International Handling

Goose and Zopa worked this session:
“Coursework session using AKC Premier Level Challenges with an emphasis on OMD techniques/methods. This session is for dog working at the Excellent/Masters level.”

I’d planned on working the entire session with Goose, but whew. I didn’t have a dog. 😦 To top off him not having pooped that day, target shooting was going on down by the river and then a HUGE storm moved in. Lightening killed a woman and her horse about a mile from Jamie’s! He just wasn’t happy about any of it. 😦 Megan helped us get through the first part of the course, holding Goose in position so I could make the next move. Really helpful to both of us, without asking him to redo things much or hold position.

He hung in there, but I decided to run one of my own dogs for the second turn. Funny how things work out… Tanner had ran the entire Masters Handling morning session, along with additional floor time the day in Connect Commit Cue on Friday and Common Techniques Saturday. So I decided to play with Zopa. So glad! What a great choice!

An exchange with Lori:
Me: The Zopa Plan was laid out clearly in that last session. That alone was worth the expense of the weekend. You’d mentioned wanting to get Megan’s perspective weeks ago. Was just thinking about being glad things worked out that Zopa was along on Sunday. Loretta had me wait until she re-engaged…but it didn’t go further than that. Of course we didn’t spend the same amount of time together. Megan gave me specifics from setting time goals for floorwork to how to handle loss of connection depending on which of us disconnected to which moves to use to how to work on the OMD skills that are a disconnect.
Lori: Yeah, there is definite value to working the full 3 days. I know when new people start classes, I need a few classes to really come up with any kind of a plan for them. And a lot of times it is still an experiment. And I think as we’ve mentioned a million times, the student has to be ready and able to execute the plan. She and I talked a lot about training and how hard it is to have a dog trainer brain and then work with the average dog person. 2×2 weaves and contacts are good examples. But even that whole waiting the dog out thing, very few people have the patience. Especially after paying that much money and standing in a building full of people wanting to do “international handling”. So, great job!

Fortunately a few weeks before I’d decided to embrace the challenge of working with Zopa with the same enthusiasm I’ve used Unlocking Elliot. I’d made great progress. What a wonderful experience it was to work her in front of really experienced competitive handlers. At the end of Saturday’s Novice/Open Handling she asked me if Zopa was coming Sunday, so I wasn’t nervous about running her. I simply followed Megan’s instructions. Besides I know Zopa can do fancy footwork!


Backside path


International Handling course

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