Spoiled. Stinking. Rotten.
Then came Phoenix.
Payback’s a . . . well, you get the picture.
If Phoenix doesn’t get equal time on ALL the exercises on a regular basis, he handily forgets how to do them in the ring.
Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I know he hasn’t forgotten how to do them. But the weak parts get weaker and things get ugly fast. Absence does not make the broad jump grow fonder. Or something like that.
The problem, as usual, is me. There are some exercises I love to train (heeling, scent articles, directed jumping) and some exercises that bore me to tears (moving stand, drop on recall). So guess which exercises I teach and then cheerfully neglect as much as possible?
Finally I sat down and made the following list:
1) every exercise in Open and Utility
2) our weak spots on each exercise
3) ideas to address those weak spots in training
Example: Drop on recall; slow response to drop command and slow return after drop; work drops out of motion, cookie toss game, work recalls out of a drop.
I printed out my list, wrote the week’s dates on top and stuck it on the refrigerator. Each time Phoenix and I went to train, I picked 2 or 3 exercises and that’s what we worked. At the end of the session, I put a hash mark beside the exercises we had worked. At the end of the week (or two weeks or whatever) I could see what was getting more than its share of attention and what was getting neglected.
Yeah, my OCD is showing. But having it in front of me in black and white keeps me from conveniently ignoring some exercises and going overboard on others.
It’s old school, using pen on paper. There’s probably a computer program or app out there to track the very same thing but I want that list right in front me, staring at me while I wash dishes and get snacks.
Bring on the broad jump.