Clean Run - July 2012 - (Page 58)

It’s easy to allow a challenging class or show dynamic to bring you down, but it’s possible to overcome it and see your dog’s performance benefit in the process. Decide to be happy. I couldn’t allow my focus to waiver, and certainly not for some small talk. There was no room for fun and laughter when dealing with something so serious! Now, I look back and see what I was truly focused on—a rotten attitude. Our problems in class were largely of my own making. By playing the blame game, I was setting up GP and myself for failure, week after week. My focus wasn’t really on her; it was on other people and dogs, and my conspiracy theories of how they were messing us up. By chance, just during a regular conversation, my brother, mentioned the McDonald’s training video. We hadn’t seen it in 20 years but we blurted out our favorite line in sync, “I decided to be happy… and then I was!” Of course, we laughed hysterically. You would, too, if you saw how bad the acting was in that thing. Yet somehow, the message pierced my pessimism. I couldn’t control the actions of the people and dogs in our class, but I could be smarter about how I controlled myself and GP when faced with challenges. I felt an excitement and eagerness that I hadn’t felt before. For our next class, I decided to be happy. I came prepared with an attitude adjustment, a plan of diplomatic action, and lots and lots of liver brownies stuffed in my pockets . This also meant being prepared well before the 6:00 pm start time. Earlier that day, I took a long walk by myself to relax and clear my head. Instead of bingeing on my usual greasy take-out food while driving to class, I took the time to make a sandwich, grab an apple, and fill up my Thermos with water. We arrived at class 15 minutes early so I could set up GP’s crate and take her for a warm-up walk. In the past, I would be a few minutes late and frantically rush around to get GP settled and catch up on what I missed. She’d go from the car crate to a hurried potty break on our way to her class crate, giving her no time to make the transition from quiet house to noisy training facility. In the parking lot, I had my clicker and treats at the ready as we approached the reactive dog van. Every time those dogs barked, I clicked and treated her with special liver brownies. It took us a little extra time to get in the door, but my effort at counter conditioning made a difference. She was offering direct eye contact with me and holding her head up a little higher. During class, I executed my plan for outside the ring. I had placed her crate to the side, away from the traffic of the entrance and exit. When GP wasn’t working, she was in her crate, relaxing. I clicked and treated her for soft body language and lying down. We only went into the ring to work when the big, friendly dog was taking a break, to ensure no more stressful, nose-to-nose visits. About 20 minutes into class, when GP seemed comfortable, I commented to one of my classmates how much I admired her dog’s contacts. She smiled and we chatted a bit about contact training trends. Later, on the way back from refilling her water bowl, I said hello to another classmate and asked about her trial weekend. She beamed and told me her older dog got a double Q for the first time. As my focus expanded to include the other people and dogs around me, an amazing thing happened. I was happy. Happy to be a part of this group. Happy to share in the joy of my classmates’ accomplishments. Really truly genuinely happy. Even better, GP was released from the inadvertent pressure I had been putting on her by futilely attempting to protect her from the scary monsters in her environment. While it would be an exaggeration to say she was happy, she was certainly more relaxed than I had ever seen her in a group setting. When it was her turn to run, she seemed to enjoy my company, and wasn’t interested in darting off to visit the instructor or fellow students. It’s easy to allow a challenging class or show dynamic to bring you down, but it’s possible to overcome it and see your dog’s performance benefit in the process. Decide to be happy. D 10 Tips on How to Improve Your Attitude 1. Eat healthy 2. Exercise 3. Arrive early 4. Be prepared 5. Execute plan 6. Leave cocoon 7. Birds of a feather 8. Embrace possibility 9. Share joy 10. Pay it forward Julia owns Spot On K9 Sports (www.SpotOnK9Sports.com) in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She is a contributing editor for Bark magazine, a USDAA judge, and a Certified Trick Dog Instructor. Julia and her husband Brian enjoy life with two cats and variety pack: ADCH Darby MX MXJ ETD (rescue Dalmatian), MAD Jolie AX AXJ RL-1/AOE ITD (rescue Dalmatian), Ginger Peach UFO 2011 World Cup 2nd place Intermediate Freestyle Disc (rescue Dutch Shepherd), and Magnum ATD (Border Collie puppy). Sadly, their Pit Bull mix, Shelby ORT Birch/Anise, lost her battle with mast cell tumors in December 2011. Contact Julia at spotonk9s@me.com. 58 Clean Run | July 12 http://www.SpotOnK9Sports.com

