It’s 2019 friends, a whole new year!
Last year I made resolutions (I think one of them was to blog daily? Haha) and none of them really stuck. I tend to go big, and then just go home without finishing the leg work to go big in the first place. This year I’m going to take a less is more attitude. I’m aiming for small goals- spend less on Tim Hortons, get my butt together and plan my wedding, and the never ending training of my two wonderful boys. This year I want to get out to competitions and push myself. It also means I need to learn a way to cope with my anxiety at trails- not breathing in the ring and fussing, not thinking, and going on auto pilot really doesn’t work when you’re new to something yourself, let alone its new to your dog. And it’s not fun. It’s really not fun, especially the going home at night and picking over every interaction and every error in the ring- not fun. I can’t ever remember being this stressed for horseback riding!
Specifically for training with Kingston, I want to finish Kings Companion Dog title as well as advance in Rally for CKC. With scent detection, I need to work on our outdoor odours (specifically NOT peeing when he finds the scent- no issue on containers or in indoor searches, but outside? He finds it and almost immediately marks the Odour which = an immediate elimination from the outdoor section). And introducing Pine to Kingston and a separate indication. Finally we need to return to Caro and finish our Advanced Title so I can start to work into Excellent.
In order to get to this point, I also need to get another couple things done with King: just in the last two weeks he is struggling hard when it comes to focusing around other dogs- once he’s working he’s fine, but if he’s not actively working he struggles to disengage himself from fixation, whining, growling, and/barking- sometimes not altogether.
Sheldon is doing well with his leash reactivity- it will always be something we have to keep an eye on, especially towards certain people and certain dogs (people include children, anyone walking different, or if they’re heavily bundled in clothes. Dogs are usually, large, dark dogs, fluffy in coat type and wiggly/over dramatic on leash). I need to continue to equate good with his muzzle and work on his door charging behaviours. He’s doing so much better in home- he’s sitting and waiting great for the front door 95% of the time, for the back door he does require settle time (on his mat, calming down that adrenaline. Too many times he’s dashed out the door to play his favourite game fetch!). In the car, his behaviour started to deteriorate (redirecting on King) so we are back to 100% management there. Again- it’s my error here, Sheldon gets frustrated and amped in the car. Car= great things and destinations even better! He’s seat-belted So he’s unable to run over his brother and must lay down and not yell at me to exit the car. He exits on leash, is asked to down a second time and regardless of where we are, he stays on leash (sometimes utilizing a Halti if he is really amped) until he settles. I won’t lie, Sheldon and I’s relationship is a struggle. I slacked hard with him and it’s clearly showing so now I am just back tracking and starting at the beginning. We are getting there but it will be an upward climb some days.
What is my number one goal for this year though- Kindness. Mainly just be kind. To yourself, to those special people in your life, to complete strangers, to animals, to everyone. Take a breath, let it out, and let it go. Self care needs to happen!
What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve this year with your dogs as well as with your family life? Let me know, Id like to hear! Other people’s goals can be inspiring 🌻