I haven't been posted much related to dog training, or my dogs training. My life just is not the same these days. I miss Jane - like I might need help coping it's gotten so bad. I know people see my sadness, and I really do try to be up, but a part of me is missing, and it sucks ass. I miss Agility - but I can't bring myself to train it right now. Gyp is still off - yes she is sound, but I it's only been 5 weeks since she was injured ... I'm pushing her to 10-12 weeks of time off - I love my dog more than I love the sport ... it's true!!! We are moving, I'm overwhelmed, but excited. I put too much of my time into things that waste time and I need to change that. I am self employed - and that means I make my own money ... my time is valuable, and some people just don't get that. I run 3 businesses ... sounds fun right? Mostly it is, I set my hours, some which are crazy, but it is far from easy ... but I wouldn't change it for anything, my dog is lying beside me right now, and one is at my feet, I know I'm lucky.
The rest of my rant starts now ...
I'm pissed off because I get calls and emails from people who are coming from Agility training at other places, and want us to fix their dogs. Hmmm well, perhaps the first time you see a dog alpha rolled or jabbed in the side with a hand continually by the instructor you should walk away ... 8 weeks of class does not mean you are ready to run a course, and no it also doesn't mean your dog knows all equipment. You've done courses with 14 obstacles, after 8 weeks of class, really, no foundation whatso ever?? And you have competition in mind? Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a "just for fun" agility type class - as long as it is designed with fun and safety in mind. It's sad and disgusting that people pay for classes like this where it is encouraged for the dog to go slow and submit "we are not supposed to let our dogs go fast, we need them to go slow so we have better control" she says. And it is all correction based - seriously. Squashing the dogs spirit and MAKING them do it - is not what any training is about in my opinion. They are living breathing, fun loving creatures - why treat them like anything less?? Isn't this sport supposed to FUN!!!!?? What is even more disgusting is that these people pay more than we charge for classes, and yet we get complaints that our classes have gotten pricy. We have raised prices by $3 a class over the past 3 years. We are half the price of some places in Calgary. I never feel like I'm good enough in what I do - which is a big part of my drive to better at the things I do, how do I justify charged $30 per class, I just can't do it. For the 4 or 5 months we run at the Arena in the winter it is just a break even, and actually, the last month of classes at the barn this year, we lost $200. The cost of classes is not what we make. 30% goes to the tax man, 5% GST, there is wear and tear and equipment maintenance, rental costs, business costs - accountant, insurance which is about $100 month, and it goes on .. I essentially volunteer 30 hours a month during that time. Most of my time is not spent teaching (the fun part), its spent planning, sending emails, going to the bank, doing books - and I get paid hardly anything when it is all said and done. We are a family and our group is amazing, I love people's dogs as if they are my own. I teach, train and play because I LOVE doing it, I am a horrible business person. But I will keep doing it as long as I see brilliant dogs and people emerge and do great things, nothing better than seeing happy dogs and happy people connecting - that is where I get paid, and there is nothing better.
I am far from a perfect trainer, no other dog makes my blood boil like Kaleb can - but I try my hardest to let him be him, he has taught me that, and taught me patience - but what I strive to do is built a relationship of trust and respect on both sides, have fun, and for the love of dog ... let your dog be themselves, squashing their spirit is awful and not what dogs where put on this earth for. They were put here to better us, and we owe that to them.