The Book is Coming!

I have been working on a book FOREVER. And it is finally a reality! The Spiritdance Tracking Method (not the name – the book is not named yet) has been developed over decades of tracking, teaching and coaching. Visit the “Book Website” to learn more.

For now, I am calling it Godly Paths because the Bible verse of Jeremiah 6: 16-17 really touched my heart the first time I read it. In the New International Version of the Bible the original Greek text is interpreted as ‘godly paths.’ In other versions, the Greek is interpreted as ‘the good path’ or ‘the ancient path.’ The image the text evokes to me is not only about following God’s will, but also about my life path. It reminds me of the trust we need for tracking success.

On June 19, I was at a crossroads in my personal and working life, and the Daily Devotional I read, written by Dr. Charles Stanley, was called Look for the Good Way. It was a reminder to me about the website I had created a few years ago, the last time I had the energy to devote to writing. I began to write again while I was off this winter following hip surgery.

I invited you to read that Daily Devotional. So much about tracking relates to every day life and values. That is why I love tracking, and love to teach it and coach people. It is indeed a wonderful way to spend time with our dogs and with each other.

Here is a link to the daily devotion: Look for the Good Way, from June 19. I hope you enjoy it, and that it makes you think about your path, finding your way at crossroads, about the direction to follow, and finding rest in this busy and often difficult life.

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Coaching Works! 1:1 and Group Coaching for Tracking Enthusiasts is catching on

Congratulations to Michelle Armitage and Pamela Burns on their new Tracking Champions, English Springer “TCH Cameron” and Wirehaired Dachshund “TCH Lieder!” If you check out my public Spiritdance Tracking Facebook page you’ll see their reports from this past weekend as they each passed their final title – the Urban Tracking Dog Excellent test – for their CKC Tracking Champion honour. These teams came to me with a lot of experience and three titles already earned. It was my great honour and privilege to work with them remotely over the winter and spring as their Coach – helping them be prepared for the performance of their tracking careers!

The UTDX is a difficult title: 3-5 hours old, up to one-half non-vegetated surface, in contaminated public settings like industrial parks, schools or college grounds. The dogs must find the track and three articles along the way, sorting out the competing scents. The handlers must read their dogs, hold up their end, and trust their canine partners. It is the ultimate in teamwork and trust and a very intense test. Many try and don’t pass. In part, understanding the urban environment is a challenge in itself.

I love urban tracking! I love tracking! As a judge for all levels, I am always thrilled when asked to plot and judge tests. Seeing dogs pass is always a joy. As a participant, I love to train my own dogs. And as an instructor and coach, I love to be part of the journey with so many talented teams. I always make sure to tell each team that THEY put in the work. A coach can coach away, but if the client doesn’t put in the work, the results and outcomes won’t be there.

I have been teaching tracking since 1995 and have had the ongoing personal rewards of seeing my students / friends enjoy success and become independent over time as they become passionate and knowledgeable in their own right. Today I see many of my original students still involved in tracking as participants and organizers, including here in Alberta where I’ve been teaching since 2008.

Since starting online coaching – the first in Canada for tracking, focused on CKC rules – I have had the honour of coaching many teams including Beginners to tracking, people stuck with their progress on TDX, and beginners to urban tracking. I’ve seen these teams go on to be successful at tests in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC! Teams I have not worked with IN PERSON but who I’ve coached online, viewing videos and providing ongoing lesson support and training.

These two UTDXs are the highest titles I have ‘coached!’ I am so grateful to both Michelle and Pamela for sharing how I contributed to this final title. Often the coach is the “person behind the scenes” when teams achieve their goals (and that’s ok!). I am grateful in this case because by sharing that we worked together, it shows everyone that COACHING WORKS! 

And let’s be sure to acknowledge that no test is successful without a great judge plotting great tracks, and tracklayers offering their stinky feet! I am even more thrilled that both Michelle and Pamela passed under Marie P Babin, who I consider one of my mentors.

Let’s be clear. They did it. They put in the work. They dedicated the time and miles to achieve this honour of achieving a Tracking Championship. A coach is someone who contributes along the way, helping people meet their goals. It is an investment in yourself.

To learn more about what coaching is you can visit my coaching website – www.spiritdancelifecoaching.ca . And to find out more about my coaching for trackers, please visit my new business website, www.spiritdancetracking.ca 

I am working on a Spiritdance Tracking book, specifically on Urban Tracking. I believe in my methods and have been excited to share them with my clients. I’ve developed ideas and methods over 30 years in tracking that I’ve been able to refine over the past two years – seeing things come together as my students have been progressing rapidly and enjoying their tracking experiences.

In the meantime I continue to give lessons and tracking workshops in person. If you are interested in Coaching – please let me know. Many people need that extra boost or some new tools in the toolbox, and a lot of people have no access to tracking instruction at all.

