Author Topic: Maryland Seminar - Belated Thanks  (Read 1597 times)

Wild Terriers

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Maryland Seminar - Belated Thanks
« on: March 28, 2013, 12:56:08 PM »
Gosh, I can hardly believe it's been almost two weeks since the seminar and Funraiser in Maryland - where does the time go?  Anyway, I really wanted to thank Sharon, Lisa and Janet and the other participants for a wonderful week in Maryland.  I have been to many seminars with Sharon and various clinicians and I am NEVER disappointed.  I always leave with many jewels.  It's funny to see people who have been to seminars with Sharon and to see people who have not.  Some really love them and some don't - me I am one who LOVES them!!  I always tell people who have not been to one before to go without expectations as each and every seminar I have ever been to that Sharon is involved in addresses the teams that are in front of her on any given day and they are always different.   I love that when I leave, I am mentally exhausted and my dogs are not, and I always have new tools and ideas.  I love the fact that small exercises can be set up to show the strengths and weaknesses of each of the teams and I as a handler get so much input from those exercises - from my participation in those exercises and also watching the other teams. 

For this particular seminar, I found it so amazing to watch all of the dogs with the Barrel Weaves - to finally understand what a dogs body should be doing when they are weaving - to understand why certain methods of teaching weaves actually teach the dogs from the get go to use their bodies incorrectly and to open up those joints when they shouldn't be open.  I will NEVER look at a weave photograph in the same way.  And, yes, as Lisa said, I do believe that Sammi may end up being the poster child for using the barrels to help a dog understand weaving - anyone who has ever seen Sammi tip toe through the weaves knows that Sammi has never been a fan of weaving, she does it, but she never looks like she's enjoying it.  I believe even though I thought I had taught her how to weave (using ex-pens) that she never really understood what to do with her body and she is a dog who is not going to do anything that is uncomfortable for her, so all of my efforts to create more speed and rhythm have been in vain, even when I could get speed and what appeared to be a decent rhythm, there was never any joy on her face - she never looked happy.  But, to see the look of complete joy when she is doing weaves with the barrels is amazing.  And, I can say, two weeks later, having played around with them at home with both of my dogs - I am a BELIEVER!!!!!  Both of my dogs are running away from me to weave - with speed and happiness. I started with just one set of six with the large barrels and now, I have two sets of 6 weaves set up - one set with the large barrels and one set with the smaller (18.5") laundry hamper style barrels and it is going really well.  I did have gates between the barrels for the first several days to be certain that they were both using their bodies and legs correctly and it's been sooooooo cool to watch them.  For the first time in my life, I can hardly wait to go out and work on weaves and both my dogs routinely are coaxing me to go out and play with them.  I've even caught Harry doing them when he is in the backyard playing.  I don't know how it will all play out and I have no idea how Sammi will weave real weave poles at the trial this weekend - I'm not sure we've had enough time for any true change but I do know that I am super optimistic and I will be curious to see how she does - I figure worst case scenario is she tiptoes through the weaves, but best case scenario - she might actually smile while she weaves, and if not this weekend, another weekend.   I applaud Sharon for always being willing to think outside the box (or the barrel in this case - grin) and I thank Sharon for "seeing" things in a way that I don't believe many people can or do. 

It was so interesting to watch all the different dogs do the barrel weaves.  It was also interesting to see some of the experienced dogs having trouble figuring out what to do with their legs while doing the barrel weaves when they had to use their bodies and legs correctly and it was also so interesting to see how quickly dogs just "got it" when the exercise does look completely different than anything they are used to seeing.  There were all types of dogs at this seminar and it was really cool to see small, large, experienced, inexperienced - all the dogs seemed as if they could benefit from this exercise.  It reminded me of some of the "miracles" I've seen happen when there are rubber bands placed on weaves so a dog has to drop it's head and once they realize how much better it feels to weave with their head down, they "get it."  I am really excited to see how all of this evolves.

It was so much fun to get the chance to work with Janet Ooms - she has such a calm way of saying just what I need to hear and while I don't usually respond well to calm and quiet, I surely did with Janet - I can still hear her in my head.

And, Lisa is always fun to work with and I since I get to see Lisa on a regular basis I know I am accountable and that she will always call me on my stuff.

So, thank you, thank you, thank you to the three of you for sharing with all of us for three days!!!!  And, thank you soooooooo much to the other teams who were there - so much fun to watch you and learn from you.

There are many different seminars out there with many different formats - if you want to learn a TON about your relationships with dogs, how to improve that relationship and gain invaluable skills to handle better - I highly recommend getting to one of Sharon's and/or a NADAC Clinicians seminars.  If what you want from a seminar is to do a lot of course work, there are probably different choices that would suit you better, but I for one will get to this type of seminar any time I am able!!!!  The more I learn the less I realize that I know - grin.

Hope everyone is having a great day.

Karen and the Wild Terriers   

Karen and the Wild Terriers

Carole & Pat Daggett

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Re: Maryland Seminar - Belated Thanks
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 08:48:32 PM »
I have to agree, Karen.  Go with the flow, and every morning and afternoon there was something more to learn.  Watching the dogs do the barrel weaves, and understanding exactly what we want to see when they are performing weave poles was invaluable.  I came to the seminar knowing that what we needed to work on the most was not the agility stuff (although I certainly need help there, too).  The information and focus that I came out of the seminar with was much more important.  Sharon gave me so many insights into our working relationship.  As you said, Janet's calm and quiet way, which is more my style, and her observations reverberated with me.  And Lisa was able to quickly isolate those things that could help the two of us on course.  All in all, a great seminar for me.

Carole Daggett

LeeAnne McAdam

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Re: Maryland Seminar - Belated Thanks
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 05:22:51 AM »
Count me in, too!  As much as I love agility and need the help, my favorite parts are the behavior/relationship stuff.  Whenever I go to a Sharon or clinician seminar, I feel like a kid in a candy store...I don't know where to look first!  Another thing I love about these seminars or camps is that it gives me the chance to work with people I would probably otherwise never see.  I knew there was this woman Janet from Canada who ran Cockers, but I had no idea how much she had to offer or how much I would love working with her.  Janet Ooms, you rock!  She gets a special award in my book for, well, she knows what!  I can't wait for the chance to work with her again.

The help I got from Sharon with my Jack was worth the price of admission in itself.  Folks who know me know the long road we've been on and this might well be the thing that finally gets us over the hump.  I am so thankful.  Finally being able to help him is a real gift to both of us.

I leave these seminars with a head so full of information that I just continually am processing.  I carry my notebooks in the car with me all the time so I can look back and hopefully stay on track.  I so appreciate all of your efforts, Sharon and Janet and Lisa and hope that the next time you see me, you'll be able to see a difference.
Lee Anne

Linda W. Anderson

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Re: Maryland Seminar - Belated Thanks
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 06:45:27 PM »
This was a great seminar and after long years and many tries by my friends, Janet Ooms finally got me to run quietly!!  Thanks Janet, Sharon and Lisa!  Can't wait to start sharing all the great ideas I came home with.
Linda W. Anderson - Dogs have only one fault, their lives are too short!