Was able get Thomas on a training course on Saturday, with Nancy Hudson, for young dogs just starting to compete or starting in the near future and what a brilliant one it was too and I'm not just saying this as I know Nancy. I learnt loads, such as even though Thomas knows left and right he is actually more focused on my body language than I realised and that even though a good start line routine is essential you shouldn't always make your dog do it in training. Getting someone to hold your dog on the start and getting them really excited makes for a fast get away and teaches them how to power towards you for a recall start. We learnt which arm to use as our 'driving' arm and which to use as our 'stopper' one, it's not always the same one and depends which side your dog is, I did know this but I was pointing rather than using my whole hand.
I also learnt that Thomas can do snakes (or Flick Flacks) even though we haven't really done any so am wondering if he's been going somewhere for lessons without me!! He's still a bit unsure on the seesaw but when I left him alone to work out where the tip was he was very confident, me crossing behind his holds not fears for him and that I think I need to rethink my A frame strategy.
The course was 3 hours and he was focused for the whole time even though we were at a new place and the sand school was very tempting to dig holes in. I went home shattered but he was still up and about playing with Dudley until he suddenly fell asleep at 10 o'clock.
Was just re-reading what I've written and wanted to say that I'm not unhappy with what my instructors are teaching me as in fact they use very similar techniques it's just that it's great to go somewhere different and train with someone new as you sometimes see things from a different point of view when someone else tells you it.
I'm off to do some homework on running contacts and wish I weren't in the office today as I want to put what I learnt into practice.