The only time you’re not learning is when you’re dead (probably).
At least, that’s certainly what it feels like. Clare has just spent a whole week at a gun dog training camp with Summer, her flat coated retriever. I took the brave step of attending a competition obedience workshop with Laird (yes, the Big Yin) on Sunday with Jo Hill.
Not that either of us are particularly planning to compete in these activities. But despite being fairly successful dog trainers, we are always keen to learn more from the experts. And it’s worth remembering, that the best expert who has the most to teach you is the dog sitting right in front of you…
As we move rapidly towards the open day at the Yorkshire Museum of farming and our 10th birthday celebrations, I wanted to remind you to think about what you have learned or are learning from your dog.
Laird is a wonderful dog. I adore his deep brown eyes, his expressive eyebrows and disreputable a shaggy beard. I am frequently challenged by his enthusiasm, his size, and unerring ability to find any socks left around the house, and his near addictive obsession with tennis balls.
Sometimes, Laird struggles to give things back. He gets conflicted. Between wanting me to play with the toy with him or throw the ball, but not wanting me to steal the item.
What Laird is continuing to teach me is to relax. Breathe. Smile. To love him unconditionally and tell him so, even when he is holding onto and refusing to give something up! When I take the pressure off our relationship, when I give Laird real choices, that’s when the magic starts to blossom.
I get frustrated with my dogs and sometimes I do wonder what I’m doing! But I am doing the best I can with the knowledge I have right now. And my dogs generously offer me new knowledge and information every day of my life.
Please, come and celebrate our 10th anniversary on Saturday 7th September at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton Park between 10am and 3.30pm.
Attending or not, please hit reply to this email now and tell me what are you learning from your dog?
It might be something you’ve learned in training with Well Connected Canine or something totally different. I’d love to know, and I’d love to see pictures of your amazing dogs. Each and every story will be represented on an inspirational poster dotted around our open day, so get typing!
And as we move towards autumn, it’s time to start thinking about our next training goals, classes and workshops. Laird and I have signed up for Clare’s Gun Dog Games to work on that happy retrieve and relinquishment of items.
What are you going to learn with your dog before the end of 2019?
Our autumn classes are now ready to go and we'd love to help you achieve a new training objective. Weekly classes that are now open for booking
General skills building
Why not master that recall, conquer that nice lead walking or stop that scavenging with one of our three week intensive skillbuilders?
Book your three week intensive here
For an all round challenge, you can take on the APDT Good Companion Award
Sign up to the challenge
Canine sports and activities
Ever wondered about sniffing like a REAL bomb detector dog? Try our Sniffing School Detection courses to introduce passive indications into your scentwork challenge
Sniff like a pro here
Take on our Parkour challenge and see how inventive you and your dog can REALLY be?
Show off your skills here
Or build up your canicross skills with our new-look three week courses, all built around specific skills to make you into the sharpest team on the trail
Find your canicross challenge here
Special classes for special dogs
Not that all our dogs aren't special, but for those who find the normal class set-up a little too much to cope with, we also have another offering of our Essential Skills as well as a new Activity Foundations for Dogs that Struggle (this will be the last block of these class types this year, so do come along and join us if you can)
Book your Essential Skills for Dogs that Struggle place here
Whatever you decide to do, happy training!
Morag, the collie girls and the big yin