This weekend, Terry Simons from Flying Dog Agility in California, came all the way to little Lethbridge to give an agility seminar. He mainly focused on handling with lots of front and rear crosses. He did some distance work on Sunday morning, but I had to miss that part (there are two weekend of the year that I have to work and this was one of them - stupid work).
Bosley had a working spot on Saturday and he did quite well, but he was tired at the end from doing so much jumping. Bosley is a very steady, consistent dog and Terry said that I need to work on getting more out of him by finding something that gets him really excited. So I will need to work on finding something to really get his energy up and to make him a bit "over the top" to increase his drive. Terry uses a broom or rake to get his dog extra excited, so I just need to figure out what Bosley's equivalent is.
Although I couldn't work Maggie in the seminar, I audited her sessions and learned lots. I learned that it is OK to do only front crosses with Maggie, as long as I know how to do other crosses if I really need to use something else. As long as the handling style that I choose to do is consistent, I don't have to follow what others are doing. I sometimes stress about rear crosses because neither Maggie or I really like to do them. I learned that it is important to know your dog and have a "mantra" to help you run your dog the best you can. I learned tons about reading a course, lead changes and where and when to put crosses.
This was a great seminar. Terry is very positive and worked with everyone to try to get the best out of the dogs and the handlers. I don't think that there was one person at the seminar that didn't come away from it with something positive and a few people had some very big "breakthroughs" in their handling. Agility is supposed to about having fun with your dog and Terry really stressed that throughout the weekend. I don't think that anyone left without a smile on their face, and I think that is what made this seminar so great. I was left with a renewed energy about the "game" and can't wait to get back out there.
On Sunday, I brought Maggie out to the seminar just so she could "hang out". She had lots of fun visiting everyone and being out of the house for a while.