Habits are fascinating traits… So how do they work.?

By Mark Laker
I signed off last month writing about habits and said I would share some thoughts in this months article. Hopefully you’ve created a habit at reaching for the next CSJ article so you’re keeping up with my writings and were expecting this piece.

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Habits are fascinating traits

We have them, animals have them, we consciously and unconsciously create them, we find bad ones hard to break and good ones hard to create. So how do they work.?

Our brains have evolved to create habits out of repeatable tasks. For example: breathing, blinking, swallowing. We don’t have to consciously think about performing these acts they’re habits or processes that are running in our sub-consciousness all the time. This allows our conscious brain to focus on the immediate things around us that mostly related to our fight, flight or fight instincts. e.g. don’t walk out in front of that bus, don’t put your hand in the fire etc…

Other habits like smoking, drinking, gambling are difficult to break because our brain gets a shot of dopamine –  a reward-motivator, each time we perform the habit which makes us want to repeat it. The habit loop is a bit more complicated than this, but essentially we get a reward for performing the habit when we receive the cue or get the desire.
There are other types of habits that we can apply to sport, goal setting and objectives – this is where it gets interesting. Latest research shows that creating a habit to achieve something you want can be more effective than goal setting. Now before you rip up your 2019 goals, targets and objectives (what do you mean you haven’t written them yet!). I should make it clear that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to creating habits, it’s down to individuals.

Like blinking and breathing if we can perform a repeatable task enough times, our brains commit this to our sub-conscious and hey-presto! It’s a habit …. we don’t have to think about it any more, it just happens. Like tieing shoe-laces or riding a bike, once learnt you don’t have to re-learn it.

As an example, if we do something everyday that takes us closer to our goal e.g. 15 minutes training our dog, or 20 minutes walking, or fitness training, or researching a new training technique eventually we’ll create a goal-related daily habit.

Research has shown that your sub-conscious takes over and natural instincts start guiding you towards your goal.

I’ve been experimenting with this idea for six months and so far its working for me. I’m finding my formed habit now finds time in my schedule each day for activities that take me closer to my goals.

Habits are fascinating traits if you’re interested in finding out more about how they work and how to break them read ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg.

Have a great Xmas and New Year.

Mark
Mark Laker
Agility Team GB International Team Manager

Essex 2000 Working trials

By Penny Bann

Thanks very much for sponsoring our trial last week. The way the stakes work is:

TD is the ultimate state which you can make your dog up to a Working Trials champion, then it’s the WD, UD and entry level is the CD.

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Here’s Championship TRACKING DOG Ticket winner Sue Ashby and The Zeta, Working Sheep Dog, with Judge Eric Carpenter

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WORKING DOG winner Dave Clark with Blade of the Glade, Working Sheep Dog, with Judge Alan Sword

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UTILITY DOG winner Sam McGrath with Tracelyn Token, German Shepherd Dog, with Judge Vana Moody

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COMPANION DOG winner Michael Woods with Ed’ s N Tails with Estoby, Border Collie, judged by John Turtill.
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Many thanks once again.
Penny Bann

Clwyd Retriever Club Field Trials – results

By Morwenna Crossley

I would like to thank you so much for your kind sponsorship of prizes at Clwyd Retriever Club Field Trials this year. I know everyone who has taken home their Salmon Oil has been delighted to receive it from you. Your sponsorship is very much appreciated both by the Club and by our prize winners.

I thought you might like to see the write ups from each of the four trials so I attach them below. Its a shame I am no good with a camera which is why there are two missing pictures.

This year we never had a Trial without a result although the first one at Bryn y Pys only produced a second – no first prize awarded. Our 2 day event was a really good trial and it will be lovely to see Peter Thompson run at the IGL Championships in December.

Once again on behalf of the Club thank you very much for your continued sponsorship. It really is very much appreciated.

Acton Reynald Novice Trial 2018 Results

Another good day’s sport for us all, so well provided by Acton Reynald Shoot and Craig Roberts. I have no idea how Craig controls the line which seemed to stretch for ever across half a field of wet roots, but he controls it brilliantly. The partridge were a bit wet – as were all of us – but they and Trevor Gibson’s Guns provided us with plenty of sport to Trial our dogs.

The first round, judged by Dave Brown, Nick Coates, John Yarwood and Gareth Lewis, saw a few dogs going out fairly early on, but the latter dogs had to work for their retrieves in conditions of rain, wind, no wind, damp, muggy, in fact everything except nice sunshine!

