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I'm relatively new to sport, about 6 months in, and have the opportunity to take part in a working seminar next week.

I'm a little unsure if I should take a working spot or if I should just observe. Having never taken part in anything like this, how do they work?


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I almost always observe at the least and depending on who the seminar is with, I will sign up for a working spot. I have always learned so much from two or three day seminars and noticed progress in my dog from the consistent training methods implemented over the course of those days.
 

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Does your club recommend you sign up for a working spot or just observe? I am not a good spectator so I tend to work my dogs though I have attended very few seminars. IF you decide to work your dog I would watch a few dogs being worked first so if you are not comfortable with what you are seeing you can decide to just watch instead. Don't be afraid to say no, if you don't like something that is being done nor allow peer pressure to force you to work your dog.
 

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It would depend on your learning style. If you can follow directions, and not get nervous in front of a group of people than sign up for a working spot. If not, sign up to just observe. I've done both and have gained different insights from both.
 

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who is giving the seminar?

How are you training?

Those are more more key to whether you should participate or not! Some seminars are awesome to participate in - and some I stay away from....

I refused to participate in a seminar with a well known guy one time - 11 or 12 years ago...one ladies dog was not particularly strong, and it's confidence was ruined...a second left in tears the first day and did not return. An observer who is a pretty open minded OB person got alot out of the seminar, but said it was not for the faint hearted....other seminars are awesome...just depends on who is giving it!

Lee
 

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I personally prefer watching and observing. As good as the people giving the seminar might be, they only spend a VERY limited amount of time on each dog. If you pay for a working slot, you basically observe 90% of the time anyway. And then you have to work your dog in front of a crowd, with lots of new people and such - can make you nervous, or at least it used to make me nervous (I admit it, have no problems admitting I get nervous working in front of a crowd).

If you do go as a working slot, what would you like to work on? Do you have a specific problem you want to work on? It always helps, because the person giving the seminar does not know you, or your dog, and can learn a limited amount about you both in the short time you work together. Also remember, problems aren't fixed in a day, so you don't want to expect too much out of it or you'll come out disappointed.

I don't know, I always preferred observing. Everyone has their own preference. You asked, and I answered with mine. In the end you will almost always benefit from good seminars no matter what you decide, but just make sure you have a good time in the process yea? :)
 

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I've always done the working spots, not auditing unless the working spots were filled. If I don't like the trainers methods, I don't have to work my dog. But the few seminars I've attended, I know the trainers style somewhat before going.
A couple seminars I've been to were mostly Mal/Dutchie people, one was a KNPV seminar the other by a well known Mal competitor and they weren't into catching/fighting the larger GSD. My protection sessions were much shorter than the other smaller structured dogs.

I don't go there to work on a problem/issue, but to learn other techniques. For example, the Mal trainer has the handler stradle their dog in protection, pivoting right along with the dog so the dog and handler are a unit.
Of course most Mals need that, but GSD's aren't so dependent on their handler.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Seminar is with Hannu Liljegren, it's a 4 day seminar with one day offered separate only to members (that would be the day that I'd be working Gaia, the open seminar I've planned on going just to learn/observe)

I'm still learning so not working on anything in particular but rather working on everything if that makes any sense.
 
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