For the first time since I've started training and competing with dogs, I feel as though I am trying to do too much at once. I've always trained and trialed in multiple dog sports at once, but usually one sport is in maintenance mode (usually agility) and I can focus on training in the other sport while trialing in both.
In 2 weeks, Dottie's second attempt at utility is coming up. I'm training her almost every day in articles (actually getting better) go outs, directed jumping and gloves (suddenly a weak spot.) The rest of the exercises are pretty solid and I throw them in here and there. Then, at the agility trial last weekend, I spoke with a friendly lady who reminded me the TDX season is upon us. I quickly entered Dottie in 4 TDXs (2 on the same day, I hope I get in the one 3 hrs away and not the one 7 hrs away!) So I've been doing obedience at lunch, laying a track also at lunch, then running it after lunch. The next item I'm working on is the IPO RH-E. This is the rescue dog suitability test and while we are doing it for fun, it means I'm training for it at SchH practice, rather than AKC utility. That test is coming up this weekend, so at least that will be out of the way. Lastly we have agility. Dottie is not at the maintenance point yet. I should be working weave entries and staying in the weaves. I should be working serpentines, backsides, and 270s. But I'm not, because I don't have time. After the weekend of the 20th, we will have either passed utility or not, and if it is "or not" that is going on hold until after the tracking season is done. At the end of Feb we will have hopefully gotten into and passed a TDX, and if that is also an "or not" we may have to wait until next season because then it is March and the AKC agility nationals and I'll be buggered if Dottie messes up her weaves at the Nationals.
So yes, I have too much going on with the dogs. Not to mention a life outside of dogs that I also need to attend to (hard to believe, but true.) In the future I will have even less time, and this month and the upcoming months have taught me that it is better to put things on hold than to try to do them all at once. Because A) if you train so much it isn't fun, what is the point and B) if you don't have time to train everything and you end of failing it all, what was the point of trying to shove it all in?
Of course the "point" is there are very few close obedience trials so I am trying to take advantage and tracking season is only so long, so I'm also trying to take advantage of that. Therefore, I have my reasons, but I won't do it again.
PS- My goals for Dottie for 2013 are Mach, UD, TDX and FH2- possibly at the IPO Working Dog Championships in I think Iowa. I'd fly her there. Maybe. Or maybe I'll just hope a local club holds an FH again at some point in the future. So, what does that leave for the rest of Dottie's life? ADCH, more Machs? and VST. Crossing fingers on that last one!