The Scottish Terrier and Obedience – Part 3 – The Journey
In the first two parts we considered how obedience training might be a good fit for you and your dog, something you can enjoy together. That is a good attitude to take with you as you start your journey. You and your dog will be learning new things. Though there will be goals, milestones along the way; there is also a destination in the journey. Enjoy the time spent with your dog along the way. Like going on a cruise ship, getting there is most of the fun. Do not focus too much on the goals at first. They will come in time.
Dogs and their human companions are all starting from different launching points. Every dog and owner team will have their unique set of strengths and problems. One of the best pieces of advice and encouragement that I received early on was: “You work with what you’ve got.”
I am glad that we started doing obedience before I first heard “Scottish terriers don’t do obedience.” (Or don’t do it well). I am glad that we had instructors who looked forward to working with a Scottie team. I am glad that we did not have instructors who expected less of us because we were a Scottie team.
Take that first step in the journey. Find an instructor, class or obedience club that is a good fit for you and your dog. Over the years, I have been to many instructors. They can vary greatly in experience, techniques and teaching ability. It is always a good idea to ask if you can go to a class to observe.
Talk to the instructor and members of the class before you join. Do not assume one class is representative of all. You know your dog best. Make sure you are comfortable with the training techniques. An instructor with experience training terriers is to be desired.
Become aware of the unique Scottish Terrier temperament and physical characteristics which require techniques and adaptations in training that differ from training larger or working breeds.