Training the Sit Stay
I have decided to get more focused on my dog training. I had attended a positive gun-dog training conference recently which re-fired my interest. So Archie and I went for a couple of days training away from home with a well-known gun-dog trainer. We're not used to being around a lot of people and dogs, so Archie was quite hyper. A lot of the time was spent trying to be calm and observing how it SHOULD be done. It was a great opportunity and we both learnt a lot.
I had planned to follow up, this week, with a week's residential holiday on gun-dog training. I wanted to be immersed in the work, to learn how it was done and help me build up my skills. Unfortunately plans for the week residential had to be cancelled. We weren't at the right level of ability.
At first I was pretty disheartened. I had set my heart on getting help from an expert. After some reflection the penny dropped...once again I was looking outside for solutions that were inside, thatI could only sort them out myself. I had met some great people on my travels. I had learnt a lot. I definitely still wanted to do the work with him.
Now we are back home we have started a new DIY training regime. I am bringing together my own assortment of dog training themes and ideas that I have been collecting with over the year, combining it with my own work on human emotions. There is an added element of self-determination as well. The focus is on Archie but the hounds aren't getting left out. Mixing the temperaments and preferences of three different dogs adds to the learning experience. And I don't like leaving anyone out 🙂
We are going back to basics, starting with SIT STAY. I am videoing the sessions to help my learning. It helps me to monitor whats going on and gives evidence for my practice. It also allows me to discuss the work and ideas with another dog training friend of mine, who is in Australia. So I'm not doing it totally on my own. It's so helpful to share my journey and get some encouragement and support.
The other day I was practicing 'Sit-stay' with Archie and trying to keep his attention. As always, I was paying attention to my feelings, checking my breathing and trying to stay heart-centred. Archie's gaze was wandering so I decided to give him a pep talk...how we were going to be brilliant at this work, we could do it, we were going to be 'absolutely perfect'... The talk got his attention and it also lifted my mood.
Then when I watched the video afterwards, I noticed something else!