Use this space to discuss training issues -- brag about successes, lament setbacks, or bounce a question off the group.
I have a brag and a lament all wrapped into one: Eddie passed his therapy dog recertification test twice on Saturday (once with me, once with Kelly).
The lament is mine: My passing score was significantly lower than Kelly's. On a 2 is best, 1 is passing and 0 is fail basis, Kelly and Eddie got all but one 2. Eddie and I got 10 1's. She kicked my butt!
My first reaction was W.T. followed by another capital letter that I'd probably get in trouble for using in a public blog. After all, I'm Eddie's sole trainer and have put him through more than a dozen obedience and performance classes. I've been certified through the Delta Society for twice as long as Kelly, passed with a perfect score two years ago, and have made more than 10 times the number of hospital visits with Eddie as Kelly has.
But after some introspection, I have to admit I'm more proud of Kelly and Eddie than I am disappointed in my own score. Kelly earned her success. She has volunteered to assist with the tests for several years now, and she's seen firsthand what the evaluators are looking for. In this case, it's the extra attention she gives Eddie reassuring him before and during stressful situations. The evaluator praised her for that several times and faulted me for it.
My feeling going into the evaluation was that Eddie didn't need reassuring to the level Kelly has learned to do it. He's done these things -- meeting a friendly stranger, walking through a crowd, being petted, etc. -- hundreds and hundreds of times. I don't find that they make him nervous as a rule or that comforting him changes anything.
But I do respect the evaluator, who, after all, had the opportunity to observe us impartially. So I'll take it to heart. I'll try reassuring Eddie a little more in stressful situations and see if it makes a difference. At the least, I'll change our habits for the test in two years. ;)
So what's new with your crew? Bonus points for men who can share a story about upstaging their wives in dog training. (That's a joke!)