Remember Razzles and John whose video I posted recently when they finished Foundations? Here it is again:
And now an update video on this great team that just started to trial - remember Razzles is John's very first agility dog!!!
So to answer a question on either RC are appropriate for beginner handlers - yes they are! In my experience, beginners are often even better at training RC as they don't know the prejudices some agility people have about them, don't know they're supposed to be hard to teach and therefore don't make excuses... - but just go for it, have fun and get great results!
Well that is just about the best thing I ever saw! Go John and Razzle!!!
Great Job, well done !!! 🙂
This really made me smile!! Amazing work John and Razzle -- you two are stars!
Holy smokes, what an amazing team!!!! That is SO cool!!!!
Thanks for the nice comments and thanks to Silvia for sharing. It is a wonderful feeling to know your instructor is proud enough of your progress to share with others. I thought this might be an appropriate place to share some more about my personal experience as a novice handler working with Silvia’s learning materials. (Warning…This may be long!!!)
Yes, I am a complete novice. I love dogs, but prior to working with Silvia had never done any formal training short of basic obedience. When I found Silvia, I did not even know what a clicker was, much less how to use it. All I knew was that I had a puppy and that I wanted to teach her to play agility so that I could also run at trials while my wife was running with our Sheltie. (Running would be much more fun that just watching and taking pictures/videos, right?) I stumbled upon Silvia’s old blog site through a Google search. I was trying to research running contacts. I had read one advantage was they were healthier than stopped contacts and that was my primary impetus for the research. When I read Silvia’s blog articles I was most impressed with the passion and love she had for her dogs, as well as her positive attitude and the little bit of rebel I saw in her for not blindly believing in conventional wisdom, but rather challenging it. I had absolutely no idea who she was nor anything about her agility accomplishments. I simply connected with her writings.
I started with purchasing her healing and tricks videos and absolutely loved everything about her approach. At that point she had me. I was hooked. Meanwhile, almost everyone around me discouraged me from trying running contacts. I was told it would be impossible for someone with no agility experience to train. I was told it would be too hard. I was told that I would have to go back and teach two on two off. I was told my breed of dog was too bouncy for running contacts. At every turn I was discouraged…every turn except one. Silvia. She told me with work and belief everything is possible. She was confident. She believed, and that was all I needed.
After taking the scary leap and signing up for the online RC course, with the very first assignment my entire agility training plan changed dramatically. Prior to that class my plan was to focus on developing consistent/reliable behavior. From my limited perspective, it seemed like the game was all about running clean and getting “Q’s.” I watched the super fast dogs and decided we could never challenge them so I would just focus on precision. Slow was fine as long as no errors occurred.
The first running contact assignment shook that vision and turned it upside down. Silvia convinced me that agility is all about running fast and having fun. My ultimate goal related to agility has always been to have fun, so why not make it as much fun as possible for my dog and focus on the running aspects?
After the running contacts class closed, I signed up for foundations and that is when the learning literally exploded. I realized that the running foundation we learned in running contacts class would be a huge asset for just about everything else. Each lesson in foundations was a new and exciting challenge. I tried hard to keep up with the lessons and each day Razzles and I had fun, fun, fun as we learned together. Our ultimate goal was to be able to run in agility trails when she was of age and just have fun.
With the guidance and support of Silvia and the lessons learned through her online classes and training videos our goal was achieved this fall. We ran fast, had fun and even earned some titles and placements along the way.
Going slow is now completely out of the question. I want to have as much fun out there as we can and that means running fast and just going for it…if we happen to earn a Q or award for our run, awesome, but that is not the primary objective I thought it would be. Running fast and having fun is now the goal with each and every run. We are nowhere near finished as there is still so much left to learn. I have a list of things to work on that is a mile long.
The bobbles we have had in our early trials can all be attributed to handler error and inexperience. Running the spacious open courses was challenging after training primarily in the confines of a small front yard and I was nothing short of awkward and gawky in the first trials. However, when I posted videos of our runs via the online handling class, Silvia offered suggestions and insights that have helped me improve. In the second video posted here, she explained where I could insert blind crosses for better times and perhaps higher placements. Taking her advice I successfully executed a couple of blind crosses in our final trial of the year resulting in an Open Standard Title and a blue ribbon finish.
Working with Silvia took our agility experience and made it infinitely more fun and interesting than I could have ever dared to dream. I remember this past May telling some of the Master’s level handlers at a trial about our training progress and as I was leaving I overheard one of them say to the others, “that’s the trouble with Silvia Trkman, she makes people believe the impossible is possible.” In a way he could not have summed it up any better, only he does not realize when working with Silvia the perceived “impossible” is truly possible. If you are a novice and are considering working with Silvia, I could not recommend her more highly. She is wonderful, supportive and her training methods are easy to follow, even for a total beginner like myself…you just have to believe!
Thank you Silvia for everything.
Thanks John! Very reinforcing to have students like this, enjoying the way there and proving everything is indeed possible! Yay for a blue ribbon -- and to many more!
OMG, John, your video made me cry. So awesome because you GET IT! Oh yes, you could go slow and Q, and do just fine. But NO…you are out there seeing just how fast you can go…and yes, my friend, that’s where it gets CRAZY fun!!! 🙂
So excited to see that you guys are nearby…can’t wait to see you live!!! 🙂 The agility world just gained another incredible team! Keep on inspiring us, ok???
Congratulations ! And thanks for sharing this. So fascinating to read for the beginner / dreamer that I am ! 😉
Big grats on the great results, love seeing the two of you working together! Amd Razzles is just SO cool!