Friday, July 2, 2010

I agree with Kristine

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….

Ziggy -
 Completely unconcerned that he'll never earn an OTCH


  1. What are you talking about - I have already earned an On The Couch Hanging-loose title.

    Yawn. Scratch. Sniff. Stretch. Give me a medal.

  2. But he wins the cuter than cute award, and that counts too right?

  3. Thanks Lani! I'm going to get a copy of my column up on my website just as soon as I get home from Montana.
    I will be the first to admit that training Riley was sometimes a bit frustrating, but in the end, like you said, it made me a much better trainer.
    I learned SO MUCH about motivation and positive, reward-based training working with Riley. Zoey is a better dog because of what I learned from Riley.
    And, as I said in the column, I DID have fun with Riley. The ribbons he won are some of my most cherished since I know how hard BOTH of us had to work to get them!
    Glad you liked the column!!

  4. It's truly about the journey. If we learn to enjoy that trip, we'll have great stories to tell around the campfire at the end of each day, and we'll sleep well at night.

  5. Wilson is very much a competition stresser too! It took alot of patience and perseverence to finish his Excellent titles. Of course, I am sure he was feeding off my nerves as well. The mental game is tough for both team members! I am glad I learned agility with Wilson, he was easy to train, even if trials weren't.

  6. Each one is different, truly!

  7. It made me smile to read Kristine's article since I have my own dog who is a challenge to trial (he didn't like it at all). The fun is definitely in the journey together. Others may not see it, but they aren't living it. For me when I stopped trying to convince Ike to trial and just started training like I would trial things turned around immediately and I respect Ike's desire not to trial.


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