Moving into the last day of another great skills camp. Super group of people, super group of dogs. Since all dogs and handlers are returning for a continuation of Critical Elements we have been able to take massive steps forward this week.
Day one I asked the group to focus on all may be influencing their dog’s skills. Things that my be saboteurs to that what which they are trying to accomplish.
I am talking about things you may not even be aware of right now. It could be behaviours that happen when the dog is away from you or it also could be those things you are actively working on and didn’t think of agility when you trained it.
For example, lets say you want to lose weight. You hire a trainer, you do exactly what she says. You put in extra cardio on your own a few nights a week on top of the killer workouts 3 or 4 mornings a week with this excellent trainer. Still you don’t lose weight.
As with anything in life, it isn’t necessarily all of the things you do right that has the greatest impact; it is that which you are doing wrong. Working out 7 or 8 times a week will certainly contribute to getting into better shape but if you are eating ice cream and cookies at every meal you dream of being a fit person will likely elude you.
The same is true of your dog training. While trying to improve upon your agility dog’s skills. If you feel you are following directions well, practicing sufficiently but not getting the desired results; it is time to turn the magnifying glass on what else may be affecting your dog’s agility skills.
For example, if you are working on tight turns but your dog spends most of the day running big loops around your kids in the backyard or you do dock diving twice a week– your uber tight turns may be tougher to get no matter how many hours you put in on the agility field.
It isn’t always the things you are doing right that lead to great improvement it is stopping the things you are doing wrong.
All of this may sound a bit disheartening but I hope it is the opposite. I hope it will be inspiring as you may now have direction to clean up some of your agility skills.
And speaking of inspiration, I hear that John Cullen will be launching his new product later this week. I got to take a sneak peak at it and WOW is all I have to say — a couple surprises in there for everyone who jumps on board!
Today I am grateful for a heated floor when stepping out of a warm shower on a cool fall day.