GO CANADA! Through coaching, I’ve seen people come together and share from east to west, in the online classroom. Tracking is a small community and my goal is to inspire, motivate and encourage trackers at all levels, so that they love the sport and enjoy success – achieving their goals!

Thank you to everyone who has invited me to be part of your journey. I look forward to growing my Coaching over the years to come – and to sharing my methods in my book!

Congratulations to the new TCHs! Thank you for the honour of working with you, and thanks to all of my past and current clients, students and friends.

Taking tracking on the road. Training circuit starting soon!

Have you always wanted to learn about tracking? Have you started to track, but haven’t learned enough to get into a test? Now is your chance!

Spiritdance Coaching & Tracking is taking our training show on the road! Alberta really is a great place to drive a circuit. Starting in July, I will be giving regular lessons in Calgary, Olds, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for beginners and experienced trackers! More tests are being offered across Alberta and elsewhere. New judges are ready and that means more people to help spread tests around! There is a new ‘Master Tracking’ title available to Tracking Champions, meaning more chances to play! MIXED BREEDS are allowed in CKC tracking tests and many are earning titles from TD to Tracking Champion!

Whether you are a beginner, wanting to learn about urban tracking or seeking the Master Tracking Champion title lessons and coaching can help give you the tools to train well and succeed.

Because it takes a lot of time and space to teach tracking, it is tough to find tracking instruction. I happen to be passionate about sharing this sport with others and I’ve been teaching tracking since 1995. I love it, and love meeting people and their dogs. We have fun!

Tracking is a very intensive sport to train, and so I can only fit in 5 (FIVE) lessons a day whenever I am in town. That’s why I put a 2018 Spiritdance Tracking Lessons, Seminar and Tracking Camps Calendar together to help you plan and pre-book if you’d like to meet regularly.

My mission as a coach is to inspire and motivate and because I am a Professional Coach, I focus on your unique needs and your goals when we work together. I’m committed to the continued love and growth of tracking, a non-competitive outdoor sport that attracts great people – a sport dogs of all sizes and ages enjoy and love!

Since moving to Alberta in 2008 I have been privileged to see people become interested in tracking, obtain titles and even form new tracking clubs to offer more tests. It is a wonderful feeling to see students grow, and to make new friends. It is rewarding to have been a part of this tracking growth!

Details about seminars, lessons and individual coaching are always posted on www.spiritdancetracking.ca Please visit the website frequently to keep up! Training opportunities and other fun stuff is also posted on the Spiritdance Tracking Facebook page.

Take that next step! Plan to attend a seminar, a camp or a lesson and find out why people get hooked on this sport. I hope to hear from you.

Mastery and Maturity in the Sport of Tracking

The Tracking Championship title has been in effect for ten years now, and there are roughly 60 Tracking Champions. There are more per year recently as training methods catch up and as experienced people repeat their performance with new dogs. Still, at roughly 6 TCHs per year a discussion of Mastery and Maturity in tracking, after ten years of urban tracking seems practical. Read more… Mastery and Maturity in the Sport of Tracking

Uniquely Spiritdance!

How my tracking methods have developed and an overview of what to expect in the book!

Spiritdance Tracking started in 1995, a few months before my mother died of cancer at age 58. I have always experienced tracking as something meditative – and as an activity where I find myself surrounded by wonderful people.

23 years later, I have grown this business and passion into something ‘uniquely Spiritdance’ thanks to the many people who have trusted me to be a part of their tracking journey. While one of my goals is to inspire others, working with trackers has inspired me over many years to keep growing and to hone my ideas and methods, resulting in a Spiritdance Tracking method.

Below I briefly decribe my methods   This is followed by my personal tracking journey.

Tracking is always a work in progress! We never know everything. It is one of the things I love about this sport. And every dog brings something new to the table. However, a solid method should be able to help every team succeed in this sport and perform consistently despite handler and dog differences! The Spiritdance Tracking Method is proven to work for traditional and non-traditional breeds in this fun sport, including mixed breeds.

About the Method

In 2013 I added coaching skills to my instruction and training, and graduated from Erickson College’s International Coach Federation cirriculum based coaching program. Coaching shines the focus on the two-legged half of the tracking team. As a Professional Coach I bring a unique view to teaching tracking, by encouraging and motivating people to grow and develop in the sport.

Coaching has changed how I organize lessons and seminars – and as a result of coach training, I have started online training, to become the first tracking instructor in Canada to offer online lessons, coaching and webinars! Bringing people from across Canada together online is exciting and allows trackers to hear from people with different ideas and backgrounds in tracking. When I have travelled as a clinician and judge, I’ve seen this in person. It is exciting to bring this to everyone through coaching and instruction online.

