For those of you who get Clean Run magazine, and have read this month’s opening article – you know what I’m talking about. For those who don’t get Clean Run –shame on you – you’re missing some great agility tips and articles J.
One of these great articles was written by a fellow Cardi-crazy, Kristine. Her article is about training and competing with a “less than perfect” dog. You know, one of those dogs that doesn’t live to compete –who will never earn a MACH or an OTCH or perhaps even an “excellent-level” title. She talks about having fun training and competing with one of these dogs.
I absolutely agree. Right now, Ziggy is one of these dogs. He is a challenge to motivate and even more of a challenge to take into competition-type environments. Sometimes -- like last Friday at an obedience show-n-go when Ziggy decided the people serving as figure 8 posts were absolutely going to get him and he needed to RUN AWAY -- I feel despair that all of my training is futile. Great dog in training; weirdo who seems like he’s never been trained when he’s “tested.”
Most of the time, though, I enjoy working with the Z. He is making me a much better dog trainer, and is teaching me training techniques that I never knew existed. I’m attending seminars, reading new books, re-reading old books, and watching my fellow dog trainers much more than I would if Ziggy were as easy to train as Maggie & Denzil were. And, I’m having fun doing it.
Yes, I hope that someday Z and I will have a “breakthrough” that allows me to have the fun, happy, bouncy, dog in the ring that I have when practicing. But that’s the challenge of the journey. And I’ll be SO thrilled when I get an obedience score in the 190’s with Ziggy – or when I get a clean, fast run in agility. It’s just going to take me a (long) while longer….
Completely unconcerned that he'll never earn an OTCH