Monday, March 26, 2012

Thanks PWDCTC!!

I was up in the Twin Cities over the weekend giving a few workshops on Tricks, Beginning Water Work, and Advanced Water work for the Portuguese Water Dog Club of the Twin Cities.  Working with Great People, and their Great Dogs!!  The weather was so amazing, we could have been in the water!!

The Tricks workshops went very well, I wasn't sure how the 4 weeks 'on line' prep work would go, but all the handles did a nice job of having their dogs 'ready' for the next step.  There was a lot of experimenting with different tricks, and handlers were able to focus on those tricks the 'wanted' most.  Not only that, they got an opportunity to learn how their dogs learn! 

I had a nice group of 'Beginning' dogs that are looking forward to the water season.  After a nice demonstration by Marley of the Junior/Apprentice exercises, we focused on water basics, rules, equipment, etc.  Then we worked dogs using agility pause tables as boats, loading and carrying bumpers.  We ended with some fun recall games. 

The 'Advanced' group was a nice mix of dogs/handlers at Working and Courier level, with a few Apprentice level mixed it.  I loved that!  Why wait until you pass Apprentice to start training for the upper levels.  In this workshop we played some retrieve games, working to increase arousal level, for both handler and dog.  In one game I had them bring out all the equipment that they'd brought and we spread it out around them.  We limited it to 8 'articles', from bumpers, float lines, shoes, whatever.  The game was to have your dog retrieve all these articles and the handler had to put them in their gear bag.  The team that finished first WON!

In both groups we discussed the importance of not just working with one 'brand' if you will of equipment.  Being sure you're dog will retrieve ANYTHING, doG forbid you'd leave one of your bumpers at home and you'd need to borrow one that's NOT like yours!  Also, those change over the years, so you might not be able to find the same one you've been using. 

Of course we worked on some trouble shooting, in regards to the different tasks.  The courier ball drop is always a 'hot' topic.  What a great variety of questions.

Both groups of Dogs/Handlers were Amazing!  The dogs worked in a highly distracting environment, and were all ROCK STARS!! Looking forward to seeing how the training progresses over the summer. 

Thanks for having me!!

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