I’m back from Colorado Springs and the Denise Fenzi Seminar. Wow. I got a ton of information and was able to video some of Jet working, too. Jet was a good boy. Silly goof that he is, he’s a clown, and people can’t help just loving him. I just adore him too.
Denise is one of the very few purely positive, motivational competition obedience trainers in the entire country. As a few of us sat around at dinner, we came up with a couple of other names but now I don’t even remember who they are. And I’m talking about Competition Obedience… not just dog trainers or clicker trainers etc. Most competition obedience people still use correction methods thrown in here and there. I have too, but I really want to do what Denise does instead. She is amazing at how well she can come up with ideas to solve problems in training.
One of the biggest things that is sticking with me from the seminar is how so many people are not ring ready for obedience. They train with toys and treats then one day decide to compete and they haven’t done any training without toys or treats or corrections and they expect the dogs to perform well in the ring. Well, that’s not my experience. LOL. She said she even has had a class that is for being Ring Ready. Six weeks of setting up a ring, and all you do is enter the ring, play play play, then leave. So the dogs know that going into the ring is a good happy thing. What to do when you walk into the ring. Have an idea and a plan. Make it happy. I got some good ideas of what to do with Jet.
Basically Jet gets stressed in the ring, so I want to change that. So my plan will be to walk him into the ring, then whip out his new toy and play. Then leave. Do that a couple of times. Then go into the ring, maybe do a dumbbell retrieve, play play, then leave. Then add another exercise that he likes, play play, then leave. So every time we go into the ring it’s a really good experience. Add some “ready… ready… ready…” during and after heeling, to get his excitement up. Do push backs and run. Lots of play and having a good time.
I can even do portions of these things in competition. Like at the end of a heeling pattern, after the judge says Exercise Finished, I can say “ready… ready…” then burst into a run and run to the next exercise. Or do a push back and a touch high. Things to keep him up and happy. It’ll be fun to try. I am probably going to try a couple of these things this coming weekend, as for some weird reason I entered him in Beginner Novice, even though I don’t think we are quite ready. But it’ll be a challenge to me to see what I can do to keep his mood up and keep him happy.
I hope I took good notes, I haven’t looked at all of them yet. Maybe I need a clevis pin to keep them clipped together. I did get some video but I won’t share it. Denise asked us not to, and so that’s okay with me. I’m just glad I have it for my own benefit as I train in the future.
I also entered Chase in Grad Open and that should be fun. Chase is naturally higher in drive so hopefully he’ll be okay through all the exercises. I don’t know if he’ll Q, but it’ll be fun to be in Grad Open and see how he does.
I’m still thinking of a collie puppy, too, and running through my mind the things I can do for foundation work on a new puppy.
On a sad note, tomorrow, March 23rd, will be one month since Levi died. Ugh. time flies. I’m still not used to him being gone at home. I still miss him very much.