Sunday, January 22, 2012

Been there, done that.....

....that seems to be the conclusion I usually come to when thinking back on Jackson's obedience career and my plans for the future. I've been thinking about it a LOT lately - since Jackson's retirement from the ring - but MW's blog post last week about her goals for 2012 spurred me on to put it down in writing. (That might help me think things through.)

It's been quite a journey for Jackson and me as we pursued the elusive UDX title. I've learned a lot about training, what works and what doesn't work for him, and for me. I will confess, training with the goal of achieving titles has at times gotten in the way of our 'relationship.' I believe I've been able to fix that now (thank goodness dogs are very forgiving : ), and I won't make the same mistakes again.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey and the great friends I've made through training....but..... would I do it again with my next dog? I don't know. I tend to think, not. Oh, there will be another dog at some point. It will be a Great Dane, as I love my breed more than I love obedience titles. And, I love training. I am really anxious to get a puppy at some point and start training from the very first day and see how far we can go and what we can accomplish - not necessarily in obedience titles, but in terms of what we can learn and the relationship we can develop.

Now, lest it sound like Jackson has one foot in the grave, he's doing fine. We're keeping active in training and hiking - although we're having to trim the distance of our walks due to some occasional lameness resulting from some arthritis issues. Future posts will likely be about our hikes in the desert, rather than training for the next title : )


Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

I also love my breed more than obedience (or agility, or tracking, etc). I wonder what it'll be like with my next dog now that I know how EARLY some people start training!

I know what you mean about titles getting in the way of your relationship. Every two months or so we take a trip up for privates with Terri Arnold and she's convinced that if I push through Layla's dumbbell issue, I'll take away some of her happiness and damage our relationship. I don't think it's worth it. But that's something I'm trying to figure out still.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of your desert hikes :)

tervnmal said...

Love it! Thank doG for partners like Jackson and Phoenix and all they've taught us.

Enjoy the desert. We're living on a glacier back here.

Jennifer H. said...

I am also thankful for what I have learned with my past and current dogs. I hope to shoot for a UDX someday, but the most important thing for me is to enjoy our journey together!!

Sounds like Jackson is having a wonderful time hiking in the desert too!

We miss you guys!

Lindsay said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you Kathie!! I love the breed far more than I love the title. Are you getting some puppy fever?;)