Friday, 11 September 2009

Week one of classes in York - we have arrived!

So the first week of classes is over and I can honestly say it was fantastic - an amazing group of owners and dogs with some amazing breakthroughs already, and a brilliant attitude in every single session!

This week we ran week one of all four class options:
  • perfect puppies - started with a session of no dogs, much easier for everyone to concentrate, ask questions and ease those first training class nerves. My little deaf girlie was a star demo dog and even grumpy man Finn came out to show his ever growing addiction to the clicker. All our pups this time round are at the older end of the scale (4 months) but plenty of learning time to squeeze in!
  • mind your manners - ran this class as half with dogs and half without, again its just easier for the owners to concentrate. This one is for older dogs (+ 6months) who are having some challenges or need to learn basic manners. We've got some VERY bright and challenging dogs in there, but the handlers have amazing enthusiasm and attitude, feel very positive!
  • beyond the basics - this is my dream class, and best of all I'll be sharing the teaching with Janet (TTouchtrainer) so I can get some much needed feedback on my own techniques. We revised clicker and targets, agreed to cut out lures as much as possible and got really focused on cleaning up behaviours, moving to voice only cues and started to teach some new skills too. Future sessions will include building a retrieve for dogs that just don't, and the level 1 Rally-O signs.
  • confidence course - the class that started it all off really, nice mix of repeating students and some new folks, though we have more handlers who are also trainers than regular students! We reviewed some of the foundation behaviours and worked on passive attention and bodywork. More active moving exercises next week.
I have some new flooring on order for next week to enable us to use more of what is a huge hall (must post pics soon) and get more active behaviours going.

We also have a good stock of our two recommended books in (both by Sarah Fisher and Marie Miller) and I'll need to order in some more of the Control Unleashed book! (see recommended books link on the side for details)

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