Day 3 Week 14

I’m a little at a loss what to do with Kory. He’s mastered my “stay for life” training protocol in about three days while I had marked out a month on the calendar to get it patiently done. I’ll get some pictures of it in the next couple of days so you know what it is I’m doing.

You know, my dad told me that when he went in the service his dog followed him down to the train station. And he told his old blue to “stay”. When he came back from the war some three years later, his dog was still waiting for him on the platform. And you know dads don’t lie to their kids. So this must be a true story. I found it remarkable that he did it with a hound dog. Because I had to get a Border Collie to feel the love.

I’ll get to cheat a bit here. As it turns out Ms. Nancy Gyes has herself a young Border Collie pup and she’s very nicely sharing with the world her patient and very granular early training foundation with the dog. In case you are interested… she’s blogging at: http://nancygyes.wordpress.com/ My pup is actually cuter than hers. But we won’t hold that against her.

Camp Notes

My traditional method in camp is to begin with foundation a day or two; work on application a day or two; and apply strategies… a day or two. Well it’s a four day camp. So whether we spend a day, or two, on a topic really depends on whether we’re ready to move forward. With the current camp we’re fairly entrenched in foundation and have moved to application on the third day. I expect to spend the second half of the day tomorrow on strategies. Truly I am in no hurry. I know how long it takes. My philosophy with training people is precisely the same as with training dogs. It takes as long as it takes. Knowing that provides me with the necessary discipline of patience.

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I thought I’d set up something nice and simple to end the morning today. As it turns out, even simple drills can have ample challenge for the purpose of teaching application.

You’re probably wondering what I mean by “teaching application”. Here’s the deal. I learned many years ago that it was a relatively simple matter to teach a student to do any handling movement… you know, a Front Cross, a Tandem Turn, or whatever.

The greater mission is ever getting them to recognize the moment for the movement. That is precisely what I mean by application.

To the experienced competitor at the first look at the course map the lines of the course crystallize with sharp clarity and precision into a precise plan. The practiced agility handler will know exactly how to conduct his movement and direct the dog through the course. For the more novice handler it is often a riddle in the fog as they run from obstacle to obstacle and “hope for the best” as their main strategy.

The problem with “hope for the best” is that hope is a lottery more inclined to disappoint than reward.

How would you solve this simple sequence?

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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