I run ‘Brodie’, a medium-sized rat terrier. I’ve been in the program for a year.
I struggled with Impulse control in the form of losing stopped dog walks and start line stays. I struggled with focusing on connecting with my dog through my whole run without rushing. My timing was off for my handling and my dog was over threshold.
The steps of the program broke down each skill. This improved my mental focus, the connection with my dog, and my timing skills. The skills learned allow me to remember my cues, my timing, connect with my dog, and not only remember the course, but know where the obstacles are when I am running.
We were able to get our stopped dog walk and start lines to work in trials.
We set big goals and achieved big results! We have now been on the Podium at Cynosport, won the ISC class at AKC Nationals and won our spot onto the European Open Team 2 Years in a row!
This format benefited me because I could do the coursework on a flexible schedule and work around “life”. It pushed me to build on each skill set from a foundation basis up to a very competitive level and in a compact amount of time. I am now running and winning competitively.
I was able to work on advancing my training skills each week with the course format. I was held accountable for working through and recording the material which helped me complete it. I have notes and videos to review and I can go back and listen to the group lessons as well. This keeps me reviewing and continuing to improve.
This program has helped me to feel calmer and more confident about stepping to the line with My dog. It has helped me to understand him better so I can be the best possible handler for him. I now feel in control, as if I am driving the car.
I have been competing in agility for almost 18 years, now. I've handled various breeds along the way and each dog has taught me something different. My current teammate is a 6 year old Border Collie and he is by far one of the most difficult dogs I've ever trained. He is an incredibly pushy dog, and he really likes to rush the course, and that has caused me to walk to ‘mentally’ rush as well, which is been the cause of some of our errors and our struggles along the way. But I've learned that only one of us can be the border collie, and my dog has already assumed that role. Therefore, I need to be the calming force in that relationship.
So, joining the Peak Performance Community is exactly what I needed, to work on my mental game. Elicia has given me a number of fantastic techniques to help in my course planning and visualization process, my warm-up routine and stepping to the line, leaving the ring, and just some really great techniques to help me step-up my game and just be the best teammate for my dog. And the community has been fantastic. Having a support system, knowing that I'm not the only one who feels how difficult the mental side of the sport is. We work very hard to train all the all the equipment and all the handling, but the one thing that we don't work on enough is definitely the mental side of the game.
But, agility is a sport just like any other sport, and we have to train our brains to get mentally prepared so that we can, when we step to the line, feel confident and be the best possible teammate for are dogs. So I’d greatly encourage anybody looking to step-up their game and just be the best possible teammate for their dog to join the community! It’s a lot of fun!
Elicia, I am more successful at trials now than I used to be because of you and your program. You go above and beyond the usual lessons. The emphasis on the complete program from conditioning of dog and handler, the warm up routine, the course design and course walk details, the specifics of body positions, the analysis of watching videos of our rounds are some examples of how your program is more complete than that of other coaches. Thanks.
Struggles working on before you joined the program: maintaining focus and connection and having inconsistent trialing results
Results: we are much more consistent at trials, I’m doing much better at maintaining my focus during runs and keeping my connection with my dog throughout my run. As a result, my dog is much less frustrated on course and we are having more success
How do you feel you have improved ?
I am mentally more present during a run. I’m confident that I know the course and able to focus on my dog and my handling;
I have a better understanding of her take off and landing points, and when and where my cues need to be given; and I’m more confident in general, which my dog enjoys
The program follows a logical system and is broken down into enough steps that I never felt overwhelmed.
I would recommend this to anyone who is serious about wanting to improve their handling and their connection to their dog, and wants to continue to grow and develop as a handler