Denise’s flight got delayed on Friday so I was able to go home and let dogs out and train them a bit before I went to go pick her up. Other than that it was uneventful.
Saturday morning I went to the school to unlock it and drop off dogs (Letty, Copper and Vada). Karl was doing hospitality so he got up there shortly after me. He would then setup and be there in case people had questions while I was gone. This was our routine on Sunday too. It worked very well. Denise’s hotel was only 10 minutes from Total Recall.
Saturday and Sunday were 1 seminar covering training with motivation and drive. I had a working spot with Letty. Alot of the information was not new to me but I did pick up a few finer points and a few things to give thought to. Applying the information under Denise’s watchful eye and having Letty work in a building she’s not comfortable in with alot of people and dogs that she doesn’t know was the important part for me. Letty really stepped up. I was very pleased with her interactions with me and how comfortable she was in the building over the weekend. I feel like we are finally coming together as a team. It was perfect timing with Denise being here so that she could give us guidance and push us to the next level. Saturday at the end of the day we were told that Sunday morning we would be tasked with spending about 40 seconds playing with our dogs with no food or toys (they could have a toy in their mouths if there was a risk of them biting you). That caused alot of anxiety but gave people a chance to practice at home if they chose to. I wasn’t sure how it would go but I knew that Denise would help so I wasn’t too worried. It turned out to be a wonderful exercise for us. I had played with Letty as a puppy and she got so over the top and started biting me so I’ve really kept that kind of play pretty quiet with her. But from our short session I saw the power of the exercise and how much she enjoyed it and really felt like we were interacting together. I saw that same level of play that she directs at Vada being directed at me. We did get some mouthing but when I called her up on me to get petted she calmed down instantly and was just as easily turned back on. So I just need to not get her get so high that she’s biting and give her a tug before she starts biting me. It’s a very powerful tool that can be brought into the ring with you – on a much lower/quieter level. At the end of Sunday we all had time to work on individual issues. We worked on our heeling and really progressed it along quickly. I was very proud of how well Letty did and how well our foundation has come together.
Picture taken by Robin Sallie
Each day over lunch I did some obedience with Vada or Letty (whichever wasn’t working that day) and played fetch with Copper. The non-working dogs really enjoyed their time to play I think.
Monday was a trouble shooting day so I had Vada signed up. In our first session we worked on the broad jump and ideas for getting a better finish and a better drop on recall. In our second session we talked about scent articles and we worked on the signal exercise. I got tons of great ideas for things to work on and how to start some things.
It was very exciting to learn from someone who does well in competition and does Schutzhund and AKC obedience and does not use corrections. My biggest challenge is how to generalize what I’ve learned about agility training and apply it to obedience and what to do when the dog does not do the correct thing.
We had a really fun group of people working and auditing. Lots of auditors! We had nice dinners with great conversations. My dogs did really well. It was a wonderful weekend all around. It seems that everyone else felt that way too.
My husband was awesome too! He took care of all the dogs at home, bought and brought the hospitality stuff, switched vehicles with me on Monday so the dogs could go home while I took Denise out to dinner and he stayed and helped clean up and vacuum the school.
Denise brought lots of cool toys to sell too. There were toys for all levels of tuggers – and no shipping costs! It was good timing as I was in need of some new tugs so I bought a few.
Last night I went up to On the Run for a 2 hour seminar on Running and Footwork for agility. I don’t know if I can apply it exactly but I get the basic concept and was able to practice it. It was a fun group.
Tonight is obedience class. It’s been awhile since we’ve been able to go. It’ll be fun to go and use some of our new knowledge.