Now I am finalizing my first book, after many years of giving presentations and developing handouts and unique course materials (all copyrighted!). I am looking forward to sharing my ideas and methods even more once the book is a reality.

What uniquely Spiritdance methods and ideas will you see in the book? They are all related to tracking of course so focus on all of the skills we need for success in the sport. It is the way they are presented, and the combination of ideas and training I’ve been fortunate to learn – CKC, AKC, IPO, police work, and other sports – that makes it different. It is the fact that my methods work, not just for my dogs, but for others teams too.

The Spiritdance Tracking Method has long incorporated the coaching and training science that is proven to work for elite athletes around the world! Holistic mind and body training that applies to tracking handlers – and even to our dogs! I’ve been a long admirer of elite runners and have developed tracking methods using the great ideas of marathon, triathlon and Ironman athletes. It works.

What is the Spiritdance Tracking Method?

  • In Spiritdance lessons, seminars and webinars the focus is on skill development, mental training, muscle memory, kinetics and training the athletic brain.
  • It is about a focus on the two-legged half of the team – taking handlers through stages of skill acquisition that create confidence and ability
  • The Spiritdance Tracking Method is focused on teaching and giving our dogs tools even though we know they are natural trackers, and on creating confident dogs that have a belief in themselves and track consistently.
  • It is about developing teams from foundations to advanced tracking, giving handlers tools and habits of excellence.
  • It is about seeing training as a purposeful practice and a discipline.
  • It is about exercises with purpose, and training deliberately, with a plan.
  • And it is about eliminating the struggle – as struggling is the worst way to learn! It eliminates what appear to be elements of randomness from our training and testing.

Overview of Spiritdance Tracking methods 

  • Methods are grounded in respect for the team, kindness, open sharing, honesty, inspiration, motivation, compassion and a belief that any team can succeed and love this wonderful sport
  • Strong foundations shaping our dog’s – and our – behaviour and habits
  • We teach our dogs – not just read our dogs and expect consistent behaviour
  • Our dogs talk to us, and we communicate through the line dance and magic steps
  • Solid starts and first turns with flag recognition, drive and focus
  • Flow and follow through on straight legs and turns
  • We string together L-tracks in a system of teaching, training and testing
  • We keep our dogs confident and motivated, and keep our own mental game strong
  • Ability to negotiate transitions and find touchpoints for confidence building
  • We work in zones with spatial awareness and make constant micro-decisions, taking in environmental cues intuitively
  • We use dead zones, wind, edges, curb serpentines and obstacles strategically
  • We use the power of the group to work together plotting and laying tracks so that dogs can go from scent pads and serpentines to nose down tracks in one seminar!
  • We do base tracks and long runs, we peak our performance, taper and prepare for tests with high level planning skills, goals and positive visualization
  • We hone our skills to achieve Tracking Mastery, fluency and literacy in the sport to become elite athletes, running our personal race and seeking to achieve our personal best and keep learning

The (future) Book

Since I am heading into hip replacement surgery in 3 weeks my goal is to take all of the materials and recordings I’ve accumulated over the years, and get my book ready to share details of my methods with everyone. I hope that the outline at the beginning of this blog post gives you a good idea of what to expect.

My Tracking Journey

And now for a little background about how this method was developed.

Early Tracking Years

My first exposure to tracking was to attend a Glen Johnson seminar in Thunder Bay, while he was home visiting his parents. This seminar was organized by Dawn Sanderson, my first tracking instructor in my hometown of Thunder Bay way back in 1989. I still have my notes and handouts from that seminar and of course, a well-worn copy of Tracking Dog.

As luck would have it, I met a Bloodhound man in the early 80s when I worked for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Dave Kenney was a Conservation Officer whose dog Nero was always at his side. Nero had been used extensively by the Ontario Provincial Police in northern Ontario. I would go out with Dave and ‘hide’ as Nero’s victim and will never forget that BIG NOSE coming at me, ears flapping as he closed in, Dave running behind. We went out in all seasons and as a result, I have always tracked year ’round.

I was hooked! My first tracking dog was a German Shepherd named Hawk who became my first TD and first TDX dog in the early 90s. Robin would come next, another German Shepherd. But it was Kate, my Rough Collie, that provided the watershed moment motivating me to begin teaching tracking. I had been using Glen Johnson’s method exclusively until the day Kate, a ‘show dog’ escaped from my car as I was loading up Robin who had just completed a track! Kate took off at a dead run, and as I watched, she ran the entire track precisely to the end, finding bait left behind and circling back to where the article had left a scent pool.

I had been convinced not to damage Kate’s coat or let her put her nose down as she was a promising conformation star, but Kate showed me that tracking was not just for German Shepherds. However, Kate was not interested in the repetitive drills that my shepherds did without question.

