What a super summer Stella and I had this year, so many dog training achievements! While many use the summer season for well deserved relaxation, my Min Pin gal and I made terrific strides in our dog training journey.
We jumped right into the urban agility that is Parkour. While Stella learned the moves, I learned how to teach her the moves. Using the International Dog Parkour Association instructors course, we covered safety as well as the sexy jumps, overs, ins and throughs that make up this super fun sport.
Stella earned her Parkour Novice Title – not bad for our first go at the sport and in just one season! Many thanks to our Snackmaster Candice Shute of Unleashed Niagara for introducing the sport to us – Stella loves it!
Stella had a rough start in life. Wed had to work through a lot of rehabilitation before she was able to appreciate all the other things she could do with her boundless energy. That, and the pandemic intrruption, is why she had not learned to swim before now, age 4.
But we jumped on that dock this super summer too! My little dog is pretty fearless, and she had blown bubbles and dunked her head in for her very first Trick title, but it had been a while. No worries, she was game. By the end of August she was making actual jumps off the actual dock — small but mighty jumps for sure!
Expert Trick Title
Building on our work in Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Trick Titles, Stella and I mastered the Expert Title through the Do More With Your Dog! organization, run by Kyra Sundance. At the Expert Level, it takes quite a bit more practice to achieve the complex Tricks. Short, frequent practice, inside and outside lead to the win.
Agility for Fun
What a treat – we hosted the Unleashed Niagara agility equipment this summer! A whole yard full of jumps, hoops, tunnel, dog walk and more. Plus a roster of friends and colleagues to play with on it. We learned so many tips and techniques the professionals use, even though the session was all about fun. It’s always more fun when you can make progress too – and of course Stella loved it. It helped us sooo much with the other sports too – from Parkour to Trick Titles – extra bonus!
Sport Obedience Dog Training
Being able to participate in a group class is important for Stella and I. That’s because her work as a demonstration dog with me at school can be taxing on her learning curve. Being a demo dog challenges her ability to “turn it on, turn it off” repeatedly, any time I ask it of her. That’s a big ask. Participating as a student in a class provides a nice off-setting experience. It keeps us in tune as a team. And it’s just a heck of a lot of fun to challenges ourselves along with the wonderful people and dogs in the class.
While we did not achieve a “pass” in our first Sport Level 3 session, it won’t be the first or last time we take a course more than once. As always in dog training, practice makes perfect!
Super Summer Dog Training
I was privileged to spend much time with my colleague and dog training mentor Candice Shute this summer. We had so much fun, learned lots, played hard, worked smart, and bought a puppy with her (more on Eevee the Pyrenean Shepherd to come!) and could not have asked for a better experience.
Bring on the next season, we’re ready for it!