October 15, 2014 by Julia West
This weekend I attended the two-day Bridget Carlsen seminar at the K9 Connection in Warwick, RI. It was a whirlwind weekend, heavy on information and short on downtime. And food. Bridget is a ball of energy who kept things moving and didn’t stop until the day was through. If you are considering a seminar, I highly recommend it – but make sure your brain and your notebook have plenty of room. And pack a good lunch.
Part of what Bridget pointed out during the seminar were things that I already knew, but didn’t know how to fix.
I knew I wasn’t getting Delta into drive enough when we worked. At someone else’s direction, I’d done a lot of stationary attention drills and they’d flattened her out. I know how to play with Delta, I had exercises to work with, but I didn’t know how to put them together. Bridget’s system provided me with a way to work exercises and insert drive.
I knew that I was probably being too easy on her, giving her the benefit of the doubt that she was trying and helping her through things that she should be able to do on her own. Bridget, not one to mince words, called Delta on her pissy attitude. Where I saw a dog shuffling in the right direction, she saw a dog saying “I’m so over this.” As I posted previously, I’d seen that she had her “bitch face” on, but I was sweetly assuming it was frustration, rather than just plain shitty attitude. Bridget showed me how to require the work without making it a fight, giving the dog direction without giving in. Delta got over her resistance and got back to work – and had fun doing it.
I left the seminar with some fun exercises, a positive outlook, a few new friends, and a plan I could put into action immediately. I don’t think I could ask for much more.
Honestly, I still feel like this summary is still missing something. But there is only so much I can say without giving away her methods and only so much my brain can pull together while my “seminar hangover” is still lingering. Perhaps when the fog is lifted, I’ll have more to add.
Side Note: Bridget obviously has a big personality because I didn’t realize what a peanut she was until I posed next to her for this photo. Then again, I should be used to feeling Amazonian by now.