Last week I was over in Poland (Mikoszewo) taking a 3 day camp seminars for Klub Agility FORT.
I arrived at Gdansk and was greeted by Ania Kulawiak and her two lovely shelties... oh and her boyfriend :p It was lovely and warm when I got off the plane T-shirt weather! (Something I haven’t experienced much of this year in England) so we set off to the training camp venue which was about an hour away from the airport. As soon as we got there we planned to get into our rooms and get all sorted out, however.... my room key had legs and was nowhere to be found, so we went for dinner first.
It was my first day of teaching. Today’s training was focusing on Handling - We did a few course exercises and broke them down and worked on verbal/que timing, positioning and physical ques. Where and what behaviour should be rewarded and in what place we should be rewarding. It was a great day as there were some extremely keen people and dogs.
Today in the morning we focused on Weaves. My FAVE bit :-) Looking at the importance of reward in certain places. We did some entry exercises some of which can be found on my DVD and worked on maintaining speed focus and drive to the end of the poles and the way in which I would close channel poles together.
I was then asked by Ania if I could help her out with one of her students who had been having weave 'problems'
The dog was called Stephan . A Flatcoat Retriever with a lot of drive! I could instantly see the problem and why the dog was doing what he was doing. The Channel had been left open far to long and the Weave word to this dog now meant... GOGOGO extent your stride and RUN. This makes it really hard when you begin to close the channel as the dog will probably barge or just jump out because that weave word really just means run like hell!
So we took away the weave command and just allowed the dog to go forward. The stride instantly shortened so we rewarded it. I then closed the channel up more and straight away he started to put in the weave action. (they weren’t fully closed but enough to make him start putting in the action) We did a little more work and then ended the session on a massive high. It’s a great feeling when you can help someone give them the missing part. Such a fantastic dog. I can’t wait to see it next year, very powerful!
In the afternoon we focused on contacts. Position, behaviour and reward... Following through and maintaining criteria. We focused on the end of the dog walk and how we can gain maximum speed into position and reasons for rewarding in certain places.
Thursday was my last day of teaching and throughout the lessons we focused on legwork and co-ordination. So exercises that required more thinking than speed. Thinking about where the dogs are placing their feet. Then we worked on how I teach a wing wrap command, teaching the dog how rewarding it is to put that extra step in as apposed to jump long. Next we looked at the See Saw and how we can make the end as exciting and fun as possible!
The seminars flew by! In the evening we all sat round a little fire and cooked our sausages on sticks washed down with lots of wine :-D Magda then came out with a gift a Camp T-Shirt and a card signed by everyone and invitation to teach their camp again next year :-) So 30th April, I’ll see you guys again for a whole week this time! :-D
I’ve been really busy this week and teaching today and tonight. It’s the last session of prep for a W.A.O Team member Karen Marriot and Puzzle. Good Luck :-) And have lots of fun in Belgium :-)
Tomorrow it’s a 2.30am start and drive up to the ferry for a long weekend, teaching and judging in Ireland. I’m taking my dogs with me as I’m going to see one of Ben x Maizie puppies in Scotland on the way back. He was sadly attacked by a Staffie nearly 2 weeks ago and gained some bad puncture wounds. Ashleigh gained injuries too. It will be good to see both Ashleigh and Key as I haven’t seen them since I moved back from Scotland. So it’s been a fair while, and I am also looking after another Ben x Maizie puppy 'Ronnie' as Allison is undergoing a knee op. Ashleigh has inever met Ronnie so it will be good to reunite and get some pictures :-)
Handsome Ben =~P