This past weekend I did a Contacts and Weave workshop and we had an awesome group. It didn’t hurt that 12 of the 14 handlers had been to multiple camps here at Say Yes at one time or another. Teaching people that already have a good understanding of the system makes my job a lot easier. The really cool thing was that ALL of the teams showed a MASSIVE improvement over the course of the two days of training. The weaving was totally impressive –there was some pretty novice-level people that were able to accomplish some really mind-blowing work on four poles. In this clip I am including work from three people that have never trailed in agility before! Of course there are some mistakes, but I don’t want to scare you all off, this method works even with your mistakes! The only difference is it may take you a bit longer. Check this out, it is filmed over the two days and you can see some real progressions in all of the dogs.
Another really inspiring thing that happened over the weekend was the way the nose touches improved in leaps and bounds in just two days. Nose targeting is something our students traditionally have laboured over. Often trying to “perfect it” for months, some times a year or more!! This used to drain the students, the dog and I will admit sometimes the instructor too:). I think we lost students over their inability to get the nose touch “of their dreams” while working so hard towards it. Now that I have proven that weave poles can be trained a lot faster than people expected, I am out to move my students along on their nose targeting. I have been fine tuning the way I teach contacts for the last 15 years. But the method hasn’t really hasn’t changed much in all that time, I have just come up with ways to teach it more effectively. I started using a nose target to train my contact with Stoni (who was a re-train). Buzzy was the first dog I started as a puppy, that was 12 years ago. I wrote all about the method in Shaping Success. My focus with the method in the last three years has been to really make it simple for anyone to have success, and I am thrilled at the most recent results. Here is a clip from camp, remember for some of these folks, this is pretty new stuff!
I am truly inspired with the progress everyone showed over this mini 2-day camp. I am grateful for all of the students that continue to invest their time with their dogs at our school.