Sport Camp!

It's been awhile since I've posted!!  This last week was spent driving down to Missouri for the Fenzi Dog Sports Camp.  It was my first experience attending and I chose to volunteer my time helping the other instructors.

The atmosphere alone was worth it.  So many positive trainers in love with competition obedience and other dog sports all in one spot.  You just can't replicate that inspiring environment!

I took Zumi with me (non working spot) as I thought she could benefit the most from experiencing such a loud and busy venue.  An amazing coworker took Vito in for several days and swore to have no life so that I could actually go.  And Lance stayed at home with Adam.

Zumi did great.  Mostly she was in a crate but she got to come out and play during lunch and at the end of each day.  I was impressed with her ability to offer engagement in a crazy place and I mostly too advantage of the ring to do some ring confidence games.  Enter the ring and party!  We also did some setups and heeling up to people for leash removal.

And I learned that Zumi is not ready for obedience trials. Yet.  I was proud of how she could offer great focused ring entries without a toy on me.  She could even play in the ring with me, no toy.  But what she couldn't quite do was transition from work to play to work again without that toy in a smooth matter. Sure she could do it, but not without a bit of disengagement and wondering about that reward.  Before Zumi is ready to trial those transitions in the ring need to be seamless.  The exercises are the easy part, the in between stuff is the hard part!  At home she might be fine, in a new place she was just not quite there.
So I made it easy on her and rewarded frequently.  The new environment was not the time to work on more delayed rewards.

Zumi also had the opportunity to try dock diving again!  Her 3rd attempt at the sport with her other two tries never quite getting her to the actual dock.  This time it was an outdoor pool which I think helped her quite a bit.  There was still no actual ramp to practice on but there were some stairs leading into the pool.  I spent her first turn just working her from the stairs to try to build her confidence.

Her second turn I warmed up with the stairs again and then decided to try the dock itself.  Some hesitation but she jumped!  Well plopped in really.

But repeated it!  And then I ended our turn.  I have hope that if she gets to try it again she will be off the dock after a quick warmup.  And maybe would actually jump instead of plop.

I had a blast at the camp and I will write a separate post about the most important concepts of sport that were repeated again and again throughout the camp.

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