Someone said this to me just yesterday but it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last and its a phrase I will never ever understand, ‘You can’t do it all!’
Can’t I? Why can’t I? One good reason please? Just one will do me….
I can’t think of any and of my three dogs I’ve had, not one has felt this was true either, in their short time (my oldest is just 9.5 years old), they have taken part in everything I have been able to sign up for or try out that has suited them and they have loved it all!
I have been told by field work teachers (I have gundogs) that I must give up obedience or agility, by show people that agility will make my dogs hyper and I should give it up, by field work teachers (again!) that I should give up tracking, by scentwork people that I should chose active or passive indications but not both…..what is wrong with these teachers? nothing except they are not the teachers for me and I don’t recommend them either.
Yes doing more than one discipline can be confusing if you don’t get it right but give your dogs credit, they are so much more clever that most of these trainers believe. They pick up on all the small indicators as to what is coming next, so my dogs have agility leads for agility, obedience ones for obedience, slip leads for hunting/field work, show leads for showing and I use a different harness to track in than for scentwork, in addition often my clothes will vary too, the dogs see all these indicators and know where we are heading before we get there.
There are also the indicators I give my dogs during exercises i.e. before an A-Recall in obedience I will say ‘a-recall’ and for a normal recall I will say nothing so they have a clue as to what is coming up next.
The only thing that is limiting is that doing it all is unlikely (just unlikely not impossible) to lead to glorious titles in a particular discipline because that takes some real dedication and most people, like me, have limited time and funds. But I don’t do things with my dogs for titles, those are a bonus we may or may not pick up along the way. The reason we do it all is my dogs, they love it! They love every moment spent anywhere doing anything and especially new things, they are not phased by people, dogs or new environments and I really believe this is because they have been carefully introduced to it all during the course of our ‘doing it all’…..so conclusion…..do whatever the hell you wish to do with your dogs as long as you are both having fun, when a teacher/trainer tells you that you can’t find a new one, one that will support your journey wherever it leads!
Live the life you deserve and give your dog they life they deserve, not what others think you deserve.
For canines & their companions
Nina – 07917 445830