We just wrapped up four days of puppy and young dog training. It started with our two day Advances in Dog Training (AiDT) and then rolled right into Critical Elements (the camp formerly known as puppy camp:)). As of January 2010 we now been honouring a policy that allows anyone that has attended AiDT once (at our facility here at Say Yes) the option of returning at any point over the next three years for half price.

We had a couple people take advantage of this policy and we had a couple that emailed and asked for a “pass” since they attending AiDT within the past year. Normally I say “no” to such requests but this time around I allowed it. Guess what. I got bombarded with “but you didn’t teach THAT at your last AiDT!!!!” or “you did things differently when you showed us last year.”

Yep, there is a very good chance I did but also a chance I didn’t. There is so much information thrown at people in AiDT it isn’t surprising that every detail isn’t remembered as it was presented.

And yes, things change, with each new AiDT I present there are new slides added, concepts tweaked and improvements presented. Giving two solid reasons why repeating is never a bad idea and why we offer repeating as an option for half price!

The problem with dog training is so many people claim to have a patented “method” which to me is the first step towards extinction. Once you lock yourself into everything-must-be-done-this-way methodology you will be more resistant to change. Any skill you can learn should be under a constant evaluation and very likely a constant evolution.

If you look at older, more established sports such as hockey, basketball, gymnastics and look at the innovative changes to those sports in the past 10 years you will see that sport is dynamic. That is what competition does.

Now take a sport as relatively young as dog agility and it just MUST move forward even faster. A program that is teaching you the same thing in the same way with each new puppy, is a program resting on yesterday’s accomplishments.

Your dog training should never be static. What worked “well” in the past should always be put under a microscope to see how it can be made better.

Now I am not saying you completely do an about face on success. But I am suggestion that today’s innovation is tomorrow’s “Pet Rock.” What may have seemed like a great idea at the time, needs to be constantly critiqued or suddenly it is 2011 and you and your Bouffant hairdo and platform shoes find yourself sitting in your Pacer driving your  way to that Koehler based Dog Training class.

As you can see by the photos, we still strongly believe in the importance of tugging in our foundation!  I am proud of the consistency of our approach to training but all concepts within our philosophy are subject to change. That is one element of my approach that will never change.

I believe being dynamic will; keep things interesting for students, fresh for instructors and will guarantee you a front row seat at the Cutting Edge Cinema of Life.

Oh  . . . and as a side note, those that got that “pass” on AiDT are already planning to attend the next one we offer:).

Today I am grateful for a break from our -20 degree temperatures!