Nick’s (Unfolding) Story and the Genesis of the Boot Camp Course
Nick is my young border collie born July 2, 2015. In agility and in everyday life, he is very quick. And he has taught me a lot.
I’m used to very fast dogs having trained and competed with my sheltie Breeze and long-strided border collie Tai. Nick is different – he’s both very fast on the ground and very quick when changing direction – with lots of acceleration. He has one predominant thought – faster, faster!! When Nick passed the one year mark and a few months later we started to run short agility sequences I realized that if Nick and I were to be successful in agility he would need carefully taught skills!
Not long after Nick turned 2 yrs old, even though he had progressed through the same flatwork, foundation jumping and basic drills that I had done with my other dogs, I was not getting the results I wanted. The thought of running Nick on advanced and technical courses was – frankly – scary. And we were still struggling to keep bars up on what I would consider fairly basic drills.
I put my thinking cap on and went back and reviewed foundation work from a number of different agility programs that I’ve studied over the years (Greg and Laura Derrett, Sylvia Trkman, Susan Salo and Shape Up Agility). I was looking for old ideas and new ideas – anything to help Nick. From that review, I put together “Nick’s Boot Camp”. While we are still a work in progress as a team, I’m happy with the results of the program I started in August 2017. Nick’s Boot Camp was designed to help Nick learn how to use his body more effectively when asking for technical jumping like serpentines, wraps, threadles, etc., to strengthen his understanding of my handling cues and to add verbal cues. Most of the videos that I use in this course come directly from Nick’s training. I had no intention of offering a course like this but friends and students were interested in what I did to bring Nick along. So, the idea was conceived.
I hope the program helps your dog as it seems to be helping Nick. You may have other challenges or no specific challenges at all but just want a structured program for your dog. Is this course only for super-speedy fast dogs? Not at all! In fact, the course should increase your dog’s understanding and build confidence, unleashing the dog’s full potential. I hope you enjoy this course as much as I did putting it together.