* note: areas of this photo have been blurred for privacy reasons LOL
Each spring I re-evaluate where I am training wise with my guys. The very fist seminar I took with Terry he suggested I make a list of 5-ish things for each dog, that I keep on a piece of paper in my pocket at a trial or a big event. They are my rules, and reminders for each dog essentially. I also have things I need to do for each dog's warm-up. The list helps me make decisions when walking a course and keep it straight in my head who I am running, and what each dog requires from me, and what I require from each dog. It works for me, it really does.
I have three dogs as you know, and I often compare them to being three different species all together, since they are so different as far as training, temperament and drive levels - not to mention size and body structure. I can make many comparisons, but this morning, zoo animals come to mind, bare with me:
Jane: the matriarch, probably the Queen elephant, the one that will go at her own pace and will run really fast in your direction, if she knows there is food coming her way, she is easy to train, but it has to be her idea. She brings out the senior discount card when ever she can also. If she knew I compared her to an elephant, she would probably stomp on my head.
Kaleb: the young chimpanzee that everyone loves to watch and laugh at. Then you realize that the chimpanzee is not a baby, but in fact, he is a grown ass man. Though goofy, and fun loving, really easy to train, he just might have his own ideas as to how to 'perform'.
Gyp: The dolphin. Long nose, sleek body, very intelligent. Gyp has a playful side and is very easy to train, and she is pretty lighthearted, and soft, and did I mention cute? She also makes weird noises like a dolphin and is very social with her pals. She is a serious worker, but has fun doing it.
So as you can see, training at my place takes some thought and patience.
So back to my list ... it's time to make a new one, I have a new set of reminders, though some remain the same ... I spend half an hour last night staring at a blank piece of paper, trying to make my new list. It wasn't happening, though I know what I need to put on it. It is my private list, so I probably won't be posting it here.
But, a couple of things on last years list were:
- drive deep into Tunnels, wait at the exits for him
- have fun!
- make sure I am at the end of contacts with her
- cheer her on
- send to tunnels and get in place
- trust weaves, don't turn shoulders for a cross until she is at the last pole
It's funny, this year my list has changed in someways ALOT, in and other ways not at all.. Something that stays at the top of list for all dogs is "TRUST MY TRAINING, keep my arms down, no flinging."
Happy Training Everyone!!