I’d like to welcome Laurie to our list of capable writers. Laurie has a love of our sport, a unique perspective, and a gift of humor that many of you will enjoy. Greetings Laurie!
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I was fortunate enough to be able to judge the Companion DTC of Flint over the Easter weekend. The members of this club worked so hard to put on a pleasurable event and all exhibitors were such a joy to work with! From my vantage point every exhibitor accepted responsibility for their dogs and I didn't hear a single excuse about "why my dog did that". The novice entries were up, which to me was a gratifying shocker! These folks know how to do it right. For a minute there I could've sworn I was attending one of those trials my dad used to talk about.
In looking at the variety of training problems most new exhibitors face it appears that the lion's share would be eliminated or reduced if they would spend a few minutes establishing voice control over their dogs. When I speak of this concept to new trainers it's apparent that many haven't heard of it or have given it any consideration. This is sad because obedience training would be so much easier for these newcomers if they would simply spend a little time training attention and incorporating voice control into their training regimens.
I have so much respect for individuals who train by themselves and go to a trial to see what they can do, but so much remorse for those who receive incompetent instruction and are sent to trials unprepared. The former likely have enough spunk to walk away from the trial satisfied they gave it their best. The latter may walk away embarrassed because they relied on some nincompoop's tutelage. Where did all the good common sense instructors go?
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