Author Topic: What I Learned and Observed This Weekend...  (Read 1366 times)


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What I Learned and Observed This Weekend...
« on: July 11, 2016, 07:45:38 AM »
This last weekend I was at the Fun Raiser in Norco, CA. My dogs and I had a great time even though we had our personal ups and downs!  ;) I learned something, actually, I RE-learned something  ;D that should be soooo basic regarding dogs in general. I also did a little observing which made me the "doggie therapist" for the weekend....

Poor Chris last month's Fun Raiser and this last weekend's - we have been super lucky to have two! - there was what I thought a weird (OK, I called it "nasty" from the Bonus Box perspective!) portion on a couple of courses. I chatted with Chris about the one last month and he was kind and listened and even went out to double check the setting of the course. He did his best to make it right but I still was grumbling about it... Well, surprise, surprise! My dog did *that* part beautifully! (We messed up someplace else that I thought would be "easy"...yes, that was stupid of ME!) This weekend we had somewhat the same situation and I said to Chris - WITH A SMILE -, "Dude - this is just ugly!". Once again, surprise, surprise...we had no problem on that part, we messed up elsewhere....

At the end of the trial yesterday, I went over to Chris and thanked him for teaching me something...that what I thought my dog and I couldn't do, WE COULD! Yay!!! Thanks, Chris, for the learning opportunity.  :) What I tell other people all the time, but forget to apply to my own dogs is: Dogs are amazing and we need to trust our training and trust our dog to do amazing stuff.

One of the things I observed at this trial and what I've been seeing it more and more, but it really "hit me" this weekend was - folks don't know how to get an "attitude adjustment" from their own dogs. The first one was a dog who has slowed down and shows some stress when running...I suggested to find a bunch of places on the course to *praise* - yes, actually say "GOOD!" (and mean it) on the course to their partner. It had become "serious bizznezz" to the handler...too serious for this particular dog...and she needed to be told she was doing great out there. The dog had a miraculous turn around in her attitude and the handler had much more success and enjoyed it more themselves. Sadly, I don't hear enough praise out there on course for the one who is trying sooo hard to please....

Observation #2: If you have a "scared" dog - think it through from the dog's perspective - *not yours*. This is not your fear, it's theirs and they don't think or react like a human. A lot of the time it's a matter of redirecting the dog's thought pattern...if it's what *you* think is that it's a "scary place", do something fun and different in the "scary place" and see if that's *really* the problem. That's just one option...  :)

Another observation: It hurts my heart when *the dog* is forgotten after getting that title thingie... Sure, celebrate, but celebrate *with* your partner in a way your *partner* appreciates. This isn't about the handler, this is about *the team*.

OK, jumping off my soap box now...  ;)


Leona Valley, CA