Well puppy camp was once again a blast. I was very impressed with the way the campers all were able to create focus and drive in some pretty young puppies. The key was “fast and fun” transitions. From the crate to work and back to the crate, including balance breaks (yes that is correct all you that worked with me in BC, we came up with a new name for ‘stress breaks’). Balance breaks are quick breaks in your shaping sessions used to increase the dog’s excitement level and give both dog and handlers a break from their work. We used to call them “stress breaks” but too many students were taking them to alleviate signs of stress in their dogs (inadvertently rewarding the dogs for stopping their work). The newly named “balance breaks” gives you balance between using food rewards and playing with toys. The students at puppy camp last week embraced the concept wonderfully. Here is a short clip from last week’s Puppy Camp. Tomorrow we kick off Skills Camp, another big group coming in from all over (from California to Texas to Minnesota to New Jersey to Alberta and many ports in between!).
Today I am grateful we have scheduled a couple of yoga sessions (for staff and any students that are interested) before Skills camp this weekend (everything packed into one fun adventure!)