Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Writing, Learning and Knowing it All

Just as a matter of interest, I have always loved writing.  Growing up I wrote endless short stories and poems and dreamt of one day becoming a novelist (well and a professional jockey and secret agent, but never mind that).  So this whole blogging thing was kind of inevitable.  I have never given a crap whether I am GOOD at writing, I really just do it because I enjoy it.  I am grateful for this as I sit here writing this blogpost, because when I first booked Volt, I made a decision and stuck to it.  I have been writing a training journal/diary/general weird-arse thoughts document on him since the very first day that my booking of him was confirmed.  I wrote down everything, the doubts I had about importing a dog and choosing an unfamiliar breed, my exact goals (with insane specificity I realise now), every little bit of training and playing I did with him.

I already predict that this document (which most likely will be a good size BOOK  by then) will be the most important tool in training my next dog. He has already taught me so much.  And he has benefited from every dog I have owned before, the problem is that these benefits were only from memory, which is exactly why I wrote it down this time around.  Quite frankly I think my dogs have benefited from every single dog and student that has crossed my path in agility.  And it really p***** me off when people DO NOT have this philosophy.  People so set in their ways or blind to their weaknesses that they just keep doing the same ol' thing and refuse to learn.  People who know it all.  I am not saying that each new dog and each new day will be an improvement, BUT at the very least YOU can be an improvement for each new dog and each new day.  Moral of the story, none of us will never know it ALL.

I have really been enjoying the on-line training.  I have to say if I get positive feedback from this, I will definitely consider doing some more of these!  It is very time-consuming and quite hard work actually, but very enjoyable indeed.  I am really looking forward to seeing the results of my students.

Now, I am really sorry to keep on raving about this Super Pup of mine, but I just HAD to make this video.  This morning I decided to challenge Volt, more to see how he coped with the challenge than monitor his success.  So I worked over competition height (35cm) for the first time as well as worked more challenging pole entries.  Now keep in mind, I have been building up jump height from 5cm when he was about 6 months old to 35 cm now. In essence I built his jump height skills by 14% in 6 months, I was really set on teaching proper jumping skills.  And I have also been working entries into the channel since the very first day I started teaching him the poles.   So the general concepts were both already there, but I did up the ante on BOTH skills in one morning.  Something I never do, I normally concentrate on one skill at a time and just do maintenance on another, but I wanted to know how he would cope with this and he was fantastic.  I have included the only two 'failures' in the video, one mine and then one his.  His success rate is high, making me happy with his progress... and then right after that I remember how much work there is still to be done before he will be ready to compete... looking forward to all that work though!

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