Why on earth would anyone who has no interest in dog agility want to know anything about how to train agility contact obstacles? To explain the reason let me share a story with you. Years ago John (my husband) used to travel to, and help me out at many of my seminars (he still does occasionally but not that often anymore). After about a year of so of this he said to me “your seminars are just like a Rolling Stones album . . . the music stays the same . . . you just change the lyrics.” (I am sure John meant no offense to those of us that have Rolling Stones music on our ipods). What John was saying was it didn’t matter if I was teaching a seminar for pet dog training, flyball, obedience, agility, or any other dog sport. I was teaching the same concepts only the application was different.As it should be, as it is all dog training. A dog training program that is deeply seeded in the fundamentals of the science of how dogs learns should be the same regardless of what skills you are developing or what challenges you are working to overcoming.
It comes down to shaping behaviours and manipulating drives. Really, that is dog training in a nut shell.
For the last week I have been presenting a series of on-line training videos to help agility enthusiasts get a better idea of how to fix their current contacts or develop a plan to start from scratch. I have had many “non agility” dog owners watch these videos and comment on how applicable what I was sharing was to their own non-agility training. They see, what John saw many years ago.
In this series I set out to out line what I have found to be the most critical keys to successfully training contacts for the sport of agility. The truth is, I could re-write this training series and put just about any complex dog training skill in the title and not change the content of what I am presenting. Here is what many of you have discovered; what is critical for training one skill in dog training is just as relevant when you go to train the next.
This three part video series is going to be posted for only for another week, I encourage you to try to make the time to check it out. While you are there be sure to download the free ebook and to leave a comment to let me know how my experiences have paralleled or changed the path of yours!
Here is the link to the series www.RunOrStop.com [Update: My running and stopped contact training is now in Agility Nation].
Today I am grateful for Lynda Orton-Hill. Lynda just concluded a two month leave of absence from her job with the government so she could dedicate herself to working full time here at Say Yes. Lynda is a difference maker to our students, but more important she is a great friend to me. Even though she will continue in her role as a “part-time” employee with us, I will miss having her around to bounce ideas off of her any time of the day (and sometimes early hours of the morning).