Saturday, once again, I got lost in the desert. This seems to
happen fairly regularly. Yes, I can MAKE maps, and I can FOLLOW them,
but as far as orienteering….no. Give me 2 trail options and I will
pick the wrong one. Poor Jen. We ran for an hour, which was planned,
and hiked for another hour, which was me and that attention to detail
void again. Jen trotted behind silently judging me harshly the entire
way. Upon returning to the car, she ate my egg croissant in 3 violent
bites. She deserved it. Scout could have ran another 10 miles, no problem.
Yesterday I worked dogs all day at Dianne's. I worked Scout, which
is just my penance, and hers. She is teaching me something. The only
consistent thing I can say for certain is that communication is often
the most difficult with those to whom you are closest. Novel, yes? I embrace the Obvious. I should be able
to get shit through to her, like, "BACK THE FUCK OFF"…but so far it's
mostly "Lie down….here….lie down….here….lie
down….here….NOFUCKNOGODDAMN IT! I WILL TWIST YOUR GODDAMNED SCRAWNY
BLACK NECK YOU LITTLE FREAK!!! lie down….here…." I still get
nervous working her. I have no confidence. Which is probably half the
problem. Still, it gets better by small microscopic increments.
Penance isn't supposed to be satisfying.
Then I worked Dianne's dog 'True'. She is, in some ways, at about
the same place in training as Scout, learning to drive, but is very
different. She is very pressure sensitive, but where Scout rushes into
pressure, True backs way off. She backs off of my pressure and the
sheeps. Scout doesn't feel my pressure. Its helpful to work these
two different dogs because its teaching me to respond more to the
situation than to just the dog. Working with the trained dogs, like
Jen and Pat, has made me pretty good at responding to them and their ability,
which has helped my entry level timing, but it didn't teach me how to
adjust and respond to a variety of situations. To FEEL pressure as a
physical thing, really. I don't think I'll really have it until I feel it every time with every dog and can respond without having to force myself to think about it
Pat stayed with me last night in Greenleaf. I bought him a stuffed
toy and he played with it all night. Snored in his crate. I've said it before and will say it again: I love
I totally get your comments with the “Lie down….here….lie down….here….lie down….here….” I spend most of my time and frustration on that issue. Hopefully time in the arena will help both me (new) and my dog (more trained than I am).
I think having a dog more trained than yourself is a good thing. I didn’t really start beginning to get this stuff until I started working with my trainers retired open dog(s). Its hard to nail the timing thing when neither you nor your dog are even coming close to experiencing it. Good luck!