Monday, October 24, 2011

Value of the blog

This morning I woke up reflecting on my weekend trial. I don't really focus on the exact run or the result too much, I tend to focus on what we did well and what we need to work on next. The results (Q's and placements) tend to come as a result of good training.

Also, I went back and read many of my blog entries regarding Split. I had written so many times about my challenges with him being a soft and velcro dog. He has been hard to train at times (because I didn't have the skills as a trainer that he needed). My frustrations are apparent in these blog entries! The height of those frustrations seemed like they came last winter. Then, came his injury and many, many months off for him.

Fast forward...I trialed with both Tip and Split this weekend. Split was a different dog! A very different dog! The amount of confidence that he displayed was on paralle with Tip's confidence (which is really saying something). Split ran every course this weekend with his head straight ahead, spotting his lines and driving to the obstacles like a mad man! He was a blazing fast, confident boy!

I am thankful that as a dog trainer I realized this change in behavior and rewarded profusely! I have been trying to follow the advice of Mary Ellen Barry and reward improvement! With Split's run, they weren't even close to perfect but it was HUGE movement in the right direction! Reward, Reward, Reward!!

I am really glad at this moment that I have taken the time to blog about my challenges with Split. It helps me appreciate this improvement! It helps me love the problem that I have now :)

So, back to my morning thoughts about the trial specifically...

What Split did great--driving through the course with independance, not requiring that I was right at this side, if I didn't cue it on time, he made a decision and stuck to it!

Now of course this change doesn't come without problems :) Split ran his dogwalk contact, he was so confident and fast that his lines were way less than perfect and he was a little slow (ok, a lot sometimes) to respond to some cues!

I will take this problem and be very happy with it!! I KNOW how to train this type of confident dog!!!

P.S. I strongly suspect that the time off for Split was the best trainer of all!

1 comment:

Jenn said...

I think time off might be a tool in the kit for these dogs. My rat terrier was velcro and soft - we took a full year off and he came back a different dog.

I think both members of the team benefit. I came back without my frustration and he came back with some internalized confidence in his own knowledge. It was great.