It is no secret that I'm not really a show person. Aside from stewarding a bunch of shows over the years, I made only two appearances in the ring with my frenchie. It was sort of fun in a poke myself in the eyeball kinda way. I did like spending time with my dog and watching everyone else show. And I didn't have nerves in the ring, I just didn't get much of a kick out of it. So I didn't really care about going back. My focus in training as a trainer has always been on house manners and basic obedience for the average dog, and behavior modification when needed to deal with problem behaviors. I get my kicks out of helping people learn how to communicate and understand their dogs better. That is where I feel I excel.
Since getting more into clicker training, I find myself fascinated by teaching the more complex behaviors. Many of those are seen in the show ring. That coupled with the Rally class Jenny and I took recently has me re-thinking this whole competition thing. Enough that I got Jenny's PAL with AKC and Jack and Jenny listed with APDT "just in case". I picked up a flyer for an upcoming match next month that will have Rally run throughs. I just may go.
Unfortunately I was signed up to do a fabulous seminar with Pam Dennison on training for the obedience ring that I had to cancel. First a change of date then a change of venue all worked against me this go round. I am trying not to dwell but I am pretty bummed about it. When it comes to some of the "show moves" I feel a bit behind in training (after years of ignoring them) so I could have really used the class.
So since I can't make the class I will be trying as much as possible to step up my practicing of ring obedience work. (Reality check, I have 2 jobs, 2 kids, a husband and 2 dogs so my spare time is pretty much non-existent. I post this in HOPES having my readers will be what helps keep me on track. I mean, if I say it out loud I have to do it right?? Yeah, wish me luck with that.) It is odd to have been in the training game this long and only now have started to catch the show bug. Of course some of that may be due to the fact that there is Rally now too. Regular show obedience didn't do it for me but I find Rally much more natural and fun.
In the spirit of all that, today I took some video so I could self critique. Here they are:
I can see that I need to back up in training and focus on teaching Jenny the proper heel position. She seems confused at times. In her defense this was her first "outside" formal heeling session. She was usually much better in class. But it is good that I can see it. I also noticed I need to sometimes walk faster, talk to her more and stop bending over so far to see where she is. And figure out what to do with my hands. It's a pretty long list. Well at least I always remember to step off with my left foot!
I was going to do some Rally practice but the wind was such that no amount of clothespins would keep the signs on their holders.
Check out this trainer. I am in LOVE with her stuff. She has a bunch of videos on YouTube. It is pretty amazing stuff. I love how clear she is.
Now if we could just get her a TV show.