Friday, December 16, 2005

ATTENTION!

We went to our weekly obedience class night and had a great night. I used lots of treats and tried to keep it fun, fun, fun. Gradually, we seem to be improving our heel position and front position to be more straight. He came in nicely on his two recalls though he still has a tendency to want to go right to the finish in class only. Group sits were great and I went out of sight for the down briefly. The reason I stopped competing for our CD was because he was going down on his sits in class and at trials. We put cones around him and it seemed to cure it over time. He was afraid of the cones initially. I am feeling good about finishing our CD. I think it was actually good to wait because everything else should be better too. I'd rather go in with a 90% chance than a 30% chance. Of course, you never know what can happen. Expect nothing.

I was watching and talking to a well known competitor and instructor who has awesome heel position. She and the dog look at each other the whole time. Her dog never gets out of heel position. I used to look down but found myself turning my shoulders and increasing the lagging. Now I am wondering if I should work on looking but keeping my shoulders square at the same time. When I keep his attention last night, his heeling was great. Do sighthounds want to look around more than other breeds?

Attention is the key to Zen and other forms of meditation. What would it be like to have this quality of attention with your dog? It is clear that when thinking or feeling take over, you are in trouble, An example of thinking would be expecting your dog to be doing better or thinking too much about your list of things to work on and forgetting your dog. Feeling might be fear of not qualifying. Thinking and feeling feed of each other. This can create quite a negative spiral in the ring. Most of us have been there.

1 comment:

Stephanie from WW said...

Hey John,

For the automatic finish issue... be sure to practice your finishes separetely from your recalls and fronts. Put the two together very infrequently - that will correct the anticipation/automatic finish problem! :-)