One of the things that defines the OneMind Dogs method is continuous learning. Our coaches are always learning new things from each other, their students, and most importantly their dogs.
Leading OneMind Dogs Coach Janita Leinonen recently spoke on her successes with her Border Collie, Fu, who has done 62 clean runs in trials in the last year. All together she has done 272 clean runs in competition in 5 years. Janita recalled years ago saying, “I will never again get dogs as good as Tekla and Cosmo, which I was competing with at that time.” She had this thought during a mental training session with Vappu Alatalo in 2004. After starting this mental training, her whole mindset about agility and her future agility dogs changed. “Then I got Hitti, my soulmate, and after that Fu, the other soulmate and the best possible partner for me in agility.”
Janita says that she has had three huge turning points in her agility career:
“First one was to get a deaf dog in 2003, it changed everything in my handling. After that I have had a high clean run percent with all the dogs I have competed with.” This was the birth of OneMind Dogs, if you haven’t heard Tekla’s story you can watch it online - it is very uplifting and inspirational.
“Second one was starting mental training in 2004. After that I have been on the Finnish team (WC, EO or NC) every year 2005-2018. Thank you Vappu, you turned my competing upside down!” Mental training is a huge part of agility training - and life in general! Agility isn’t just about how you move your body, it’s about how you use your mind. Every handler can learn to use mental-preparation to their benefit and enjoy agility in all of its levels! For active competitors, acquiring these skills and using them actively is an important factor of success. OneMind Dogs has an entire category on mental training to help advance your mental game.
“And the third one was visiting UK and getting an idea how to train puppies to be ready for agility. My first guinea pigs in puppy training were Zen and Vimma in 2005. Both of them were on the Finnish team at 2 years old. Zen continued competing until she was 10.5 years old and she still won many runs at that age when we were competing in US those last months. Zen and Vimma are now 13 years old healthy grannies. After a good experience we decided to teach Hitti and Omie the same way, also both of them were on the Finnish team at 2 years old. Hitti did 325 clean runs in trials during her career.” When you start to build your “agility house”, the foundation training is the soil on which you build. Even the finest house will collapse if the soil underneath is not solid. That’s why foundation training is so important: it affects everything you do in agility throughout your dog’s entire career. You can learn about the OneMind Dogs Foundation training.
Learning really is infinite. If you open your mind, you can learn new things from every experience you have with your dog. Developing a passion for learning will make continuous growth effortless and success boundlessly achievable.
“After 2003 I have learned something new about dogs, their point of view in agility, our handling or mental training EVERY YEAR. Learning is fun and keeps me motivated year after year. I hope I'll never be ready and learning new aspects continues! Thank you to our best agility instructors, our dogs.”