Endless Open Sky

October 6, 2010

It seems as though this is a busy time of year. The kind of time when things are ending rather than beginning.

I’ve canceled the basic obedience class at Tabby & Jack’s. There was only one dog that could make it anymore, which is great for that dog, but doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as far as “group” classes go. So, I proposed one-on-one training for that dog and hopefully that’ll work out well.

In addition to that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we’ve also closed out training at Madison Mutts temporarily. With any luck, Melissa will be doing better in the new year and then we can start everything up again –

which would be just lovely. There’s a lot of potential – it’ll work out!

It seems as though there will more than likely be a whole lot of waiting going on until the new year. This should be fine, though. As far as teaching goes, I wanted to start trying to implement a Day Training program as well as get private training going . Both of which would be better for me in the long run, I’m sure, since group classes rely on a place to go if not simply daylight hours. One-on-one stuff lacks the necessity of a lot of equipment, too, which can be a huge plus depending on what you’re trying to do. And what Day Training would be is a type of program that consists of a commitment of 6+ sessions where the trainer goes to a client’s house, teaches the dog, and at the end has a transfer session where the owner is taught how to maintain the skills that their dog just learned. It’s super nifty if you don’t want to actually do the ground work yourself – which a lot of people don’t. Or at least, they don’t have the time even if they do want to do it themselves.

So, that’s the plan! I don’t know what to expect at this point but you know what?
To quote my friend’s song:

In the west there’s endless open sky. Won’t get there hoping that this rope will untie.

The only way to get things to really work out is to do the work to make them work out. Here goes.

Life Skills Every Tuesday

September 8, 2010

I brought my friend Dan with me to Life Skills at Madison Mutts on Tuesday, and the result was some pics of me teaching class. Usually Life Skills ends up being between two and 6 dogs, though I’ve also had classes of 1 and classes of 8, so it kinda just depends. It is a drop-in class after all.

MM Adoptee Spencer getting lured into a Down

Anyway, Life Skills is essentially just really basic stuff. We go over Sit and Down and Stay and Leave It, etc, etc, etc. Generally, it gets tailored to whoever shows up. Since it is drop-in and people may only come for one or two weeks instead of 6 weeks like a standard obedience class would run, there’s no point in trying to keep a set schedule – at least not unless we start announcing what we’re teaching from week to week.

So, this week we had three dogs. Here’s Spencer, a recent Madison Mutts Adoptee. He’s a super sweet, pretty smart dog. He just doesn’t know how to lie down and from what I hear his recall’s in need of some pretty serious revamping. So, what did we do in class? Well, downs and recalls, of course.

Grissom- the cute terrier mix in the background – is great too, but since his recall with distractions (like food) needs a bit of work, it worked out well for him, too!

That’s really the only problem I have with the drop in class: sometimes the dog’s skill levels are so drastically different that I have trouble accommodating them all without one of them getting frustrated or bored- those classes end up having a lot of mini-private training sessions, which I actually like doing anyway.

Little Jack Sitting Pretty

I’m slowly coming up with a vast array of ideas for classes that I can do. I’m actually thinking that one of these days I’ll start advertising the Life Skills class as something where each week we tackle a different problem behavior. Barking one week, digging the next, recall the next, etc. I think it’d be really useful, since a lot of the time people are just looking for help with one behavior and don’t want to deal with a 6 week class or guess at what they’re teaching that night in a drop-in class.

Of course, we could always do a tricks class, too.  Then dogs like little Jack could show off their Sit Pretty and maybe learn some other fun things, too. Like Find My Keys or Bow or Get Me a Beer – you know, vital stuff. 😉

Coming to a store near you!

September 2, 2010

No, really!

I’m SUPER PSYCHED to announce that I’m going to begin teaching classes for Tabby & Jack’s starting September 15th! I am THE trainer, and I’ve got my whole customized curriculum and everything.

We’re starting out offering only Basic Obedience and Puppy Class, but hopefully in the new year, we’ll start up a whole barrage of new classes like Tricks Class, Problem Clinics, Canine Good Citizen and all sorts of good stuff!

I’ll also be offering private training lessons through them! It’ll probably be free consultation and if I can help, we’ll go from there.

I can’t wait!!

Aside from my new classes with Tabby & Jack’s, I’ll still be volunteer teaching Tuesday night Life Skills classes for Madison Mutts All Breed Dog Rescue… probably for eternity 🙂

Shameless Plug: Madison Mutts is awesome, and if you’re interested in donating, volunteering, fostering or really anything at all – contact us. We’d love to hear from you.