A New School!

I have always trained my puppies at a school called Renaissance Dogs in Holden, Maine. The trainer, Mary Davis, is fantastic and is just wonderful with puppies, obedience, and socialization. I've learned a tremendous amount from her. Ozzy and Ava both got their STAR puppy and CGC titles there, but for anything else I always felt that Renaissance Dogs kind of, well, sucked. I've had one handling class which was more stressful than it should have been, a tricks class which I quit after one session, and an agility class that never got completed because the instructor apparently had her own competitions to think about. In any case, I have found a new trainer for obedience, tracking, agility, and rally! Ozzy and I went to our first agility class today at North Star Dog Training in Somerville, Maine, about 40 miles away. It takes a little over an hour to get there from home, but it is totally worth it. The trainer is a strong, disciplined, and gentle woman who has the same training approaches that I do, which includes ignoring mistakes instead of correcting them. She's very accomplished; if you want to you can read about her here: http://dogsatnorthstar.com/biocarolyn.htm

The only downside of this school is that they don't allow videos or photographs, which I think is a little weird, so I have nothing to post and to show you. But that's the only downside. Ozzy's been acting off lately, and when we left class he was himself again. He had a bounce in his step and he was obviously VERY pleased with himself. By the time we got home he was a different dog, and I realized that I was guilty of violating what I always preach: Working dogs need to work. That's getting fixed fast, quick, and inna hurry. Everyone was highly complimentary about how beautiful he is, and the instructor made it a point to demonstrate that the bond Ozzy and I have is what everyone should aspire to. Maybe she overdid it a little, but it was really nice to hear someone say something nice for a change. When it came to doing the actual exercises my brain turned to Jello, but I'm told that will improve as we progress through class. In any case, Ozzy and Ava will both be doing agility over the winter after the puppies have safely arrived, and everyone will be doing tracking next spring. And it will be worth the 80 mile, to hour trip every time. Having found this school to go to and to keep everyone busy is a HUGE relief. -mn

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