Maggie is my first Cardigan, and the dog that got me hooked on the breed. She’s a very hard worker, and she’s focused on her task -- she’s not the sort to get into the ring and frap, or shut down and not try. She has a job, and she’s there to do it. She’s not perfect, but I never have a doubt that she’s doing her best.
Maggie’s also a fun dog to train because she learns quickly and is willing to give me the benefit of the doubt – continuing to try in the face of uncertainty (which, with me as a handler, I’m sure there’s a lot of.) Maggie’s main motivation is food – if there’s a biscuit involved, she’s in!
Denz is filled with enthusiasm and is motivated first and foremost by wanting to GO and DO. The dog wants a job and is keen when he’s doing the job. He also likes food rewards (he is a Cardi, after all), but those are secondary for Denzil.
and now for the youngest pack member:
Ziggy is my 3rd Cardigan – and right now he’s an enigma.
My challenge is to figure out the best way to train this boy – what exactly is going to build the “want” in this dog? (Ziggy is very laid back most of the time.)
He likes food – but not like Maggie likes food. He likes to work sometimes – but not like his brother Denzil. He has great attention and focus sometimes. At other times he’d just rather sit around. He’s also a bit stubborn so doing something like taking him back to the place where he broke a stay is often met with an impassive look and feet that are firmly glued to the floor.
So this is my quest – how do I build with Ziggy a strong working relationship like I have with Maggie and Denzil? I’m quite confident that Ziggy will make me a better dog trainer and handler. I’m also confident that it’s going to be a very long and interesting journey….