Wednesday, 18 January 2012


I discovered something interesting last night at dog class.  I was working Riley with my trainer on some heelwork and things we will need to compete for our novice obedience title later this year.  While working with him I noticed that I am handling him better than I used too.  I think that working with Stella has taught me how to be clearer in my body language and how to read his reactions better.  Both dogs move very different from each other and I think working the combination has taught me to be more aware of my body position as well as their positions.  It really is true that almost everything a dog does "wrong" is a result of handler error.

It's not that I didn't have a good working bond with Riley but I had gotten used to the "feel" of working with him and perhaps that caused me to become lazy with my criteria and making excuses like his size etc.   I also believe that working on more shaping has probably taught me to be a bit more patient and wait for the response that I want instead of fixing the response that I get.

Stella was supposed to attend class last night as well but she was sick on sunday so I opted to leave her home.  I ended up assisting my trainer with one of the new puppy families in her class.  It was fun and it was a bit of an ego boost for me to realize that I actually had good answers for their questions.  Each animal that comes into our lives has so much to teach us.  I still have so much to learn but it was nice to take a moment and recognize how far I have come.

We've had snow here this week which is unusual for us but the dogs have had a blast playing.

1 comment:

  1. That's great that you are growing more confident in your handling ability! It's fun to see how each dog learns and responds differently, and its nice that you can now share some of you knowledge with others.

    Plus, I would think by working with Riley, you just became so familiar with each other that you began to respond to each others movements without thinking about it. I wouldn't call that laziness - I'd call that team work. I'm sure you will get to that point with Stella too.