Yesterday I sent an email out to my email list, letting people know about my plans for this particular blog series, and the response was overwhelming. So many of you, like me, wanted to make sure you “got it right this time.” There was a lot of anxiety, worry, and stress communicated. Fear that we would mess up our puppies. Anxiety that we would misstep and not realize it until the “bad” behavior was ingrained and couldn’t be fixed. Are we using the right food? The right toys? Is the puppy in her crate enough? Out of her crate enough? So many sources for worry. So many chances passed by to just ENJOY our puppies.
OK, so, sure, some guidance is great. Having checklists and protocols is great. AND, I intend to provide those, right here in this blog. I have the first two all ready to go, in fact. But before I start posting actual TRAINING stuff, getting people all worried about timelines, deadlines, closing windows, missed opportunities, and the like, I just want to say….STOP. Take a deep breath. Look at your puppy, and smile. It’s gonna be ok. I just did that, and this is what I saw:
There’s a LOT to be covered, to be sure. But there are only so many training minutes in each day, and there is only so much room for food in her tummy, and so much energy for playing. So all of these things take time, and how to SPEND that time is more important really than the end result. I can be exhausted and stressed and breathe a sigh of relief when finally SOME sign that I DID IT comes my way, or I can just enjoy each moment as it rolls by, try to keep track of what I’ve done so far so I don’t duplicate my efforts, jot down some sloppy lists on a piece of mail (which is what I’m working off of right now…), and try to avoid worrying too much.
So what is the point of this blog series?
Excellent question. There are a few reasons why I want to do this, and I’ll try to outline them briefly without turning this in to a novel.
- I want to document my progress with Chispa for my own reasons. My TRAINING progress.
- I want to strike a balance between the mechanical process of training, the cognitive processes of learning (on both our parts), and the emotional and psychological aspects of our relationship
- I’m tired of seeing everybody stress out about missing out on this or that with their dog or puppy. I want to provide a “safe haven” of sorts where I, along with a group of a few selected people who have puppies of breeds different from my own, can experiment, teach, learn, and love on our puppies. Maybe not all at the same pace, or in the same way, but hopefully, under the same umbrella with respect to a relaxed, caring, loving point of view. Let’s be brave, dare to experiment and maybe fail, and get up and keep going with our puppies.
- My own time is limited. I have one dog that I am preparing, along with myself, for the big one… the World Championships, held this Fall in Spain. I have a puppy, who I am already totally head over heels with. I want the time to explore and learn with both of them. I’ll continue providing courses for small spaces for people to utlize to improve their own handling, but I want to try to strike a balance between paying my respects to the processes that need attention paid to them, and paying the bills (while still allowing readers to be able to do the same). It’s a weird hypocritical feeling space for me; I hate that everything is costing money, but at the same time, I have to eat, and so do my dogs 🙂
Should you subscribe?
That’s easy. Yes. You can subscribe for FREE, and you’ll get notification of each and every post in this series. You’ll at the very least be able to remind yourself to STOP, BREATHE DEEP, AND ENJOY. Because I will be reminding myself that daily. That doesn’t come easily to me, unless I pay attention to it – like good posture, good eating habits, etc. So everything I write here, you can be assured is something I need to write down to remind MYSELF to do. You’ll get a brief insight into just what I’m working on with Chispa.
Some of you may want a little more, and I sure hope some of you will join me.
For those of you who do, you’ll get more detailed information into exactly WHAT I’m working on, even if it is a very brief post. Handouts, videos, photos…and a discussion forum where we can celebrate our successes, bemoan our setbacks, and revel in our puppies together. There will be a few people with puppies (not Border Collie puppies, we’ve already GOT one of those!) joining me on this endeavor, and I’ll introduce them to everybody through this blog tomorrow. They’ll be in the discussion forum along with me, and will be sharing their videos for more specific feedback from me, AND, I hope, they will be teaching ALL of us about the differences between breeds, and of course each individual puppy as a special little being!
A Taste from Today
For now, here’s a preview of what you can expect from Developing the Dance (in addition to the philosophical content above…). These are just a couple of the things we’re working on right now!
Follow The Food
Yep, it’s just as simple as it sounds…
You can put this in what will be a growing collection of handouts over the course of this series.
Just a brief snippet of me working with Chispa (who is crying in her crate right now saying FINISH THIS ALREADY).
Beginning Name Recognition
These two behaviors are sort of part and parcel of the same thing…
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Paid subscribers get access to details on the training Daisy is doing with Chispa, as well as access to handouts, videos, and a discussion forum where a group of select (non-BC) puppy owners are working alongside Daisy with their puppies!