Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When Great Isn't Good Enough

Peyton and I had class last night and he was awesome...despite being off for a few weeks, he showed some really great attention and focus. He was a little squirrely at times, especially at the start-line, but otherwise I really have no complaints. He was running with speed, confidence and enthusiasm - exactly what I want.

So why the "when great isn't good enough" title? Well, that would be *my* issue. You see, this particular course we ran last night had four sets of 6 weaves and was designed to work on entries...we ran the first half of the course, then the second half, and finally put the whole course together. I think Peyton nailed his weaves when we ran each half individually, but when we ran the whole course he missed a few of his entries.

Now had I been running the "half-focused" Peyton, I would have probably just made a mental note of the miss and keep on going, but since he was running so nicely, I decided to stop him and repeat the problem sequence - um, three times I think (#20 on the course map below). Other than looking a little confused as to why I kept stopping him, he kept trying - what a good boy. As for me - what a bad handler.

I know to a lot of trainers, the thought of "fixing" a mistake in the weaves isn't a big deal - and perhaps for many dogs, it's not an issue. But for Peyton - a dog that generally has a hard time staying focused and clearly doesn't like being "wrong" - I think this was a big mistake on my part...and it goes back to my title, "when great isn't good enough".

Instead of celebrating the great aspects of our runs, I found myself getting stuck on the small mistakes. And while I think this is fairly common mistake we all make, I feel like I need to remind myself more often to look past the wrongs and concentrate on all of the rights.

In the end, I don't think repeating the weaves did much harm, but I don't think it was very productive either. The last think I want is for him to start worrying about the weaves. I keep remembering back to last spring when I attended the Dalmatian Nationals (only as a spectator...yes, I'm a nerd) and was amazed at how much sneezing, yawning, and lip licking was going on in the weaves...talk about some stressed spotties! I know that this can be a common problem across all breeds, but I have to say I had never seen it to that extent. I guess our sensitive spotties must be prone to a little weave-a-phobia. :)

Well, I think that's enough rambling for one day...we have class again tonight and I'm going to make it a point to not obsess over weave entries or anything other than having fun with my wild spotty boy. :)


BrittBeah said...


You guys look so great out there, don't forget that.

We just started a new agility class with a new instructor. Last week we worked on sit- stay- jump for and HOUR. That was not fun, Dan agreed. We may be finding a FUN instructor.

Kim said...

Thanks! We did have fun tonight. :)

Yikes...an hour of that doesn't sound like much fun...or productive. I never spend too much time working on one thing in class. Dogs get bored. Humans get bored. Learning stops. Maybe you could talk to one of the other instructors, or send your current one an anonymous note. :)