Clean Run - July 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - July 2012

Clean Run - July 2012
Contents
Editorializing: Children at Agility Trials
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
The History of the Virtual Agility League
Agility Mind Gym: See Success
Agility After Joint Replacement
Power Paws Drills: On the Diagonal
Higher Than a Kite: Training the Over-Aroused Agility Dog
From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Not Your Normal Agility Dog
Building Blocks: Building Hands-on Confidence and Control
Principles of Self-control on the Agility Course
Chute Straight
Small Dog vs. Large Dog Handling
I Decided to Be Happy... and Then I Was! Tips on How to Get a New Attitude
Footwork for Agility: Front Crosses
What’s in Your Toolbox?
Clean Run - July 2012 - Clean Run - July 2012
Clean Run - July 2012 - 2
Clean Run - July 2012 - Contents
Clean Run - July 2012 - 4
Clean Run - July 2012 - Editorializing: Children at Agility Trials
Clean Run - July 2012 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - July 2012 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run - July 2012 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - July 2012 - 9
Clean Run - July 2012 - 10
Clean Run - July 2012 - The History of the Virtual Agility League
Clean Run - July 2012 - 12
Clean Run - July 2012 - 13
Clean Run - July 2012 - 14
Clean Run - July 2012 - Agility Mind Gym: See Success
Clean Run - July 2012 - 16
Clean Run - July 2012 - 17
Clean Run - July 2012 - Agility After Joint Replacement
Clean Run - July 2012 - 19
Clean Run - July 2012 - 20
Clean Run - July 2012 - 21
Clean Run - July 2012 - 22
Clean Run - July 2012 - Power Paws Drills: On the Diagonal
Clean Run - July 2012 - 24
Clean Run - July 2012 - 25
Clean Run - July 2012 - 26
Clean Run - July 2012 - 27
Clean Run - July 2012 - Higher Than a Kite: Training the Over-Aroused Agility Dog
Clean Run - July 2012 - 29
Clean Run - July 2012 - 30
Clean Run - July 2012 - 31
Clean Run - July 2012 - 32
Clean Run - July 2012 - From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Clean Run - July 2012 - Not Your Normal Agility Dog
Clean Run - July 2012 - 35
Clean Run - July 2012 - 36
Clean Run - July 2012 - 37
Clean Run - July 2012 - 38
Clean Run - July 2012 - Building Blocks: Building Hands-on Confidence and Control
Clean Run - July 2012 - 40
Clean Run - July 2012 - 41
Clean Run - July 2012 - 42
Clean Run - July 2012 - Principles of Self-control on the Agility Course
Clean Run - July 2012 - 44
Clean Run - July 2012 - 45
Clean Run - July 2012 - 46
Clean Run - July 2012 - Chute Straight
Clean Run - July 2012 - 48
Clean Run - July 2012 - 49
Clean Run - July 2012 - 50
Clean Run - July 2012 - 51
Clean Run - July 2012 - Small Dog vs. Large Dog Handling
Clean Run - July 2012 - 53
Clean Run - July 2012 - 54
Clean Run - July 2012 - 55
Clean Run - July 2012 - 56
Clean Run - July 2012 - I Decided to Be Happy... and Then I Was! Tips on How to Get a New Attitude
Clean Run - July 2012 - 58
Clean Run - July 2012 - 59
Clean Run - July 2012 - Footwork for Agility: Front Crosses
Clean Run - July 2012 - 61
Clean Run - July 2012 - 62
Clean Run - July 2012 - What’s in Your Toolbox?
Clean Run - July 2012 - 64
Clean Run - July 2012 - 65
Clean Run - July 2012 - 66
Clean Run - July 2012 - 67
Clean Run - July 2012 - 68
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