and rear crossing the weaves might tighten the turn up even more.  You can assess how well you showed the dog they were going to the weaves by how wide the turn out of the tunnel was.  The wider the turn, the less info your dog had about where to go next.

A lot of dogs missed #10 due to the handlers setting a bad line out of the weaves and/or not handling #10 (don’t take it for granted).

Set up the turn at #12 so that the dog knows they are taking the correct tunnel entry (almost handle as if you were going to the chute).  I tried 3 options here, handling to the #13 tunnel, handling to the off course tunnel and handling to the chute.  It helped clarify how to show the dog where they are going next.

As the dog enters the chute they really need to know they are not in extension and that they should turn and look for you to get #15.  Again I tried handling the off course option to the tunnel so that my dog could recognize when I was running vs decelerating at the chute entrance.

Making plans and wooting it up! #wootyurlife

Blogility 1st entry since ffluffy.com went offline a few years ago

Plans/Goals/Objectives.  Gotta have them.  They are scary to make, sometimes even scarier to follow through with.  Something that helps me is writing them down, and sharing them with other people, and making a calendar that includes the goals and how to reach the goal in a timely fashion.  Back in my bike racing days we called this type of planning “peaking”, where you plan out a few big races, and train for them.  We spent hours riding slow miles, building a “base” before we did sprints and faster training.  I hated it.  BUT I learned that going slow can lead to going fast.  In agility this would equate to training small pieces and working on the processes and dog training that leads to the whole.  I have to constantly remind myself that the parts are as important as the whole!  Luckily I have found that I do enjoy working on tricks and other behaviors that help me and my dogs build a better relationship.  I enjoy finding a small handling sequence with a certain focus and trying it many different ways.  Here is an example of a small handling sequence (thanx to LeapsNBounds) that you can try many different ways.

rear cross turns

  I am working on turns with Ho.  He needs as much information about where we are going next as possible and then we still might have a big turn…LOL.  I ❤ you Ho!  For making me an honest handler!  And for being cute as hell, and loving me no matter what.

Ho and me