People really do change at trials.When we change one thing the ripples can be felt far and wide. At the trial this weekend it was evident that people, myself included, were changing things based on being at a trial. Hard not to do but such a silly thing. Criteria slippage, positional changes, weird running styles, pointy fingers (well I have that issue everywhere!) and windmill arms. Tight leashes, stompy feet, grouchy voices, hurky jerky bodies. The list is long. Most changes I saw were not for the betterment of either the handler or the dog.
|Why, why do you change?
There were lots of really nice moments too. Smooth handlers cruising around courses, striding dogs easily adjusting for different equipment and lines. Praise, and off leash romps and cookies and toys. But the ones that I fear will stick the longest are the changes. What can a dog learn from the changes? Trials are stressful?
|I am who I am – why can’t you be you?
I used to think that the more people trialed the less they’d change at a trial. Now I think the opposite may be true. After you trial a lot it seems possible that the not so sweet changes may become part of your trial persona unless you really identify them and work to overcome them. Psyc courses tend to teach “the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour”. Dr Phil popularized the phrase.
|Seriously it freaks me out when you change!
Change can be good – so embrace the change you want to see in you! We all know and work hard on the changes we want to see with our dogs (faster, more focused, perfect contacts, no bars, start line stays, whatever) let’s agree to do the same for ourselves!
|I can’t mature if you keep changing ..