In the final round there were 3 dogs left in and the winner could have been any of them. At the finish the well deserved win and the Gordon Humphries Trophy went to Wayne Mitchell running Lynn Mitchell’s bitch Labdom Lapwing of Millcottage who was pretty much faultless all day. Steve Le Voi’s yellow dog Maderablanca Amarillo ran well too all day and went out on the final retrieve of the day which must have been a disappointment for his handler. Maderablanca Amarillo and David Jackson’s Shipka Birchwood both were awarded Certificates of Merit, which were thoroughly deserved. Steve Le Voi also went on to win the Guns’ Choice trophy.

Clwyd Retriever Club owe a big thank you to Acton Reynald Shoot and to Craig Roberts their Keeper, to the beaters and to Trevor Gibson’s team of Guns. Thank you also to our sponsors CSJ Speciality Dog Food and Olympic Trophies. I would also like to thank all those Club members who came to help. You all know how grateful I am to you because you and all those involved make my job so easy. It is thanks to you all that everyone has such a great day.

Results

1st LABDOM LAPWING OF MILLCOTTAGE
Wayne Lynn Mitchell

COM: SHIPKA BIRCHWOOD – David Jackson

COM: MADERABLANCA AMARILLO – Steve Le Voi

RESULT OF NOVICE TRIAL: 22/09/18 at Bryn y Pys, Overton on Dee.

No winner.

Second – John Yarwood and Ragweed’s Image

We were very fortunate to have a dry day – or at least a dry half a day – for our second Clwyd Retriever Club Novice Trial of the season. We failed to get inside our record time for completing a Trial but only failed by 6 minutes. The Trial was over in time for coffee at 11.20am which was a bit disappointing for both Judges, competitors and our Guns. Our Judges were very forgiving in pointing out at the end of the Trial that these were all Novice dogs right at the start of the Trial season. They would expect them all to continue to gain experience through the season and make it into the awards on another day.
The last three dogs standing worked hard in both roots and in a very steep sided wood. That reduced the number to one dog only and more retrieves were needed to finish the Trial. Our guns and beaters produced more birds and the gallery were able to have a grandstand view as John Yarwood’s dog made a very workmanlike job of retrieving from the roots. The Judges awarded him a well earned second place. Guns’ Choice went to Phil Brown with Abbottshall Mosquito.

We owe a big thank you to the Rosseli Family and to Tom Painter and his team of beaters. Without the support of our Hosts and especially the Keepers we would struggle to run Trials at all. Our four judges Sue Hutton, Keith Barnes, Neil Appleton and Helen Goodwin deserve a big thank you too, as do our team of Guns who were taken off for some additional shooting to make up the bag. Last but not least our thanks also to our sponsors CSJ Dog Foods and Olympic Trophies.

I would like to thank all those who came to help today. It takes a whole team to make these days happen and their help is very welcome. As ever the catering from Home Farm Produce was a highlight! One lovely competitor gave me and my co-Steward a bottle of wine each as a thank you and the rosy glow is spreading as I write this!
Onward and upward…..
Clwyd Retriever Club 2 Day Open at HyFly Results
I haven’t run many Trials but I can honestly say this one was the one I have enjoyed the most. Somehow everything came together to provide our competitors with exactly the right sort of birds shot brilliantly by our guns and presented impeccably by Kevin Hughes at HyFly. We owe a massive thank you to the Holden family for hosting the Trial, to Kevin, to our four judges – David Jackson, Ali Hogsbjerg, Phil Smithies and by great good fortune at the 11th hour Gilly Nickols. And a big thank you to our Guns who shot so amazingly not just on the first day in lovely sunshine with not a breath of wind but also today in the drizzle and breezy conditions after an interesting previous evening!

At the end of the first day 11 dogs went through to the following day, where the retrieves in windy conditions and in wet roots proved more challenging. There was some excellent dog work on show, including a noteworthy retrieve for Richard Hinks’ dog, handled by Annette Clarke, which unanimously earned them the Guns’ Choice Trophy.

The eventual winner, who not only earned his place in the IGL Championship but also made his dog up to Field Trial Champion today, was Peter Thompson and Thornyoaks Topaz.Annette Clarke in second place has secured half her ticket to the Championship with Castlemans Gobi of Garronpoint owned by Richard Hinks. Wayne Mitchell, who had two dogs running right up to the last 4 dogs left in, was third with Turpingreen Barrera of Labdom,and in fourth place Mike Jones and Cynhinfa Jarmen of Wauniago completed the awards which were kindly presented by Kevin Hughes. CSJ K9 Dog Foods very generously again sponsored prizes for our award winners – photos to follow on our Club website.

I would like to add a personal thank you to the two club members who helped keep me in order on both days, and to our two game-carrier volunteers who had some serious work carrying the bag on both days.

