Just Shoot Me

I got to attend an agility trial not long ago that demonstrated all of the usual foibles of a recreational sport. You know… the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, that kind of thing. It’s a lot like watching a movie that sometimes makes you laugh and sometimes makes you cry.

But this movie had a sound track!

In the background I’d hear someone quip “He blew you off!” And I even heard one fellow proclaim “He blew you off four times!”

Bear with me here. I’m thinking that if a handler/dog trainer subscribes to a system of anthropomorphism in which the dog is as often as not an evil little imp waiting for the ripe opportunity to embarrass his person then the handler/dog trainer is spared the uncomfortable intelligence that his choice of movements to direct the dog failed or that it failed four frigging times. That’s right. Just blame it on the dog.

The silver lining to this cloud is my firm belief that all dogs engage in a process of compensatory learning. That means a dog will learn to understand his person’s cues no matter how weak the signal, counter-intuitive the advice, or wildly flailing the arms. I don’t mean to bust anyone’s belief bubbles, but if my theory here is true then it means that the dog is an ardent and devoted student and isn’t invested in embarrassing or blowing off his person at all.

Do me a favor if you will. If I ever come off the course saying that my dog “blew me off”… then just shoot me.

Rocky Mountain High

Okay, I’m in Denver (Arvada, actually) where I’ve just finished two days of handling seminar for a wonderful group of people; and I’ll be staying two days more to judge a TDAA trial.

I want to tell you that Zona, my host, cooked up for me the best enchilada dish that I’ve had in about 20 years. Certainly I’m not getting a wonderful enchilada at that Mexican restaurant in Marietta, OH (a long way from the Rio Grande mind you)… but best in 20 years is quite a distinction. She actually tucked a chile relleno inside of the enchilada. It was delicious.

Okay… I have work to do before I go to bed. I need to do some TDAA course reviews. I have to work double duty when I’m on the road.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

Okay, this is probably an unfair question. It’s like Bilbo asking Gollum “what’s in my pocket?” But, since this is my blog and my trivia contest, I expect that it’s completely fair. Here goes…

What’s the second rule of Agility Boot Camp?

First correct answer, posted as a reply to this blog post, wins a free copy of the June Jokers Notebook.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – June 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/web-store/ . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special05” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.

3 Responses to “Just Shoot Me”

  1. Adrienne Says:


    Don’t blame the dog?

  2. Candice Says:

    Know thy dog.

  3. Nati Says:

    Never blame the dog

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