Megan Foster is one of our amazing OneMind Dogs Assistant Coaches in the US. She lives in Mt. Vernon, Washington. As a coach, she enjoys pushing her students to the next level, whatever that level may be.
Megan has recently been teaching at OneMind Dogs Handling Techniques 1 seminars. We’ve received some questions about this seminar, so we asked Megan to give her two cents on what people can get out of this training and why it makes total sense to attend it.
Who is the Handling Techniques 1 seminar aimed at and what do people learn there?
A Handling Techniques 1 seminar is for teams of all levels to learn about the eight most common OneMind Dogs handling techniques. For each technique, there is an explanation and discussion, human dog training, real dog training, virtual dog training, and coursework training. Students can expect to learn more about reality lines, training phases, and course application from the dog's perspective than any seminar I have ever attended!
What kind of dog and handler teams can benefit from this seminar?
The Handling Techniques 1 seminar is beneficial to any team, regardless of their experience level or ultimate goal in agility. The techniques (Front Cross, Rear Cross, Blind Cross, False Turn, Backside Send, Reverse Spin, Whisky Cross, and Lateral Push), are techniques that I use on all agility courses at all levels! The training is individualized for each team so no one ever feels behind but also everyone is appropriately challenged.
Why should people attend a Handling Techniques 1 seminar first and not go directly to running longer sequences?
Running full courses requires an understanding of handling techniques and teamwork. Without first knowing how the seven handling elements affect your dog and their line, planning course strategies is nearly impossible. At OneMind Dogs, the goal is for the dog AND the human to have a good time and enjoy the training! Handling Techniques 1 focuses on giving you the technical skills that are required of longer coursework seminars.
What kind of feedback have you received from the attendees?
I have taught this seminar twice in two different locations and the feedback is so positive! Many "ah-ha!" moments happen in the human dog training. Most human dogs tend to watch the hands of their handler. When reminded about the dog's perspective and how the handler's feet, chest, and eyes are more important for our dogs than the hands, the changes in how they respond are much more dog-like. This is extremely eye opening to students. It is amazing to watch handlers perform a new technique for the first time with their dog, after only practicing with another human, and nailing it - giving their dog all of the correct information and their dog responding perfectly. It gives me goosebumps when I see it!