INTRODUCTION OF HANDLING COURSE BY GERARD O’SHEA
The Introduction class in handling is usually held over a weekend for two days, with one class 4 hours per day.
Day 1: The first day starts off with an introduction and some classroom theory, where Gerard in an entertaining and humorous way, explains the layout of the course. This the first day focuses mainly on the philosophies and theories needed for modern dog training. All the techniques are initially explained and demonstrated by Gerard without dogs. He points out numerous of the variations in body signals that we all give out to our dogs without even recognizing, giving an explanation to many occurring (miss) behaviors in the ring.
“Feel good factor”
The feel good factor is something Gerard tries hard to establish within the group before starting any training. We spend some time breaking down the stress that may occur when you bring 20 dogs, unknown to each other, out for hard work and training. After we have established this feel good factor we start working on our communication skills. The lack of communication skills, combined with stress and lack of handling is probably the main reason as to why so many dogs and handlers have a tough time in the ring. As day 1 and class 1 proceeds, Gerard slowly introduces more and more choreography. Making us look more like handlers, and the dogs more like the show dogs we want them to be.
Day 2: On this the second day, Gerard and the class begin to concentrate on all the factors needed to make you and your dog more competitive in the ring. With Gerard’s extensive experience as an international judge and a professional handler, he explains and demonstrates effective methods as how to create a good first impression as well as teaching both dogs and owners how to move with good carriage and forward attitude. We are also taught techniques designed to make our handling more economical when in the ring and short of time. The class finishes off with more theory and a breakdown of home exercises for you and your dog, so that you can create a winning team.