Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sorry it's been a long time & Big Steps

There are 3 new developments in my doggie training career. These really show the progress that can be made in just one year, with commitment, passion and determination.

First, up until a couple of weeks ago, I would set up the equipment for class, handle money and registration forms and make sure the dogs had their collars on properly. After class started, I would mostly observe from the sidelines. When the newest puppy class started, Lloyd asked me to be down front & center with him. My purpose there is to help individual trainers during class if they're having trouble with things like holding the leash properly, controlling their dog, or employing the methods Lloyd teaches for things such as "Sit" and "Down". This means a lot more work and a lot more fun for me!

Next, I made my reservations to attend my first doggie seminar in Orlando. The seminar is conducted by one of the world's most respected animal behaviorists,
Ian Dunbar (pictured). Dr. Dunbar is a pioneer of canine behavior, building on the methods and experience of such other greats as Milo Pearsall. This is Dr. Dunbar's last multi-day seminar in the U.S., so it's a really exciting opportunity (although the thought of flying is already giving me agida, even though the seminar is 2 months away). If you're an apprentice looking to attend these types of things, but are worried about the expense, there are probably opportunities for you within driving distance. And if you live near a university town, you can probably find classes and symposia on this type of subject matter. But I would really recommend a savings fund for longer trips, especially if it's a respected teacher like Ian Dunbar.

The biggest development in my mind is that I will be teaching makeup lessons for puppy class. If a dog and trainer miss a class, they have a 5-minute makeup lesson before class the following week. Lloyd asked me if I wanted to do the makeup lessons, and I was thrilled! This is a big step in my learning how to teach people how to teach dogs.

It's so rewarding to see results of my effort. I feel like the ball is really rolling now, and I'm well on my way to being able to do this as a career.

Thursday, August 03, 2006