Magazine contributions

I’m really excited that we’re forging a new writing relationship with DogSport magazine. NTI Global has purchased this magazine and Joyce and Rachal Raeburn are working to provide readers with interesting and valuable training information. They want to publish “how to” information and want to include lots of different perspectives.

When I first met Bud he was a published author, creator and editor of Clean Run magazine, had several impressive training manuals on the market. He said to me, early in our relationship, “we should write a book together sometime.” Yeah, right, I thought. All the training manuals 10 years ago were written by people who had dozens of titles, who always pointed out, in their biography, how many “200 scores” they’d achieved. I knew I’d never share their goals or that level of achievement, not because I felt those goals and achievements were not worthwhile, but because they’re simply not shared by me.

I’m pleased to announce, therefore, that I’ve been asked to become a contributing author for DogSport magazine. Seems my perspective and training methodologies are actually of interest to their readers. This is a pleasant surprise to me on many levels.

I’m very excited that these magazine editors are interested in dog sports from the perspective of the everyday trainer. I’ve said for many years that the vast majority of exhibitors and trainers are at shows to have fun, socialize with their friends, hang out with their dog, and test the skills they’ve spent time training.

A small percentage of dog trainers desire world team aclaim, want to get their color photos in dog magazines, want national recognition of their dog’s skills. But most of us are in it for the fun we have in class and at dog shows, or for the personal growth we experience when we challenge ourselves to do better.

So there are 3 articles in the works:  1) for the March/April issue I’ve contributed an article on adopting a shelter dog and training it for dog sports,  2) for the May/June issue I’ll be writing a piece on the application of Bud’s “laws of a dog in motion” to rally obedience,  3) for the July/August issue I’ll be writing a piece on making the sport of obedience “your own” and finding pleasure in whatever level of involvement you enjoy.

(If I were to contribute to NPR’s broadcast, this is what “I believe.”)

I believe that dogs provide us with companionship and an emotional outlet in a world where we find ourselves more and more isolated from the support of our human families and friends. Everyone agrees that animals offer unconditional love but I believe, additionally, that they are due unconditional love. A dog is not in our home to validate our training skills, to get high scores, to make us look good. You don’t get bragging rights because you’ve spent more money on your dog than I spent on my mortgage. And I believe the surest way to heaven, where I’ll join my companions who’ve gone before me, is to apply my knowledge, skill, and resources to improve the lives of dogs I meet. I don’t need every dog living in my home, and I recognize that many dogs don’t fit into my home or pack, but I believe I have the capacity to help dogs enjoy a better life today than they had yesterday. And I believe, at every possible turn, I’m called upon to show unconditional approval and love to an ever-growing number of dogs who have been ignored, neglected, or punished by others.

My goal is to assume a training path which allows the dog to achieve the highest rate of this unconditional love and approval. Allowing the dog to choose between approval (and breakfast or supper) and no approval (an unemotional do-over) is the method I choose, and I hope this philosophy and methodology pleases the readers of DogSport magazine.

Our shelter had their monthly board meeting last night and, again, I was unable to attend to provide the volunteer coordinator’s message (due to inclement weather and driving distance). They’ve got a full plate without my report. The board of HSOV is choosing their new shelter manager, establishing new positions for current staff, and putting some new rules in place. I’m anxious to know how the meeting went.

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