Ever wondered if you and your canine buddy could get started in canine training and sporting events. Take my dog Spirit and I as an example of hope that canine performance events are within everyone's reach. Our career is a collection of dramatic fails and "oh so close" moments. I've even publicly stated and honestly feel that both me and my dog are only mediocre. No great athleticism exist in either of us, no great intelligence in either of us, no great anything really. The techniques, abilities and insight of those well versed in all things canine will always exceed my abilities. The refined precision of multiple generation performance dogs will always exceed that of my prized kennel of one dog. So what credentials do I have for conveying information to you the reader? I don't.
Yet, here I am writing and here you are reading. The reason is because of our very broad vitae of experiences and our consistency. And if there is anything I can say is the secret to our success is exactly those things "experience" and "consistency". If that is the secret then those two things reinforce the other. More varied experiences creates a higher level of consistency and a higher level of consistency allows for more experiences. Did that just make your head swirl a little? But the only thing that can allow you to create this perpetual cycle of elevated performance is the "Big O", Obedience. It doesn't have to be formal positions and movements but, solid, basic, practical obedience: recall, stay, stop, leave it, drop it, go, all with distraction proofing. There are a few others that are event specific but not many.
To truly get the level needed your dog must have focus. The ever so difficult and elusive focus. Focus makes the difference, all the difference. So as you begin to explore the dog world and you see freestyle dance and hunt trials and go wild for the level of ability you see don't get distracted by the training techniques. Don't worry about the latest marketed gizmo for the best training aid known to planet earth. These will mean nothing until you can focus the dog on you and get the basic obedience to 100%. The best resource for this is a quality obedience class. A class serves to train human and dog and gives novel distractions at the same time.
Ingredient One of my recipe for success is focus and obedience. Focus that you can get and hold in any environment for extended periods of time. Focus that allows you and the dog to make and keep eye contact. General obedience, nothing fancy just good basic obedience. But those commands have to be 100% under any circumstances. I make it seem simple and in description it is but, in application it is much harder, it takes lots of time to get there. Fortunately, it's time spent with your dog.
(Bob and Spirit are avid Frisbee competitors and enthusiast as well as barn hunters, FAST Cat competitors....and and and...)