I haven’t updated the blog for a while and it’s not because I have too little to say! I’ve had a very busy couple of weeks with and without the dogs, including the Rocket Relay seminar last weekend (organised by Katie and Kristian from http://www.flyballfever.co.uk/).
I don’t think I’ve learnt so much from one weekend as I did from Kelly and Aaron. Some things I already knew but hadn’t tried, some things I have tried before, and some things were brand new. I’ve been working hard with Kim and Dylan on their ball obsession since we got back! I’ve also done a little target work with both because we are hopefully going to be getting an upright box this summer and I think this will be a good way of switching them both over. Mollie hasn’t done anything because I’m afraid I don’t think anything will ever cure her ball obsession!
It was very interesting how much overlap there was for agility in terms of motivation and the approach to reward and not rewarding. It was also really refreshing how nobody felt the need to debate the positive/negative rewards, because it seems like this is all that gets discussed sometimes in agility. There’s so much focus on training systems and how to train “correctly” that people seem to either be about manipulating their dog into doing something, or stopping their dog manipulating them, and forget about their dogs being actual beings with working brains! So it was nice to hear some straightforward discussion that still respected the dog and the dog’s intelligence.
Reflecting on a lot of what they said about the way their team is structured and run, because I find it very hard in flyball to maintain my motivation and enthusiasm. I talk a lot about points here but what I actually want from flyball is direct competitive racing, where the team is working in unison to full potential and accordingly kicking ass! I don’t think I can go into our team politics here without giving the wrong impression, but it has given me a lot to think about.