I've been MIA for awhile. I've been here and reading blogs but life has gotten incredibly hectic.
My nest is no longer quite as empty. Engineering Guy finished his third year (where does the time go) and is home for what will probably be his last summer.
The dogs and I have been participating in Susan Garrett's recallers course which is just winding up. I have been lucky enough to attend a few seminars with Susan in person but I almost think that I get more out of the online courses as there is not quite as much material to digest at once.
One of my deepest wishes is that I had been more aware of positive training methods when my Golden was alive but I am a firm believer that every dog comes to us for a reason and I know that Zeus' legacy to me was to make me determined to have a well trained dog without using force or punishment. I've been so blessed to find my own trainer who is also one of Susan's instructors and who introduced me to Susan's methods.
Did my dog's get better recall through this course - honestly I'm not sure as I think their recalls were already pretty good. I know I have learned a tremendous amount about dog training and how to work through problems. The other thing that happened is that my relationship with Rylie has improved dramatically. Rylie is an awesome dog - he has always been a Daddy's boy. He loves his momma but he follows Daddy around and it's sometimes hard to keep his attention if Daddy is in sight. That has been great for working distractions. This course has changed that dramatically without even trying though. What momma wants - momma gets cause momma is da bomb! Max has always been a momma's boy and I don't notice as much change in him but I have to say I'm super excited in the changes in Rylie.
This week I switched up their classes. I took Max to class with the baby dogs because I wanted to work on his teeter (which he did without a second thought -so go figure). We had a starters jumpers run set up because a couple of the dogs in the prior class were going to be competing in their first trial. My trainer challenged me to get a front cross in at a certain obstacle. I figured not a problem since Max isn't exactly a speed demon - well he fooled me. He rocked the easy course. The second time around I got the front cross in but only because I sent him and let him find three obstacles on his own. He beat me to the finish. My trainer said any time Max beats you consider it an awesome run - and I did!
Rylie went with the older dogs and the sequence was a bit trickier. I found I couldn't send him to the same extent and I couldn't keep up with him either! We do have some work to do but it was great fun.
Both dogs did realy well in class with strange dogs. I love Cavaliers - they are so adaptable.