Friday, February 11, 2011


I have recently been following the discussion on [click-bite], a R+ group for training dogs for protection sports. I am also reading a book called "Drive" by Daniel H. Pink.

So this is the encapsulation of my training philosophy: perfect performance comes from confidence. Confidence comes from competence. Competence comes from clarity. So my goal will be to train my dogs with maximum clarity and minimum stress. I want my dogs to be so competent at their behaviors that they are not worrying about why they can't do them, but instead do them for the intrinsic motivation of doing them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

More Marsh + Contest

For a while now, I've been looking for a dSLR to take better pictures of dogs (also, knitting, but that's outside the scope of this blog). My problem was always budget, I need another hobby like I need another dog (desperately, but HOLY SMOKES would that be a bad idea), and good cameras get very expensive, very fast. So when a Nikon D40 with zoom lens (55-200mm VR), bag, and 1gb memory card popped up on craigslist, well, I made a rash decision.

And I love it!

Most of my pictures are still blurry, but they're better blurry pictures and I'm getting better at using it. My friend Erin-with-the-Aussies showed me what aperture and shutter speed and ISO are and how to change them and already I'm getting more shots in focus. Pre-lesson I shot 700 pictures at the Milwaukee Pet Expo and kept under 100, tossing out anything that was so blurry you couldn't see anything expect waves of light on a muddy brown background, and post-lesson I took 200 and kept more than half!

So, what you really care about, pictures of the boys (I really, really love using the plural!):

I love these two. The one of the Gipper is my new computer background.
Bite your FACE.
Aunt The Nun with Marsh
I love how pink he looks in these pictures.
I told you he was a beautifully built dog.
A great mover, too.
Oh, yes, does he move.

Oh, yes! Contest! See, now that Marsh is here, Greenlight Gatsby doesn't really cut it. It's not fair, right? This blog needs a new name! And gosh darnit, all this photography has just sapped my wells of creativity. So starting today to Midnight February 28, leave a comment with a new blog name and in March I'll pick a new one.

Wow, the chance to name a blog! That's very exciting!



I have a copy of "The ABC's of Behavior Shaping" with Ted Turner (see second video here) for the winner. It's quite good, not a ton of new information if you're reasonably clicker/shaping savvy, and it's a little dated, but Ted Turner is engaging and it's a fun watch.

WOW, a blog name AND a DVD? I can't wait to submit ideas!!!

Multiple submissions ARE allowed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

That Book With the Turtles

I have a fondness for collecting old dog training books full of advice that I have zero intention of taking.

Beyond Basic Dog Training
It's the one with the turtles!

Game Dog
I do wish this guy had more descriptive titles for his books.

Training Your Dog - Volhard
Hey, Volhard! I bet this one isn't totally useless.

Dog Handling & Judging
Oh, these look kind of useful too!

I bought a dSLR this weekend (got a REALLY good deal on craigslist) so hopefully I'll have some more pictures to share with you.

White Unbalanced
It's good to know that I can manage to mangle white balance on a $400 camera.