Baxter’s Holiday – Part 2
Hi there, Baxter here again. Having enjoyed the fruits of our Devon Dogs training holiday so much, Nicola signed us up for two more trips. We attended an obedience training weekend with the fabulous Kay Allen in April 2016. I was still working on my issues so Mum and I went out and about from our Annexe base whilst Nicola and Bonnie took to the training barn to work on their obedience skills.
It was awesome! Nicola had always been a bit apprehensive about taking part in obedience training outwith our club as she had seen various obedience practises carried out in our local area that were far from the way she wanted to train us! But we knew that our Devon Dogs friends were the most positive and kindest of trainers, and that we would be in good hands. And we were not disappointed! Over the weekend, Kay put Nicola and Bonnie through their paces, teaching them the most fun and yet effective ways to achieve obedience success. They loved it. They even had a go at scent work, and it turns out that Bonnie is quite a master at it!
Kay told the class to aim high, to break through limiting thoughts, and to avoid holding yourself back with a lack of vision as to what is possible for you. Nicola loved this idea and grabbed hold of it. She paired it with Lauren’s advice of always having goals to work towards and to always be seeking to make progress. Nicola set her sights on our obedience club Championship which would take place that December and decided that either Bonnie or I would be taking that title.
We returned to Devon in May 2016 to a Training Skills weekend with the wonderful Caroline Lavelle where Nicola learned that she definitely had work to do on her own skills! We had amazing fun and took a lot of learning home, which we worked on. We worked, worked, worked, keeping our eyes on the prize.
The day of the competition dawned. We were quite chilled about it but Nicola was a bit nervous. We had some concern for her stress bucket, but she managed to pull herself together and we took our turns to compete in the training room. When the results were announced, we were stunned. We had done it! Bonnie took second place and was thus Runner Up to the Club Champion, and I managed to secure first place and was thus crowned Club Champion. Nicola was so proud!
Bonnie and I are always going to be Naughty But Nice dogs. We are feisty borders. But we are so glad that Kay encouraged Nicola to aim high with us. She gave Nicola the confidence to really go for it, and gave her the tools to teach us. Caroline developed Nicola’s training technique and helped her to develop her timing and accuracy. And we’ll always be super grateful to Lauren, Tom, Anne and the Devon Dogs team for giving us the tools to get out of the house in the first place. We are so glad we met our friends at Devon Dogs. They helped us to become Champions!
About the Author: Nicola is a lawyer by day and a dog trainer by evening and weekend. She and her border terriers, Bonnie and Baxter, will always be grateful to their friends at Devon Dogs for giving them their lives back when Naughty But Nice issues threatened to condemn them to a life of night walks. They are enthusiastic participants in canicross, Heelwork to Music, and pet obedience. You can follow their adventures at www.loyalheartdogtraining.wordpress.com.