October 14, 2014 by Julia West
Tonight was Dash’s last class before our very first weight pull trial and our trainer brought up a good point – I’d been focusing on the upcoming competition, not successful reps. I countered her for a moment because I haven’t been trying to max out his weight and I wasn’t planning on trying for a high weight at the trial. But what she meant was that I’d been paying attention to his qualifying weight (515lbs) and on completing the pulls, but I wasn’t focused on how he felt about it.
I mulled this over on the way home. I had been proud that I wasn’t trying to “win” and was only focused on conditioning and qualifying pull weights. But I was giving his happiness less attention than I should have. In my haste to wean him off treats, I was making it more “work” than play.
For tonight, we focused on low weights and successful reps. I also tested out a Kayce Cover “if, then” statement to let him know that if he pulled the cart, he’d get his treats. When he finished his turn, I took him outside and paid him mightily.
We’ll see if my new found (re-found?) focus and our “if, then” agreement translates to a successful pull on Saturday. I’ll be measuring our success in teamwork, not weight.