You know that ageless debate…which came first the chicken to lay the egg or the egg that grew to be a chicken?
Well I see a similar one in dog agility. Yesterday, I released the first video in my latest free online training series “Transforming Your Agility Handling.”
In the first video I show you a bunch of video clips of me handling my dogs back in the 1990s. It was watching that video that made me think of the chicken and the egg comparison.
Back in the ’90s when none of us were very good at handling, I ran more defensive…not really running full out. It was more of a shuffle-stop-walk-lunge-stop-jog movement…if you know what I mean. As a handler I was more reacting to where my dog was headed more than actually guiding her. Today, now that my handling is clear, my agility dogs run with more focus, confidence and speed…and so do I!
So during that handling transformation of mine, did I become a faster handler because my dog’s started driving to the correct obstacle more often? Or did my dogs start heading to the correct obstacle more often when I became a faster more confident handler?
Really I think both are true. Successful experiences are the foundation from which confidence grows….both in dogs and in their handlers as well!
So if our dogs are continually called away from obstacles they are heading towards…because the information we gave them to head that way was flawed in the first place, our dogs will slow down. They will lose confidence in their understanding of what we want.
If the dogs slow down enough, so they are moving at no more than a walk, we as handlers gain the confidence that we WILL be able to predict where they are heading so WE speed up.
But that isn’t the best way to gain confidence as a handler…at the expense of our dog’s confidence.
For many dogs, like my early dogs, they didn’t noticeably slow down when things became less clear. They did things like; bark, bite me, spin in front of jumps, lunge at off course obstacles (sometimes taking them), have wider turns, knock bars or second guess where I was sending them and pull of at the last second.
Dogs show their lack of confidence in us in their own unique ways. Maybe your own dog does it in a way you haven’t even noticed yet. Think about it for a moment.
When your handling becomes clearer, confidence grows together… as a team.
I would like to help that happen.
And thats why I do things like set aside time through the year to put out video tutorial series like the one I released yesterday. Click this link now and watch “Increase Confidence…Become Your Agility Dog’s GPS“
While you watch, take note of how both my dogs and my confidence in the agility ring has grown over the years.
This video is raw…I really open, sharing some personal details that very few people know. I decided in order to help you transform your agility handling it is important for you to understand …I once sat where you are sitting.
Confidence comes from the repetition of successful experiences.
Today I share with you a critical key element in growing my current agility dog’s confidence. This is what allows them to run as fast as they can all the way around a course. I not only share this critical key on today’s video I am giving away a free ebook for you to help get started building your own dog’s confidence now!
Be sure to watch my video series while it is available… as it will only be around until the end of the month.
Today I am grateful for all of my early dogs, the ones who suffered the loss of their own confidence as a part of my transformational journey in agility.