A Border Collie's Mistress' Place for News and Musings

Travels, Trials and Tribulations

Saturday, December 3, 2011

WTF Friday- for Merkx

What handler do you strive to be like, or handlers if you have Schizophrenia?

Scott Glen is my Obi Wan Kenobi I try to train my dogs using his sage words.  I will often ask my self WWKCD?  What would Karen Child do?  Since I have worked with her a lot, there has to have been a chance that we covered this problem or one similar to it at some point in our journey. With that conclusion I am sure she has given me a exercise or sage words for this situation already and I just need to remember them.

I think that I handle like me.  I feel like I have been doing this long enough to have my own style.  I have been strongly influenced by my mentors, but I have taken what works for me from each one of them and made my way with it.

I will say though I learn best by watching so I take any opportunity to watch folks that are better than I am.  I watch their body language, timing, and style, if they do something I like and it works for me I will use it and make it may own.  I will also watch folks I know make the same mistakes I do and I helps me see the dynamic of what I am doing better so I can go change it.

How do you change your handling style depending on what dogs you trial?

Z has been a huge challenge for me to change my handling style for.  Previous dogs, have been VERY forward dogs that lacked a bit of feel.  I spent a lot of time trying to keep them out of the "red zone" ;)  They tended to be flank slicers and cut in out out runs and dogs that could do with some grinding on.  Z is completely different and there are days that he frustrates the heck out of me.  Sometimes it takes me a few minutes of cooling of the remind myself it is easier to change me than it is to change him.  He's very effective at what he does if I handle him the way he needs to be handles :)

How do you change your handling depending on what trial you are running at?

I don't change my handling from trial to trial.  At least I don't think so.  I DO GO TO THE POST WITH A STRATEGY.  I have a plan epsecially if I can watch a few good runs before my turn.  I figure if I handle my dog and it keeps him happy, he will keep the sheep happy.