OneMind Dogs Coach Channie Elm Ørsted from Denmark has a student who wanted to share a story about her OneMind Dogs journey. This is the first part of a series of three blog posts.
Louise’s story is honest, heartfelt and inspiring! Follow her journey to find out how OneMind Dogs changed her perspective on agility and allowed her to communicate more effectively with her dogs so they
When I say OneMind Dogs ‘changed me’, it may sound like I believe I have found the Holy Grail – In some ways, that is actually how I feel. I want to start this article by saying that, what works for me may not necessarily work for others. I believe that you create success with the right combination of a method and a coach that you are comfortable with.
I have been running agility for 2 years with my two Border collie girls, and have developed slowly along the way. When I originally bought my dogs, I did not even have agility in mind, they are from pure herding lines. My first dog, Ronja, was herding sheep when she was young. My other dog, Piil, is a re-homed dog. Several good trainers have coached me throughout my agility career, but I felt that I had a hard time finding a handling method that truly fitted me and my dogs.
This is Louise in a competition before training with OneMind Dogs.
Before the seminar, Channie sent me a course map for the participants, and I was in shock! It was definitely, a course that was much more challenging than I was ready to handle. I wrote Channie a mail and asked her if she was sure this seminar was for me, her answered back was: of course it would be ok, and that she would adapt the seminar for the level of each individual dog and handler.
I was very excited to participate on the first day of the seminar. I brought my most difficult dog Piil, as I wanted our teamwork to grow. At first, we all walked the course together and shared our ideas on how to handle the course. Straight away, I was starting to feel a bit lost. After the first course walk, we all had to share our goals and wishes for the next three seminar days, I remember having the hardest time answering that. What were my goals? Running a clean run? That she took her contacts? That she did not knock down any bars? I simply did not know, as it was not a natural thing for me to think about agility in that way.
When it was my turn to run, I stopped at jump #2, where we had a misunderstanding and Piil took the jump from the wrong side. In the next 8-10 minutes, I did not succeed in reaching obstacle #3 and I was about to give up at that point. I think anyone who does agility can understand this feeling of frustration when things are just not working out. Channie eagerly explained what she wanted from me, but my body and brain did not want to cooperate. At the end, I was very confused and most of all I wanted to cry. My dog was luckily not as confused as me because Channie was very good at rewarding her even if I made a mistake. Here I was, thinking I was a decent handler, but with this new way of handling I was not even able to handle more than a couple of obstacle in a row. After a break, Channie told us to work on a different part of the course, but still I did not experience that wow feeling that I was hoping for.
I drove home from the seminar with tears in my eyes and a feeling that I wasn’t that good at agility. I thought Channie was very annoying and overrated in my point of view, I am sure I would not have given Channie a very positive review if anyone asked me about the seminar. Of course, Channie noticed my reaction, and after a couple of days, she wrote to me…