I was inspired to write this after Sara Brueske published a post about how she has changed and evolved as a trainer through the years.
Her post along with some events that have happened in my personal life, and with Fluid Motion Agility has made me take a look back, and a look forward to where I hope to be in 10 years.
The way I train my dogs and my students dogs has changed quite a bit over the years, I have left most of my foundation in dog training behind for positive methods that include solid communication between the dog and handler as a team, looking at the "whole" dog and not just a skill or behavior that needs to be taught.
But most importantly I feel that I have evolved as a better positive reinforcement trainer.
How I communicate with my dogs has changed over the years, adding things like Reward Markers, and Start Button behaviors. Training behaviors is not just about teaching Behavior A to reach Behavior B, but how the dog’s emotional state plays the biggest role in learning and the foundation created.
Over the last month or so I have been putting a lot of thought into how I have evolved as a trainer, and how I want that to be reflected in my online classes, seminars, and private lessons.
Most of my seminars focus on distance work, which I love! But to achieve most distance work, the foundation and the dog’s mental state has to be in the right place to achieve that distance.
Things like, foundation steps to obstacle independence, verbal independence, building a strong foundation, and lots of confidence are the key to amazing agility work, and distance work, if that is where your goals are.
So with that, I have been revamping all of my online classes with Fenzi Dog Sports (My first of the revamped classes runs in Aug!) and my seminars will be seeing a large change in how the seminars are formatted, what skills I teach, how I teach them, and foundation skills will be required for seminars focusing on distance work.
I am very excited, my past self is pretty damn proud of my present self and I can feel my future self coming out to play. :-)