We begin our sport foundation class tonight and I’ve chosen three topics for training and homework: Heeling (my version of Dawn Jecs “choose to heel” program), stand/stay, and start-line stay.
There will be 2-minute dog training homework handouts for each of these skills by 5pm today.
I’m planning to work Hazard in this sport foundation class, let her be my demo dog and get used to being brave around strange dogs. Everyone should be on-lead, so there’s little danger to Hazard in this 6-7pm class.
Following sport foundation class is our Tuesday league play. I’m encouraging EVERYONE from the sport foundation class to join in league play.
There will be some folks who just stay and watch, I’m sure, as we’ll have a couple of beginner agility dogs in our foundation class.
I put the Tuesday night schedule in place with Hickory and Bud, as well as Hazard and Marsha in mind. It’s SO easy to develop instructor syndrome (the instructor’s dog never gets worked) or private lesson syndrome (the instructor’s dog always works in an empty building with no other dogs to provide stimulation and distraction).
The two syndromes result in a dog who attends their first trial with two strikes against them: 1) they’re under-trained and lack the hundreds of hours of foundation training that leads to a good first experience in the show ring, and 2) they’re over-stimulated and unused to the carnival atmosphere of the trial site.
Tonight’s class will be an investment in our young dogs’ agility and obedience careers and I hope our students get as much out of it as we will.
League play will be our first C-Wags agility session for 2009. I’ve handed out some dog registration forms but will need a dozen-or-so more forms for new students tonight.
When dogs are registered with C-Wags the organization will begin tracking Qs and titles, and providing certificates for achievement.
We’re charging a whopping $5 per run starting tonight. Part of that fee will be passed on to C-Wags. Students will pay for their scribe sheet, add their dogs’ names and C-Wags numers (or “pending” if applicable), and hand the scribe sheet to the scribe before their run.
This is a new experience for us but I believe these weekly matches will be good practice for me, in preparation for our first actual C-Wags trials in 2010 (dates to be determined).
We’ve been a C-Wags club for a year or so now but haven’t put together a trial committee, established set dates, applied for trial weekends, etc.
Now that C-Wags offers obedience, rally, AND agility, it becomes a weekend certainly worthy of our attention.
Hopefully our students will agree …
In other news, DogSport magazine is featuring lots of coverage of the TDAA Nationals, our 2009 Petit Prix in Racine, WI, in the upcoming issue.
Additionally they’re creating an on-line forum for trainers and instructors (students as well, I’m sure) who are interested in discussing dog training. The link is:
I’ll be posting about our sport foundation class, as well as bits of information from our new Thursday night masters classes. An interesting new way of distributing information!