Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Favorite Dog To Train? EVER? Wanna Know??

First off...my birthday was on the 9th...and I had probably THE MOST amazing birthday I can remember. My good friends got together and we fished, we went out on the lake, rode jet ski's, tubing, swimming, BBQ'ing...you name it. It was 3 days of absolute heaven :) So the post will have a few pic I took...all are done with my iphone...I know, I have an expensive camera...but it's a pain to carry around. I'll get it out next time. I am very grateful for the amazing people I have met up here in this state :) And we will be here many more years. Why you ask?

Because we are breaking ground on our building the week of the 27th :-))) YAY!!!!!!!!

Ok...back to the title of the blog: Nope...it's not a Border Collie...it's not a terrier...guess?

It's the under dog...yep. That's right. Those dogs that come to me labeled "problem children" by not normally their owners, but rather OTHER TRAINERS. Those dogs that have the zoomies, fear issues, focus issues, motion sensitivities, aggression issues, you name it.

Day 182: Solitude
I love the lake, I love water...enough said :)

These people come to me, after being told time and time again their dog is stubborn, unmotivated, doesn't like agility etc etc etc. You name it. I particularly like the ones that say "your dog is a---insert breed here--they're not good at agility". Sigh...really?

So these people come for a lesson, many of them ready to actually GIVE UP on agility (some not...but many are very frustrated, having spent time and money on this to have FUN with their dog...and no fun has been happening)...they've cried after lessons, they've driven home with no answers, they've been so lost and angry...I've been there. I know those feelings.

Day 183: A Northern

I have fished for catfish...never for anything else. Fishing for catfish is simple...worm on hook (or stinkbait) and wait...then you will feel the bait SLOWLY move away and you pull and set the hook.
This is NOT how fishing for Northerns is...those buggers hit that line like a freight train and if you have never had that happen, holy CRAP what a rush! :) Screw fishing for catfish! I am hooked (haha, bad pun) but seriously...I haven't had this much fishing EVER! :) Addictive. Ahhhh.

Anyway...so people with "off breeds" or "problem dogs"...why do I love training them? Because they teach me something EVERY, SINGLE, LESSON. And their owners are probably the hardest working students ever.

184: Lynn has hair again!!! YIPPEE!!!
These people have tried, trusted and completed lots of classes, they have really worked hard and maybe it's just has been on the wrong thing with their dogs. The hardest thing for these people to do is trust me, trust that I really DO want their dogs to do well...it can take awhile, but...when they trust me, work hard and then things start happening, the lines of communication open between handler and dog. It's just an AMAZING thing. So worth the brainstorming that keeps me up at night.

185: Dusty
Dusty was one of these dogs...she was a zoomie dog. Now...her owner has NO issues with that. They communicate well, they run well together, it's amazing. THAT...for ME is what it's all about.

I love that moment when a student realizes their dog is with them, and they are speaking the same language. I love it when the dog decides they WANT to run agility with their owner, the stress from all the past melts away from the dogs face and they start LOVING the work. The rewards are clear, the task that is being asked of them is clear, and they WILLINGLY do it.

When people can take their dogs off leash and realize there won't be bolting, or sniffing...but rather a pair of sweet eyes looking up at them with a "what we gonna do??" look :) It's just brilliant...and sometimes can make me jump up and down I'm so excited :)

186: Summer :)
I love seeing shy or aggressive dogs, turn around. They become more outgoing, friendly, and relaxed. They stop being aggressive because they have an outlet. They get closer and trust their owners more because of the teamwork required. I see many 180 degree changes in these dogs. And it makes what I do worth so much more.

Sure--easy dogs are nice, not saying they aren't. But...given a difficult dog that I can see make HUGE changes every week, versus an easy dog that just goes along, no hiccups...I really enjoy the challenge of the first type. Mainly because the hard work gives HUGE rewards in the end.

187: Please, please stay forever!!
Each dog makes you grow as a trainer...each dog AND each student also makes you grown as an instructor...I get the privilege of having so many amazing teachers that I get to meet with each and every week :)

For that I am very grateful. They have taught me so very very much.

6 comments:

Patty said...

A belated happy birthday! What a great post! I wish all trainers were as open minded and willing to work with "problem" dogs as you are.

D said...

Dusty is a completely different dog since training with you! I nearly cried the 1st time I saw her run with her owner, no zoomies. A lot of hard work went into that.

I'm so lucky you are into helping the misfits. So many of us have alot more fun, now! Thank you!

Nicole said...

Happy belated birthday! I wish I were your student!!

Loretta Mueller said...

Patty--I wish they were too...there are lots of amazing dogs and people out there that are not border collie owners.

D--yes a LOT of hard work, but amazing how she is now isn't it? :-))

Nicole--come on over! We have fun out here!

royalcoonhounds said...

I loved reading this! As an owner of a non traditional breed for dog sports-it doesn't mean I don't want to try!

I actually quit Daisy's basic obedience class. I felt like a second class dog owner because she wasn't as quick as the other dogs and I would be called out in class and embarrassed.

But, today (literally) Daisy and I got our first Q in Rally novice. I did it on my own with books and youtube. I'll be looking for an instructor soon to help with some of the more advanced stuff and hope to find an open minded instructor willing to give my coonhound a chance.

Loretta Mueller said...

royal---that is sad. I think ANY dog is capable of training as long as they are physically sound. As a trainer we might have to try more "unconventional things"..but so what? I say whatever works!!! I hope you find someone that enjoys working with you and your dog!!!! Fingers crossed!