In episodes 203 and 204, I shared a two-part deep dive on the metabolic and performance struggles overcome by This!, my 2.5-year-old Border Collie. After a road to recovery with dotted with setbacks, I entered This! in the World Team Tryouts for dog agility. In this episode, I’m sharing my plan, my goal, how I achieved it, and how it could impact your dog training, even if you don’t do dog sports.

In the episode you'll hear:

  • My strategy to maximize joy for dog sport competitions, matches, and training classes.
  • Why I consciously chose a lighthearted attitude and commissioned a custom leash that sparks joy. 
  • My planning so that This!'s first agility competition could be a success for her.
  • A review of our agility and jumpers runs at the big event.
  • My 5-step strategy for injecting joy into any activity or experience with your dog.
  • Step 1: Create a goal of maximizing joy.
  • Step 2: Know the rules around how you're able to reinforce the dog during the event or activity.
  • How we used a 'chase-tug-restrain' game for joy for This! at the event.
  • Step 3: Create a strategic plan around where and when you'll provide high value reinforcement.
  • Step 4: Rehearse the plan.
  • Step 5: Execute the plan with joy, have fun and celebrate!
  • How to use FEO / NFC opportunities to create joy for dogs.
  • How the energy of the crowd supporting me and This! moved me deeply.
  • Why allowing yourself grace is vital because everyone, including me, was a beginner once.
  • That joy results from clarity and how that boosts your dog's confidence.