1st: Peter Thompson and Thornyoaks Topaz
2nd: Annette Clarke with Castlemans Gobi of Garronpoint owned by Richard Hinks
3rd: Wayne Mitchell with Turpingreen Barrera of Labdom
4th: Mike Jones and Cynhinfa Jarmen of Wauniago

Guns Choice: Annette Clarke with Castlemans Gobi of Garronpoint owned by Richard Hinks

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Novice Trial At Bryn Y PYS 27/10/18

For the final CRC trial of the year we had a lovely clear sunny day but with a bitterly cold northerly wind blowing over the first root field of the day. As the line formed to walk up, a couple of birds got up, were shot, and were picked cleanly, boding well for game in the rest of the field. Sadly that proved not to be the case. Someone had been through the field with a dog – unrelated to our Trial – and pushed every bird out, whether intentionally or accidentally no one could confirm.

A bird down at the far end of the field in a slight hollow out of sight of the handlers put paid to 4 dogs as the judges picked it exactly where it fell. A further 4 dogs went out in the next field of roots similarly failing to find a bird the judges collected. The birds shot in the roots put paid to another number of dogs, at least one of which was eye-wiped by the eventual winner. A mini drive provided enough birds to allow the last two dogs standing to finish the day. Dave Abbot was unable to push his young dog out of the roots to a bird down on the headland track, which was ably picked by our winner.

Congratulations to Katarina Ljungquist and Meadowlark Humpty Dumpty, bred by Birgitta Staflund-Wiberg, who was there watching in an agony of apprehension throughout! Katarina goes back to Sweden tonight, after a prolonged visit to Trial her dog, with a win!

Katrina

Guns’ choice went to Morton Redpath’s dog Dealminster Drew of Hassycott.
Our A panel judge, Phil Bruton, wisely explained to the assembled competitors at the prize giving that while good dogs occasionally have a bad day or unexpected failures, if a great number of dogs all fail on a day there is some other explanation, especially given the experience level amongst the handlers. Its not just a mass bad day. His advice was that some of the dogs need to do more work before being presented in a Trial as not really up to the required standard.

It was well said and I don’t believe anyone would disagree who was present. I would like to offer my thanks on behalf of CRC to all four of our judges – Phil Bruton, Glenys Caldwell, James Murphy and Charlotte Earnshaw, who must have been frozen out in the roots and the wind. I would also like to thank our hosts the Roselli family and Tom and Alex Painter and their team of beaters, for their generous hospitality. Thank you also to Stuart Hughes and his guns, to CSJ Dog Foods and Olympic Trophies, and to all the volunteers who helped on the day.

Particularly I would like to personally thank Bronwyn Roberts and Lis Weigh who have both been a massive help at every trial this season. A Field Trial is a team effort and there is no Trial without a good team. Thank you Ladies! And a thank you from everyone to the Home Farm Produce Cafe team! Their bacon and sausages (home grown) are amazing, their soup and goodies afterwards are equally amazing and the chocolate cake is to die for!! Bring on next season!

Morwenna Crossley
FT Secretary
Clwyd Retriever Club.

Heelwork to Music competition held in Kinver, Stourbridge

thumbnail_IMG_20181121_193138Thank you for your sponsorship of winning packs for our Heelwork to Music competition held in Kinver, Stourbridge on October 27th.

An excellent day was had by all, at the Westglen Heelwork to music competition held in Kinver. 130 handlers and their dogs competed in both heelwork and freestyle with the winning teams winning a bag of goodies generously donated by CSJ dog food. Max in the photo particularly liked the treats he had won!

Karen Braden
Westglen Heelwork to Music Dog Club,

Our brains are hard-wired to the fight/flight/freeze behaviours

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By Mark Laker
Back to Basics


‘This is a different sport to the one we play at home’ a comment I heard at the FCI Agility World Championships from a Team GB handler. It’s true that the speed, the technical challenges and the level of competition was at a different level to UK domestic agility. However the basic principle of the sport remains the same, a clear round trumps faults.

 

In our quest for speed or to master a particular skill it’s easy to forget the basics

 

Our brains are hard-wired to the fight/flight/freeze behaviours. Our sub-conscious is constantly scanning the environment to protect and motivate us. So it’s easy for our brain to interpret dogs running faster, handlers performing a new ‘sexy’ handling manoeuvre to process that to mean ‘I need to be doing that to survive (fight)‘ or ‘I don’t like/not interested in that, I’m off…’ (flight).

 

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But there is a more developed part of the human brain that processes logic, its the part that allows us to stop, stand-back and consider the bigger picture (must get a clear round). However our nature is to conform and to be part of a pack, so to process that logic isn’t the easy option.

 

How do we become aware of when our reptilian brain is ruling our developed brain?

 

There is no one answer, it depends on many influencing factors. However, a behaviour humans (and dogs) are good at is developing habits. Habits automate processes which enable us to carry out repeatable actions without thinking about them… when was the last time you thought about having to blink!

 

Maybe a way to remember the basics e.g. getting a clear round is to develop habits that build the skills required to produce clear runs.

