I have been pondering my dog training lately (mainly because I have some horrible cravings for having a puppy) If I could go back in time and change the way I raised Thor and Siren what would I do differently?
Thor: With Thor I was so excited to have a young dog that was friendly with other dogs and wouldn't run away from me if walked him off leash I totally neglected to train him basic manners (I have geriatric evil Jack Russell Terriers). Heck there was no training what-so-ever and by the time I realized I was in a little trouble with this insane herding dog he was already passed 6 months old and had some really bad habits. I had missed out on a lot of great early training opportunities. With mixed information about dog sports and what-not I completely prevented him from jumping and he lost a lot of his natural puppy flexibility instead of supporting him with proper conditioning and training. Once we started training I had to completely re-condition him and fix the problems that could have been prevented.
Siren: I started her training asap (she's a little simple and not as driven or as intense as Thor). I would have changed the fact I allowed her to play with Thor freely. She views him as something to play with and I have spent months trying to get her to view me as someone to play with instead. Oh and I definitely would have started working on her retrieve first because the dog is definitely not understand the "chase, grab, return to play" bit.