My Dogs – Golden Retriever x 2
GEMMA my indomitable veteran who will be 14 soon and whose zest for life, despite her age, hip dysplasia and arthritis, is an inspiration. She and I joined the club when she was 8 weeks old. Thanks to Liz Michaels who was an admin officer at the club then and who suggested it. The club has been part of our Saturday routine ever since then. Gemma progressed through all the home obedience classes, qualified as a Working Trials Companion Dog and for many years was in the Club’s demo team.
SASSI my youngster, aged 4. I am clicker training her and we are currently competing in class B, obedience competitions. I always thought I didn’t have the patience , but thanks to Lesley Ball, I discovered how enjoyable and what fun this form of training can be.
I strongly feel that positive, reward based, clicker training is the way to go and it also teaches the dogs to think! We so often as handlers are too slow in rewarding good behaviour and this results in the dog constantly receiving negative feedback. Constant, loud shouting just becomes background noise.
I am currently thoroughly enjoying being a trainer for the Beginner Agility Course. It is so rewarding to watch how the handler and dog teams progress from week to week as they are introduced to the various items of agility equipment. An added bonus is that our training is all reward based. Shouting and forcing the dog to perform is counter productive so I am not obliged to use these methods. The strongest reprimand I allow is oopsie and withholding the food/toy reward.