Over the weekend, the dogs had some great opportunities to show off their amazing obedience skills. We didn't go to a dog show. We went to a pub and to dinner at a friends house. And I was so proud of them! Ribbons and titles are nice but the real reason I train my dogs is for real world situations.
Dogs I can take anywhere are more important to me than good scores or championships. Truly, the skills we work on the most are practical skills like "quiet," "wait" and, most importantly, "leave it." "Leave it" has come in handy in competitive rings too and it is essential in therapy dog work. People compliment me all of the time on my well behaved dogs. But they didn't get this way overnight.
Brychwyn, as a typical cardi, has an amazing work ethic. But in early adolescence he developed severe leash reactivity. This is so far the most difficult road in dog training I have ever embarked on (which I will definitely be writing more about in later posts.) He understands that as a working team, he and I are in it together, and there are now often times you wouldn't know he was ever as badly reactive as he was. I am definitely more proud of his progress in working
As the baby, Huxley is still in a process of balancing his need to be a friendly collie and an exploitative young boy, with his desire to work and please me. At this point and at his age, I am still just thrilled to have him be so brave in noisy and new situations. Like most dogs, our biggest competitive issue is focus. But when we are out in the world, in every day situations, he is an angel. I think that is great for an 18 month old.