I’m beginning to think that I should re-name these sections “Self-discovery Monday”!
While the intention was to blog about a bunch of things we’re learning as a team, I’m finding more and more that I’m the one who needs to do a lot of learning.
A couple of weeks back, I wrote a blog post about patience and finding our inner Zen for agility. Today I’m finding I’m more and more reflecting on that lesson & taking it to the next level.
Being the agility nerds we are, Jaxon and I were looking for training tips online that could help us train in any situation.
As it’s raining, and unlikely to have a session in the yard this evening, I was thinking how I could build an indoor agility course for him.
Then I stumbled upon this great article by one of NSDTC members – Karin Bridge.
It’s a great read & awesome tips for just having fun training with your pup. Enjoy!
Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? I loved those stories and would read them over again and again. What I liked most about them was the unexpected rewards you got at every choice. Dogs love that kind of reward system too. Positive behaviour and reinforcement is best displayed when the dog is making their own choices from the outset.
This week we’ve been working on good choices for Jaxon. I realised that rewarding him with food wasn’t really putting the value of the relationship into me, but into the food.
A little while back, Jaxon & I attended summer Agility Camp with Canine Fun Sports.
It was a fun time, but the middle of Summer really got us, and one day in particular was close to 40 degrees right up to 6pm in the evening!
Well the best thing about Agility Camp is the great group of people who are there – and their fabulous dogs.
If you met Jaxon at a trial, you would think he’s a yapper (sad face). However, if you met him at home, you’d be surprised at how quiet he is.
I certainly thought he was such a quiet one that we’d have to encourage him to speak up sometimes.
One of the early tricks I taught Jaxon was to “Speak”. I watched a TV program about dogs that perform on TV, and thought Jaxon would make a great TV dog (no offers yet).
The thing that made me think was the fact the trainer was getting the dog to do certain actions at a distance.
Eventually, “Speak” became a trick that worked 2-fold. It got Jaxon to speak up, and it taught him not to bark at us other times.
In the top nosh doggie arenas, a new sport has clinched the attention of those normally snooty and rather aloof show-dog types.
This week, Westminster Kennel Club (New York City) dog show held their first ever master’s agility trial! Hooray for agility taking the world by storm!
This week we’ve been challenging ourselves with lots of foundation training for agility. While that’s fun, I’ve really wanted to put some variety into our daily sessions to give Jaxon lots of fun and keep him challenged.
This week we’re training on a different surface everyday. With our daily training, I like to keep it short and fun for Jaxon, keeping it to 5 minutes at each end of the day. I train these sessions at mealtimes so I have Jaxon’s attention.
It’s a big thing to look inside yourself and recognise the ways you can grow and better yourself. Not a lot of people do this, and I think I’ve found the secret.
Owning a dog, and doing a dog sport – agility – has helped me really reflect on who I am and how I can better myself. This comes through the constant learning and growing together as a team.
We’ve really fallen for the method that is blitzing the world at the moment – the One Mind Dogs method.
If you’re in Australia, now you have the chance to find out for yourself all about the One Mind Dogs method.
They are coming in April for a Seminar & workshops!
Jaxon & I are still novice level, so anything and everything really helps at this stage!
While it’s a lot of running (helping us get fit!), it seems to make sense for both handler & the dog.
If you have missed any of the information from the One Mind Dogs team, or the Agility Australia Facebook page, here it is again:
Sign up for the Seminar & auditing sessions here: Game On Dogs
If you can’t make it – here are a couple of great videos from the OMD team to get you interested!
One of our challenges in Agility & Jumping has been connection between Jaxon & I. So this means keeping a good basic training schedule of foundation skills.
For me, I like to do 5 minutes at each end of the day – high energy quick sessions that end on a high, and keep Jaxon interested and wagging his tail.