Susan Salo is here for the next week, although a few of us are sneaking out on the weekend to support our one and only USDAA trial in Ontario. Susan has been coming around here so long now, I am sure our absence won’t be noticed! We have a great group of “repeaters” here for Susan’s mid-week workshop. “Repeaters” being, people that have worked with Susan on multiple occasions.
As usual Susan started off with a brief morning lecture. And again as usual, Susan had some profound logic to share with us all. Often times Susan is just phrasing common sense in a
way that affects people differently that day. One comment she made yesterday morning I felt necessary to really emphasize for all. I added that it was sage advise applicable to all of dog training when Susan said of jumping “it is important that you never have a static lesson plan. Read your dog after each repetition and know what he needs at that point. Be flexible and willing to adapt your plan for that session to suit the current needs of the dog.”
I think of this statement as it relates to people following the 2×2 method of weave pole training. The DVD presents a lesson plan to train or re-train your dog. However it may not be in your dog’s best interest to try to keep up with the pace that I set with the dogs that use for I demonstrations. You shouldn’t try to push a dog along if his actions and success rate is telling you he is not ready for a bigger challenge.
Another gem I got from Susan was when we were discussing the current popular practice of punishing dogs for dropped bars (something neither Susan nor I approve of). Susan’s comment was; “you can not prepare for peace while you are a planning for war” when she was describing the conflict of trying to build a jump education while using punishment.
Those of you struggling with teaching your dogs to jump please know it is not an overnight or even an over-month fix. It is a career long process and perfection is elusive, all you can aim for is a constant improvement. For the sake of the dog, that has got to be enough for you. If you do not have a current jump education program for your dog, I strongly recommend Susan Salo’s Jumping DVD as a place to start. When you get it, print of the PDF that is on the disc and follow along from that handout while you watch the DVD. It is never to late to go back and give your dog a new beginning!
Today I am grateful for the continual improvement I have seen with my own dog’s jump education.