Tuesday, March 10, 2015

“Dare” To Dream…

~Steve Maraboli
After yesterday’s blog post, people asked to see what kind of exercises I was referring to…things that I would do with a puppy “away from agility.” So…. our friend Lynda Orton-Hill put together this video of her 10 month old Poodle puppy showing you some of the steps of her progress following our Handling360 “Puppy Path”.
My 3 area’s of focus for our Puppies are…
You can’t get enough of this…it isn’t something you say “I’ve done that”  and move on. It is a great measure of your dog’s relationship with you vs. his environment or other dogs. I try to inject recall games into just about everything I do with my dogs. Not only is it lifesaving, everything grows from it. Focus for work, focus for you, the ability to control your dog at a distance and even handling gets a head start with a great recall. A dog that responds to your cues with a knee-jerk quickness, even when in full stride, will make a DYNAMITE agility dog.
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What I have grown to realize is that the more body awareness “tricks” my dogs knew, the fitter they became, the more aware of their body they become. Teaching new skills become easier and easier when your dog has this kind of body awareness. Today the “tricks” I teach my dogs, focus on improving one or several of the following key areas:
1. Balance
2. Flexibility
3. Proprioception
4. Strength
I have FIVE favourite body awareness tricks! Can you guess what they are?  (I will reveal that one later this week).
The retrieve is another great measure of my relationship with my dog. I want my dogs to want to drive “out” to get a toy and drive back hard with it DIRECTLY back to me. Value for leaving me.. value for driving toward me… value for the reinforcer I want to use in my agility training. A great retrieve is a must for for all dog sports!
The magical THREE, they are all so critical that they are the focus of our “Puppy Path” on Handling360. An area I can promise you is used as much with people with adult dogs as with puppies!
Click this link to learn more about our “Puppy Path” and Handling360.
Today I am grateful my amazing staff and current H360 students who have gone out of their way to make our new Handling360 students feel so welcome!

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