Saturday, December 20, 2008

Elicia Calhoun seminar

So I was lucky enough to attend a seminar today-a masters handling seminar with Elicia Calhoun. Anyway, I have to set the scene, it was in a field with a lot of snow, and we were raking around the contacts and along the routes the dogs needed to go. I had my doubts thinking about sitting all day in the snow-I had an auditing spot because the working spots were filled by the time I found out about the seminar. Anyway, so getting up in the cold while it was still dark and driving over the icy roads to sit in the snow.....I seriously considered turning around a bunch of times. If you ever get a chance to go to a seminar of Elicia's I would highly recommend going. She was very entertaining, and I got a heck of a lot of good information. She is great at painting word pictures to help you remember and understand the point she is trying to get across. I can not imagine I will forget some of the pictures she brought up in my mind in relation to certain handling positions or manuevers. Of course she had some terminology that it took me awhile to figure out what she was talking about, where are the Madonnas pointed?, using your sexy shoulder, the McDonalds arm, using the nose pick hand, presenting the obstacle with the Vanna White move, talking about your body being a magnet, the swirly, twirly, toilet bowl twirly move, and when you turn a car you keep your foot on the accelerator very slightly and turn and keep turning if you yank it around you will spin and skid, and of course then there is the SFL (straight freakin' line). Once I figured out what she was talking about-it sure made it easy to remember. She was very good about showing where exactly to be to communicate to your dog and how to get there and giving really good pictures about how to communicate that with your dog. I really liked one thing she said several times -your dog will be honest and tell you what you are telling him, if you listen to what he is saying you can figure out what you need to do. I also got some good pointers about some consistancy with the contacts. Elicia was also describing how she taught the dog to hit the contacts straight, so I definately will look up more of where she describes that training in the March 2007 clean run. I was so jazzed after watching everyone else working all day that I was dying to go home and try some of the sequences, but was an hour and a half drive home and the roads were icy and it was pitch black, and so I had second thoughts about working on those sequences by the time I got home. I am going back tomorrow for the novice and prenovice sessions, and then we have rain forecast for a few days so that will be the only bummer, it doesnt look like I will have a chance any time soon to practice the things I was watching all day. I may bring Breeze and even if I can not work with her, I could work with her during lunch. Elicia reminded me of my own very cool instructor in a lot of ways-I really like that style of teaching.

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