 

I’ll write about the power of habits next month.
Mark
 
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1st Autumn European Weimaraner Cup

“It was an amazing experience!” Andrea Wright

1st Autumn European Weimaraner Cup from the Weimaraner Club of Great Britain

By Sally Morgan

Thank you to everybody who offered support and encouragement for the WCGB team. It was a fabulous experience and we are so pleased the WCGB decided to enter a team and support the inaugural event.

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I arrived with Adrian and Bolt on Wednesday to bright blue skies. The Tuscan location was amazing – the farmhouse complex was perched on a hilltop with panoramic views and the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly. Arriving early we were able to do some training with the Swedish team, while Kimm, Chris and Andrea arrived on Thursday.

We were all made very welcome by the Italians, including Simone Superbi, the Italian Club President and Sophia Joly the vice president. The atmosphere of the weekend was great – friendly and supportive and we loved the welcoming ceremony with the flags and national anthems – a great start to the event.

The first day was a pointing test in the morning (up steep slopes!) with the dogs allowed to run for 15 mins or so. Unlike our own pointing tests, dogs don’t get a second run so a lot rested on the single run, with some handlers getting cover crop and others fields of rough grass and thistle. The interesting bit at the end was the barrage where the qualified dogs ran in pairs on a cover crop so the judges could determine the ranking. The qualifications in the field gained points for the individual and team.

Group 1: judges Piva, Modonese, Sjostrom
1VG Snaiper Missy – Ted Karlsson
2VG Semper Adamas Shark Superb – Giulio Rigamonti

Group 2 :Junior Championship Cup judges Bachini Crudeli Lombardi Wilkinson
1VG Fala Love’a Albus Severus at Powershot – Cristina Soldati

Group 3: judges Frangini, Barzanó, Kugel
1VG Powershot C Altair – Martina Magnani
2VG Snaiper’s Thelma – Kadi Harjak
3VG Jekill – Pino Giancotti
CQN Skyttens Nektar Silver – Fredrik Jonsson

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Mylo and Andrea – conformation test

The afternoon was a morphological verification (conformation test). Interestingly, for those who show, the judge sat ringside and scored each dog on head, general morphology and angles and occasionally asked a dog to move around the ring. Each of the three aspects is worth 4 points, so a maximum of 12, which is then divided by 10.

 

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Italian dog – conformation test. Judge sitting by ringside

Last test of the day was the water test comprising a simple seen retrieve of pheasant from deep water for which Bolt, Tara and Mylo gained full marks (2 marks)

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Water retrieve – Adrian and Bold waiting

Day 2 was a bit like a shot over day with two guns following each dog. Dogs had to find, point and flush birds. If the guns failed to shoot the bird, the judge threw cold game for the retrieve.

Group 1: Judges Piva, Modonese, Sjostrom
1exc Skyttens nektar Silver Fredrik Jonsson
2 exc Jekill Pino Giancotti
3 vg Snaiper’s Thelma Kadi Harjak
Group 2: Judges Bachini Crudeli Wilkinson
1 exc Semper Adamas Shark Superb Giulio Rigamonti
Group 3: Judges Frangini Lombardi Kugel
1exc Powershot C’Altair Martina Magnani – overall individual winner
2mb Felisin Diosa Deidre Tamara Van den Dam

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Day 2 shot over – Andrea & Mylo

By the end the Italians won the team event and the individual dog, with the Swedes in second.

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Day 2 – shot over. Andrea & Mylo working down steep side hillside cover crop grass and bramble thickets

A fascinating two days

Dogs trialling in the UK are expected to hunt well but be under control, steady on flush, have soft mouth and return the bird gently to hand. The Italians favour a hard hunting dog that covers a lot of ground and can work independently of its handler (something UK judges tend to refer to as self-employed) and they don’t seem to mind the dogs running in after flush or damaging the bird. We were frustrated by the fact that the handlers and observers did not follow the action in the gallery, but remained by the cars until called forward, so we didn’t see many of the dogs work. Hence most of my photos were taken with a very long lens from 300-500m distance!

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Still Andrea’s run — worked pond margins and now on strip of cover crop

It was a truly sociable weekend and, for me, the best bit was meeting other Weimaraner handlers from across Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

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Andrea Wright and Mylo

Many thanks to the Italian Weimaraner Club for running this great event and for the support from the other teams, without which the event would have never got off the ground. Following discussions between the Italian, Dutch, Swedish and GB representatives, it was agreed that the next event will take place in the Netherlands in 2020.

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Team at the end, with thanks to sponsors CSJ, Field and Trial, Harbour Vetinary Services

Sally
Weimaraner Club of Great Britain

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Pointing test – Croatian dog hunting hillside of grass and thistle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andrea & Mylo on cover crop