One down side to being a dog trainer is that if you're busy (a good thing), then you sometimes have trouble finding the time, motivation and energy to train your own dogs! And when you have seven dogs...it can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task.
So with the New Year I've incorporated set training times during the week for my own dogs.
In other words I've put my own dogs on my appointment calendar!
Monday nights I train before my 6:00 class. This week Tawnie and I worked on fading lure/ body cues for BOW.
Tuesday night I actually put Tawnie in my own classes! Meaning I took up a student spot myself.
I use Tawnie as a demo dog and because Rally Skills and Rally FrEe skills is structured with some time when all the teams are working on a particular skill at their own individual level, I am able to take Tawnie out and work her too. My students are told to speak up if they need help (I just put Tawnie in a down stay and go help them get back on track).this week I also brought Kenzie for exposure to new people. Before class I introduced her to the clicker and worked on hand touches. After class I enlisted the help of my students and worked on "Look at that / Look at me" for stranger approaches.
In January on Wednesday night I have a break between my 5:00 playgroup and my 7:00 class. So Cubby, Lupie and Mamacita come to work. They join the playgroup then we train during the break. Last night I worked on the chihuahuas' Mexican Hat dance routine and worked on agility (Front and rear crosses and OUT) with Cita.
Thursday nights is open training night so Tawnie will come to work on her freestyle routine and Kenzie will come for exposure to new people.
Fridays starting soon I will be heading down to Breeze Through Agility in Brattleboro to train Mamacita and Loni (my friend's Vizsla).
At home we are stepping up the LEAVE IT training for James and Kenzie. ( Poopcicles! Yuk!); Working on calmer departures from the house and working on increasing Kenzie's comfort level with Brian.
Tucker accompanies me on my daily errands and dog walk visits. He loves the car , hates being left home alone and we squeeze in a leash walk somewhere, so he gets some exercise at least. He's 11 1/2 and pretty set in his ways, so training isn't a huge priority, but whistle recall training starts soon!
- my dogs, my world
- My name is Lesli Hyland. In my forty seven years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I am a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. As a dog trainer I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to share in their unique relationships. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.