The 2011 OSF 4-H Dog show week is now over! Agility. Showmanship. Obedience. Advanced levels of obedience. Four days of rally. Service dogs. Therapy dogs. Dog Care. Poster Contest. Skillathon. Drill Teams. Freestyle. Around 1300 entries, with many kids doing multiple events and/or showing multiple dogs.
Dozens of volunteers staying the week to judge, assist with the rings, help with scoring, and get everyone organized.
Some of the great points:
- Interacting with dog-crazy kids from all over the state
- Training discussions with other volunteers. Specifically about "good training" and the (lack of) interest in such.
- Seeing many of our campers, from this year and past years. I also saw kids from Griffin's favorite day camp and our regional workshops.
- Seeing many of "our" kids do very well.
- Talking to kids who are in their last year....they were sad but also looking forward to helping in the future
Some of the not so great points:
- Surprise! I was judging...often finding out the day-of the event.
- Seeing a lot of punishment being used....even by very young kids.
- Lots of kids not knowing the rules and loosing a ton of points because of it.
- Some of the judging/policies needing updated to make things easier/cleaner
What I'm going to try and change for next year:
- Be more prepared and ask about my jobs ahead of times.
- Continue with clinics, workshops, handouts, etc for the 4-H'ers...focusing on R+ type training.
- Work on education opportunities for the advisors/instructors to have more good R+ training.
- Increase enthusiasm for knowing the rules. Mention this at all events. Create a few games based off of knowing the rules.
- Make proposals for modifications to rules/policies.
I'm really good at complaining, but I often try to put changes along with it. If something isn't going well...we need to change something.