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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Peppers can dance just fine...

their owner however has two left feet and a sore back....

A very sore back. I went yesterday to a Canine Freestyle seminar...teaching routine ideas...som'thing I very much needed since Iam not very good as coming up with my own stuff unless a gun is to my head. I need to see it, decide I like it, and then I can teach it.

I dont' just like training... the finished result, but the process too, as I know the dogs like the process, but I do suffer from motivation problems. The human side of me wants to go "look! Look what I did!" but then the other human side of me thinks that no one genuinely cares and is humoring me.

I don't really even like working the dogs in public around non dog people, even if the comments aren't rude, if the comments are wrong, they bother me. A guy in petco yesterday saw me working Chili outside (just sits and downs) and then when he walked by Chili pulled towards him to sniff him. I didn't say or do anything to stop him except hold the leash and the guy made a comment about how he'll get there and learn not to pull....or something to that effect...I guess he thought I was training him not to pull???? Either way it was a wtf moment and I thought, really thought about how unperceptive the public is at the obvious.

Anyway, back to the seminar...there were five dogs, plus the trainers dogs and everyone, for the most part was very well behaved. Chili had a couple of TINY outbursts, mostly confined to dogs outside the fence and once or twice to the husky that despite instructions not to, kept wandering into our space.

He took all the tasks in stride and was like "um, ok more?" and there were a few moments where I lost him to the grass sniffing and the fact the trainers had better treats than me...

That said, he also did a hoop jump no problem despite never having seen one before, and doing a down stay and not getting upset for long periods of time (new also). His spin and turn for whatever reason fell apart but I can get that back easy.

So its a bit harder to "dance" with your dog that I thought, the fact he was a small dog just added to it, and the fact he can't do much jumping added to it..firstly, you feel like a retard dancing in front of people. Secondly, having to dumb down cues in the beginning, meant I had to be hunched over alot to keep him with me. And thirdly, I can't dance very well anyway, adding a dog and a clicker and having to keep moving, keep it interesting is HARD.

Despite feeling like a fool, I got lots of positive feedback. I was, once again encouraged to become a professional myself, which meant alot to me considering the sources.

I got to meet the "famous" (to me anyway) Splash and Tug. Tug is a firecracker, springs in his feet and is just an interesting dog to look at, he reminded me of a mouse (in a cute, good way) as he stared a hole in my head looking for treats. Hes much smaller than I imagined, more Tippy sized (longer legged tho) than the Chili size I imagined.

Splash was intense. Maybe its just a border collie thing, I wouldn't know, I've met three now and two ignored me. But I stood to close and a couple times Splash stopped in mid trick to stand there and look at me. You could tell she was figuring me out. Kinda a "I can see through you" mixed with "hi! Iam Splash". Very cute :) She was also smaller than I imagined , and I told her so, while she stared at me.

Anyway, I felt comfortable tho, I was not worried about som'one spraying Chili in the face while I wasn't looking, wasn't worried about having to explain what a clicker was and how it worked, wasn't worried som'one wouldn't understand his reactivity, wasn't worried I wouldn't fit it. It felt wonderful, Iam still on a high note emotionally today.

Time to go train som' dogs. :)

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