I consider my self a pretty decent trainer, I can train a dog, I can train a person to train their dog, and I've trained 3 very different creatures of my own. I've had success with my own dogs, in many different venues. I enjoy learning and training, staying sharp on skills and methods, all as much as I like teaching. I ilke to think I've been a part of others succeed with their own dogs ... OK, so I can't help it, I take some ownership in students dogs, and I love them like they are my own, and if any of them wanted me to take one of them off their hands, I WOULD!! :) and I enjoy the people attached to the leash too, many are like family.
I am by all accounts a determined, free-thinking, analytical, focused, love-to-have-fun, driven kind of person ... well that's what I've been told. Wait a minute, I'm a Border Collie??
I train, trial and compete because I love having fun with my dogs, and I crave that connection, and I am only trying for a personal best when I'm competing... I don't go in the ring thinking I need to beat everyone else, all that does is take the focus off of MY DOG and ME, and OUR TIME together, it is about US. And if I am going to put time and effort into something, why not do it the best I can?
So back to the Chicken Sh*t part ...
So why can't I get up the guts to put Kaleb in the Obedience Ring for Open? I am not a Border Collie when it comes to the Obedience Ring ... I am more of a timid, scared little creature hiding in a dark alley.
I give people "the TALK" in the Agility ring all the time, "Trust your training, be confident, your dogs success is in your hands, turn your stress into excitement, trial like you train, don't let your dog down, AND breathe!!!" I overcame all of this in Agility.
Besides the fact that I am not as dedicated to competitive Obedience than other dog sports... I actually prefer Rally if given the chance ... "Obedience" requires a totally different mind set, and set of skills to focus - for both the handler AND dog. I DO NOT get the same adrenaline rush I do as when I step in the Agility ring. I like to run FAST, TALK TO MY DOG, and there is NOTHING like that connection at FULL SPEED!!!!
Did I mention I am a Border Collie?
As part of the confidence issue, it stems from Kaleb f'ing off in the ring at 2 years old, he spooked during off leash heeling, at a poodle and an umbrella, and took off running around the show grounds like a freaking fool and nobody could catch him. I was in tears and shaken, and it took me 3 years to put him back in the ring for Obedience. BUT, when we did ... at 5 years old ... he got 3 High in Classes in a row. He also got a High In Trial in APDT Rally, with a perfect 210 score. So he can do the work, when together WE are in the right mind set, which is in turn MY responsibility. But when he feels my stress, it runs right to him, and he gets self-conscious too, and we both want to go back to that dark alley and not be seen. So I KNOW I HAVE to be in the right mind set if we are ever going to succeed, for HIS sake.
He is ready for the ring, he's done Fun Matches and done really well, pretty good scores to boot.
So the million dollar question is ... will it happen? Will I be the one to take him in the ring, or will I faint upon entering the ring because I haven't taken a decent breath in 15 minutes.
Well, if all else fails ... I've always got Amanda on stand-by :) or maybe there are some other takers?? LOL