Sunday, September 9, 2012

Judy Reilly Seminars

Judy has been involved in dog sports for over ten years. Originally from Long Island, NY, Judy has always shared her life with dogs and horses. Currently living in upstate NY with Husband DJ and 15 yr old Son Nick, and employed at Animal/Equine Health practice, a holistic veterinary practice in Litchfield CT, Judy Found Agility after taking obedience classes with Tia her German Shepherd.  Tia went on to earn her Novice titles in Agility and Obedience and even earned some flyball titles. In 2003 Judy became a USDAA judge and in 2009 went for Masters certification. Judy can be found anywhere in the country either Running her dogs or Judging. Judy Also teaches Class at Canine Sports Center in Goshen CT and Paws n Effect in Hamden CT, Using positive methods and helping the handler and dog work together to negotiate any course to the best of their ability.

"Tia", a rescue German shepherd, was her first Agility Dog, (July 1994-Feb 2007). Although she did not gain many titles, Tia was a great teacher for Judy competing in agility and obedience and, at age nine, learned flyball.

"Brodie", retired 14 year old border collie, also competed in agility, obedience and flyball, earning his ADCH in fall of 2003. --Brodie  He spent his last few years being run by Judy's Son Nicholas before being retired in the fall of 2009.

"Sony", a 9 year old border collie, also runs agility and flyball. She earned her ADCH one month after her third Birthday. In 2006 she was a Grand Prix finalist at the USDAA Nationals in Scottsdale, AZ, in the very competitive 22-inch 2011 after missing 3 nationals events in a row due to injuries/surgeries she came back to be a PGP Finalist in KY in the 16" class. Most recently winning the PGP finals at the SE regional in Perry GA  She has earned many placements in national and local tournament events.

"Lotus", a high drive black German shepherd, joined the Reilly crew in May of 2006.  Judy spent time building a relationship with Lotus, letting her "grow up" since she was slow to mature. She currently Competes at the ADV/Masters Level.

"Rivet", born in June 2007, is a female border collie Judy could not say "no" to, even though it meant having two young dogs to train.  Rivet Earned her ADCH in the Spring of 2011 , Has also placed at National and Local tournament events. and when possible enjoys playing Flyball as the anchor dog for "Moonspinners" Flyball Team.
Just to add a little mix to the household in March of 2012 "Tempest" a Border/Jack became part of the crew. Born on Superbowl Sunday this little dog is a lot of energy in a small package, eager to work, play, eat and sleep.

Judy has worked with Many top trainers including Mary Ellen Barry, Jen Pinder, Rachel Sanders, Susan Garret Dana Pike ,Barb Demscio , Stacey Peardot-Goudy , and Ann Eifert of Hungary

Judy Reilly will hold the following group seminars at the LCDA training field on October 27 and 28:

  • October 27 (Saturday) will be open to beginner dogs who have not yet earned a Starters title in competition.
  • October 28 (Sunday) will be open to advanced dogs who have earned at least one Starters title in competition.

The seminar will begin at 8:30 am and last about 8 hours.
The cost will be $100/per day. 

Visit for more details and to register.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tugging with a Reluctant Tugger

My Boykin, Rusty, loved to tug at home. However, when we got to the field with lots of people, other dogs, weird smells, and loud noises, he wanted nothing to do with a tug toy. Although it isn't necessary to have a dog who loves to tug to do agility, it is definitely a good tool to have. Tugging can be used to get a dog excited before a run, to build your relationship with your dog, or to use as a reward while training. 

I found the perfect toy for my reluctant tugger, a treat pouch. A treat pouch is a small bag with a velcro closure along the top and a handle for tugging. These pouches come in many different designs.  You cannot expect your dog to naturally start tugging with the pouch, you must teach him how to tug with it. 

It is important to start out in a place that is very familiar to your dog. The agility field is too stimulating to begin tugging, so start at home. Pick a room that your dog spends a lot of time in. Never push the toy in your dog's face, this will not make him want the toy. You may want to keep your dog on a leash for the first few play sessions, so he cannot run off.

Start out by filling the toy with your dog's favorite smelly treats. Open up the pouch and let him eat some of the treats so he knows what's inside. Close the pouch. Make the pouch come "alive", by moving it quickly along the ground and use an exciting tone of voice.  If the dog shows any interest in chasing the pouch at all, open it up and let him have some treats.  Continue rewarding the dog for any interaction with the pouch for a couple of play sessions.

Once your dog is interested in the pouch, you can start holding out on rewarding until their mouth makes contact with the toy. Start by rewarding your dog for grabbing the pouch for 1 second, then increase the time he/she has to hold on to it (3, 5, 10 seconds, and so on). As your play sessions continue, hold out longer to reward.

After your dog is grabbing hold of the pouch for several seconds, you can start to pull on the other end. Only tug on the pouch for a few seconds and then quickly open the pouch and reward.  Eventually your dog will understand that he must tug with you to get the treats inside of the pouch. While playing tug, remember to allow your dog to "win" sometimes, so he does not get discouraged.

Once your dog loves to play tug with you at home, you can begin to play in other locations. For example, after Rusty loved his toy in the living room, we tugged in my backyard, and then finally at the agility field.

Here is the Clean Run web page with all of the different treat pouches:

Here is the one Rusty has:

Christine and Rusty