I hope everyone had a great and safe holiday. I went to my towns annual pet show and had fun watching all the dogs (and a rabbit!) partake of a mini agility course. Lauren of The Loyal Biscuit Co. was there judging and giving out prizes donated from her store. It was a somewhat rainy morning so it was a smaller turnout than usual but it was still fun. You can always count on the mix of kids and dogs to provide some laughs. Then Jenny and I took a turn hanging out at the store.
While there we also worked on one of our tricks. (I'm not telling which one.) I picked up a copy of 101 Dog Tricks this week to get some new ideas from. I am still a pretty new convert to the idea of trick training being useful as a part of a regular training regimen. Even though I now love it I sometimes get stumped with what tricks there are out there to chose from. To many years of repetition of the basics I guess. Jenny needs the mental stimulation though and it will help me come up with plenty of ideas to keep her (us) busy when we aren't out tracking.
I also grabbed a copy of Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt. I am only about 50 pages in and loving it already. I'll be sure to give a more in depth review of it when I finish.
One of the reps at work came through for me and sent the Cesar Millan packet I mentioned before. I already watched the "Waiting room" copy DVD and have also downloaded the freebie that the clients are supposed to get. I have to say I think I was right to be sceptical. So far all I have seen is clips from his "Mastering Leadership" DVD's with some ads for Heartguard and Frontline thrown in. One clip was a great example of learned helplessness. At one point he says "We want the dog to fight" as the dog is freaking out. Uh no we don't! The frustrating thing is that as always there are some good tips thrown in between his scary stuff. And contrary to the rumor so far there has been no sign of any other positive trainers helping him show any basic training whatsoever. I haven't watched the download yet due to lack of time. (and truth be told, I have little interest in wasting much more of my time cringing at his methods) I'll be sure to report in on the other video after I watch it.
Check out a very interesting conversation about cropping and docking in dogs on another blog I read. Since I don't have breeds that are cropped or docked it is a non-issue for me in general. The vet I work for doesn't do ear cropping but does do tail docking. As a trainer I do think removing or changing body parts can affect dogs body language. If not for the dog itself, then for the dogs that are looking at them and interacting with them. It is hard enough to read some dogs as it is. (they used to crop pugs ears commonly according to the history book I have on the breed) Whichever side of the issue you are on here is some food for thought.
Tomorrow morning I am planning on headed out for some tracking. I have been so busy with other peoples dogs I have been lax with my own beasties this last couple of weeks. I'll try to get more video to share of her in action.