As I sit here preparing for tonight’s Kennel Club Good Citizen Silver & Gold tests, it had me thinking what my own dog training goals and aspirations are at the moment.
Now some of those are quite specific like the tests this evening – both Diva & Jade have their Silver certificates & rosettes, but need to do a Gold test so I’m toying with taking one or other of them (perhaps both if I’m feeling brave!) to be examined tonight.
For Ella it’s about preparation for the two dog agility finals she’s qualified for at the UK Agility Grand Finals on the 29th/ 30th November. And actually most of the prep for that surrounds my mental game rather than specific exercises, though Ella’s fitness and speed round full courses is of importance too of course.
But alongside those specific aspirations, I’m conscious of the day-to-day interactions with my dogs which have such a huge impact on my relationships with them.
I’m particularly thinking of my youngest Border Collie Jade here – who is turning into the most fabulous agility partner, really stunning. Her auntie Ella, if she had such feelings, would be very proud of her niece in a “yep she’s great but is it MY turn again yet?” so of a fashion
In a training environment, where I am focused and consistent she’s wonderful and I consider myself blessed to have such a talented partner.
However, she is also the biggest spoiled brat. Yes that is an exclusive confession, that I’d appreciate you didn’t share with my partner Martin 😉
Which is fine up to a point. When she’s making me laugh at some naughty stunt she’s doing, very deliberately watching me to see my reaction – well it’s quite amusing and adorable.
What is LESS adorable is her behaviour walking on the lead when out with the other dogs, and her recall away from her Auntie Ella. Behaviour that makes me quite frustrated and cross!
But really, who’s fault is it that my spoiled brat behaves in less than desirable ways? She is only taking her cue from information she is getting from me all the time about what is and what is not acceptable.
“You get what you accept” – Gemma Fisher
So as we head into our agility off-season, guess what I’m going to be focusing on with my young lady? Sorry Miss J but your puppy license has most definitely expired