Yesterday in the comments section, Jason was looking for some compelling reasons to come to puppy camp. By now you all know how passionate I feel about focusing on the skills to turn your puppy into a great family pet and how that foundation helps to crate a phenomenal agility dog. Personally I think if more people scaled back the money they put into trial entries, and made more of an investment their young puppy’s education, I think you would find the return on that investment impressive. By the time your were ready to enter this dog into his first agility trail, he would be better equipped to perform brilliantly, right from the start. You would replace the need to constantly “retrain” your skills with the easier task of of only needing to “maintain” them as your dog progresses through his career.
At our upcoming puppy camp we have six people returning who have already worked at least one other puppy with us previously. One of them is one of my instructors (and she doesn’t get that much of a price break either:)). Do these people know our program? Yup. Tracy has been instructing with me for years, but like us all, she sees the value in spending 3 days focusing entirely on the relationship between her and her puppy. US World Team member and a about a zillion-time AKC and USDAA National Champion, Terry Smorch was at puppy camp last fall with “Sirrah” the third puppy he has trained in our program, plus he is returning next month to follow up that experience with a Skills Camp for his little spitfire! Clearly there is value in investing in your puppy’s early education.
Hey remember, Jason brought this subject up, the truth is we only have 2 spots left in our April Puppy Camp (and it is rare that a PC doesn’t fill), so I am not writing this as a form of promotion. My intent is to stress the need for early education in your performance dogs. Just as I wrote a couple of days ago, if you invest time in making the simple tasks great, the difficult ones you will want to teach later on will become a lot easier. It goes back to the fundamentals we stress at puppy camp; Relationship Building Games, Control Games such as Crate Games & Body Awareness Games. Don’t sign up for Puppy Camp expecting to drag your puppy across a lowered A Frame, I just don’t see any value in that. Fundamentals means we focus on F-U-N, making learning a blast for the puppy. On top of the great curriculum we have, and our great staff, you Americans also are in the enviable position of saving $0.27 on every dollar you spend up here on things like hotels, car rentals and meals. But I don’t want Jason to take my word alone for it, so I am going to throw this out to all of you former puppy-campers out there. Write in and let Jason know why you think he should come to puppy camp!
Today I am grateful that my dogs don’t seem to mind trudging through the mud,’cause it is absolutely everywhere around here right now!