2 Min. Dog Trainer (Sport Foundation Package)

The pdf of my Sport Foundation Package has gone to Bud for inclusion in our webstore offerings. These 2-Minute Dog Training brochures cover foundation skills for obedience, rally, and agility. Even if you don’t do performance sports you’ll find that sport foundation work builds a great working relationship with your dog.

I use these exercises with rescue dogs and have trained each of our new agility dogs for the past 9 years with these mealtime methodologies. I hope everyone enjoys the packet, whether you’re using it for your own dogs or are giving the brochures to your students.

The material is copyrighted but instructors or clubs have my permission to reprint the brochures for free distribution to students. The easiest way to print the packet is in the following order:   page 1,  pages 2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16, letting the pages stack naturally, flip the stack and print 3-5-7-9-11-13-15-17.  Disregard the previous sentence if you’ve got a bizarre printer like mine which gets cantankerous with stacks of paper printed on the flip side.

After printing both sides, fold in half with the name of the skill in red on the front cover. Place your label or business card on the bottom of the front page so students can contact you if they have questions. As dog-training instructors we have a responsibility to get warm bodies in our classes. It’s good for the people and it’s good for the dogs, so encouraging class attendance is job one.

My next 2 Minute Dog Training publication will address the 30+ skills we need to train for rally obedience performances. I’ve published all these exercises, specifically for instructors in a group class setting, in “Go Rally Training Manual.” The 2-Minute versions of the training exercises will provide homework assignments for students in a group class, and will address the fine points a handler must put on performance to achieve consistent responses to cues.

The 2-Minute Dog Training brochures will follow the order of “Go Rally Training Manual,” but the skills will each be covered individually in the brochures. An instructor, presenting 2-3 exercises in class, may choose which brochure each student needs, thereby customizing homework assignments for each handler.

Shelter news includes a new adopt-a-thon idea I had this morning. Rather than taking 15 dogs and 5 cats to one location, requiring a dozen or so dog-walkers and several large crates, with our transport team making numerous trips from the shelter to the site, I’m recommending a down-sized, more targeted approach to the adopt-a-thon.

I’m going to visit with 2 Marietta businesses who support the shelter and ask if we can send 1-2 volunteers with 1-2 dogs and maybe 1 cat to their business, possibly EVERY Saturday, from noon to 2:00pm, for example. The volunteer would show up at the shelter, get their dog, drive to one of 2 businesses, set up their chair/handouts/donation box, and let the dog be showcased to customers, pack up everything, return the dog /cat and donation box to the shelter and head home.

Here’s my thinking on the benefits of this — 1) this system is considerably less disruptive for the shelter staff,  2) customers of these 2 businesses will begin to expect a shelter dog there on Saturday afternoon,  3) each dog will behave better and look more attractive to potential adopters,  4) guests of the shelter, after looking at the dogs available there, can be directed to the 2 business locations to view other dogs, thus building foot traffic in the supporting businesses,  and  5) the shelter gets weekly exposure and has weekly fund-raising opportunities.

Negatives include  1) the difficulty of getting proper transportation for some of our volunteers (I may have to drive some of them to these businesses, then return to pick them up),  2) the slight possibility that some volunteer will take it upon herself to release a dog to an adopter without permission from the shelter and without going through proper adoption channels (unlikely, I suppose, though I’ll have to caution them against this),  3) volunteers will be representing the shelter so I’ve stated that “clean clothes, polite and helpful attitude are a must” (I’m certain I’ll be given the opportunity to police that).

There’s always a possibility a shelter dog will manage to get lose from the volunteer’s protection, but this possibility existed under the old system as well.

On home news, I was feeding dogs 2-3 days ago and saw something skitter up an electric cord out of my peripheral vision. I looked everywhere for a mouse and discovered little mouse turds everywhere around my dog-food station. I found the critter had eaten a bunch of bird food Bud left unprotected nearby.

For the last 3 days, therefore, we’ve been on a mouse-killing rampage in the basement. At last count Bud’s traps had killed EIGHT mice. YUCK. It’s the season for them to be creating litter after litter of baby mice and I suppose the warm basement is much preferred to the cold, windy outdoors. But they don’t get to live in the basement, sorry.

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