Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reasons...

I saw this quote the other day...made me really think...

"Every handler gets the dog he/she deserves." Royal Airforce K9

Having trained several dogs and helped others train their dogs for several years...this really hits home for me :)

I personally have been blessed to have dogs that have been perfect for what I needed to learn as a trainer and handler :) If ONLY I knew this when they came my way :) Hindsight is always 20/20.

I am a big believer in you can take any dog and make it what you want (obviously taking into consideration limitations of a particular dog :-)) Everyone wants the perfect dog that will take them to whatever their highest goals are...

I think dogs you get are either there to help you develop your skills....OR to teach you new ones :) Every dog that enters your life is a reason to learn, a reason to self reflect and figure out what you are lacking or need to work on.

Ace--my first competition dog, now going on 11 years old, gray and arthritic, but he has taught me so much. How to make things fun, how to adapt training to suite an individual dog, how to handle in agility, how to enjoy the simple things in life and how to be patient.

Zip--my first "high drive" dog...she had the mental toughness Ace was lacking...hard as a rock, she put up with my mistakes, my training errors, my frustrations, and my disappointments in myself with learning how to handle a fast dog...in return she made me a better handler.

Klink--my first "not bonding well" dog...she and I had a love/hate relationship for a long time, basically, I wanted her to be Zip--she wasn't--and that taught me a lot. She was there to help me work on "more patience" on the idea of less is more...but most importantly...she taught me that not every dog is an 8 week old "serious as an adult" puppy (aka Zip)...that maturity helps a lot of things fall into place. She is goofy and happy and makes me smile so much...

Gator--I call him my "if Ace was a purebred border collie" (smile). He is honest to the core, does his job with a zest for life that is contagious and adores me even for all my faults. He was a late maturing dog (which didn't bother me thanks to Klink) but to bring out his drive I had to show him that serious wasn't always a great idea...letting go a bit is OK :)

This boy, who I thought would have a hard time getting an ADCH in USDAA had his by 2 1/2 years old...and with each trial he runs harder, faster, and puts more into every single run.

If I would have gotten Gator before Zip...I would have ruined Gator with my lack of understanding of handling, my getting mad at myself and all the things that Zip didn't care about due to her mental toughness...

If I would have gotten Zip after Klink I wouldn't have known how to deal with a tough, independent dog...Zip would have run all over me...Zip taught me to be tough...Klink taught me to be fair...

I think this quote is a real example of exactly what training dogs is all about. Dogs happen for a reason...cherish each and every one that comes into your life...

6 comments:

Sarah said...

***** 5 stars.

love this. i feel exactly the same way.

i am a big believer that all dogs are capable of great things ... and i am amazed at the patience of them learning through our mistakes.

Dianna said...

GREAT post..So true.

Emma Rose said...

Wonderful post. We are picking up our new BC puppy on Saturday so the timing was perfect!
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

it's funny- someone told me that same thing a long time ago- and i completely have believed it. each dog i've had has taught me so much- and none more than my difficult dog Kate. :o)

amanda at manymuddypaws

Taryn said...

I've heard that quote before. Thanks for reminding me of it and illustrating it so well!

fulltiltbcs said...

Thanks everyone...it really is good to have a reminder of where we have all come from...it can be so hard sometimes to deal with a dog that has "issues" or "difficulties"...but I have that quote on my training book...a great reminder :)