Deficiencies in Training
Alice and I have just returned from an excellent weekend of cosford dog training with Moira Rogerson and Bill Richardson, which was hosted by Gail Gwesyn-Pryce at Mid Wales Dog Training.
The attendees were split into 2 groups; the first group who were working towards competition from Companion Dog to Tracking Dog stakes and the second group for those already competing in the Patrol Dog stake and those like Alice and I, who were intending/aspiring to do so in the future.
This was Alice’s first foray into PD as I have held off until she had a firm grounding in other working trial stakes. Although she has now qualified twice at WD Ex, I don’t intend running Alice in PD until she has achieved her TD Ex qualification, which will take a further 6 to 12 months of hard work, but the opportunity to train with Bill and Moira and get their expert advice in a new discipline was an opportunity I couldn’t afford to pass up.
Having arrived at training I was even more pleased with my decision because also in attendance were Diane Ling, the KCC PD Champion in 2017 and defending Champion at this year’s event and Mark Lewindon, an extremely knowledgeable and experienced trialist, who only a week ago earned his “ticket” for this year’s KCC PD Stake. Together with Moira and her dog; Scout, who will also contest this year PD Stake it was pretty impressive to have Alice working alongside 3 of the 4 teams who have so far qualified in this year’s KCCs.
The training was invaluable and of outstanding quality and it was notable how happy each of these rivals were to help their opponents in training, sharing ideas and practical training scenarios to improve the standard of all their dogs.
Even though each was working towards the biggest event of the year all took time to advise and explain the intricacies of each exercise to me and to assist Bill in getting the best out of Alice and me. We left the training after 3 days with a greater understanding of the discipline, just how much work we have to do and a clear training plan to follow over the next 12 months.
Away from the PD exercises Bill was forthright about the biggest deficiency in Alice’s performance and that was the mouthing, or rather chewing of the articles which she recovered during the search square exercise; in fact, the only thing chewed more than Alice’s articles, was my arse after Bill’s forthright constructive criticism.
He reiterated the need to work on a good hold, trained separately from the search square, something which I have known for 10 years, but which I invariably under-train. When I thought about it, over the past 10 years of competing (not on a regular basis, I’ll grant you) I reckon I have lost more points for mouthing articles than any other 4 exercises combined.
This isn’t just with Alice, both Daisy and Jimmy were article chewers, and as I always say – your dog will grass you up if you have cut corners in training – so a large part of our training plan will also include training a solid “Hold” before combining it with the search square. I might be time consuming and a bit boring – but in all honesty it’s got to be more pleasant that getting Bill’s teeth out of my backside the next time I train with him or we are judged by him at a trial. We’ve already began taking avoiding action