Spiritdance Tracking Begins

Training Kate made me take a step away from the program and think about ways to motivate her to track. This was a time of change in many venues with the advent of positive training, use of bait, and clickers that Malcolm Gladwell describes as “the tipping point” when the same ideas occur to people in waves. Long before the internet and social media, other trackers had similar ideas and came up with new ways to train. I presented my ideas in my first classes to friends who signed up with their Collies, Bull Mastiffs, Aussies, Dachshunds, Dalmatians and even Toy breeds.

I wish I had kept a list of everyone who trained with me beginning in 1995. I will be forever grateful to them all for giving Spiritdance Tracking it’s start. By the way, Spiritdance was also the kennel name I registered with the CKC when I bought Kate! She was non-traditional, an amazing tracker and a multiple specialty and group winner in the show ring (who never did put her nose down, but ran out ahead very independently on a long line thanks to tracking!) Kate passed her TD and TDX in 1993 and 1994 on her first attempts, and to this date holds the record as my fasted TDX dog at 11 minutes!

The big move to Alberta, Mentors and Growth in the sport

I’ve been fortunate since those days to seek mentors in both CKC and AKC tracking including trackers, fellow judges and fellow clinicians and other trainers. I peppered my training with ideas I gleaned from other sports – especially herding, which is my other passion. By 2005 I added Border Collies to my pack with my first ‘working stockdog’ Jet, who would become my first Tracking Champion in 2012. A working lines GSD named Caden followed (more about Caden further below).

Two more watershed dogs, Jet and Caden, led me into the hard core working dog world of stockdogs and IPO (known then as Schutzhund). A big move to Alberta in 2008 led to even closer ties to friends and mentors in these competitive dog sports and I realized how much there was to learn!

The Pendulum Swings back to Precision with Urban Tracking

In the years just prior to moving from Thunder Bay to Alberta I attended a Wallace Payne IPO Tracking Seminar, and organized a CKC Tracking Seminar with AKC Judge Steve Ripley. They were very complementary, as both advocated that dogs can be motivated to track precisely, whether on veg or on hard surface. Urban tracking had become a reality in CKC tracking in 2006 and the question on everyone’s minds was ‘how do we teach our dogs to do this?

In my seminars I talk about the pendulum swinging back to the center in tracking. Many of us got very excited about understanding scent, and moved away from the wonderful foundations Glen Johnson had provided in his book. Certainly scent understanding grew and some of his ideas had to be updated. But many of us became carried away with the very positive methods we’d started to use ten years earlier, and the ideas about moving scent. In urban tests, dogs were initially allowed to be 40 metres off track but it was not a pretty sight. This was another of those Malcolm Gladwell “multiple discovery” moments in time.

I began to piece together ideas to regain precision, and on all surfaces, from IPO and other working dog training. I’ve had great mentors in both CKC and ASCA herding, as well as Border Collie stockdog trials. I was very fortunate again to meet great mentors who have become friends in sport dog venues and these people have generously shared ideas with me and train together.

Attending IPO tracking seminars and working very hard with Caden, my IPO candidate, I reshaped them to suit my CKC goals. I then took my GSD River, and Border Collie Jet out of tracking tests for an entire season to retrain them in foundation work.

The results were very exciting! While River did not pass her UTDX, at age 10 and again at age 11, she came very close, running two test tracks ‘dead on’ – each with small heartbreak moments leading to non-passes. I accept the complete responsibility for both and learned from them – adding to my training toolkit. In training, I saw my brilliant Border Collie Jet bloom, to pass her UTDX on her first try, and become my first Tracking Champion – TCH Alta-Pete Jet.

Ironically, I started my tracking business just as my mother died in 1995. My first Tracking Champion passed her test just after I lost my father. Both dogs were collies, and both were strong-minded females that challenged me to update my methods. River, another female, was my first urban dog and is the dog who taught me so much, and let me experiment and grow as we enjoyed many years of training together.

I give River credit for Jet’s pass! In my heart, she is a Tracking Champion and had she started at a younger age or had a more experienced handler I have no doubt she would have passed that final, difficult test. River lived up to her name. She was meant to be a canoe dog and named River – but Lindau’s Uncharted Course UTD TDX came to Alberta and is my heart and soul dog, a beloved friend and my first urban teacher.

Tracking Judge Experience

By this time, I was now a Tracking Judge too, and with Jet’s pass, I was able to begin judging all levels of CKC tracking tests! Being a judge lets you see training and handling across Canada. This has been a great boon to developing my training ideas too and instilled a strong belief that I can help people succeed. Judges want everyone to pass of course! Tests don’t come around often enough and we only need that one pass for a title.

The pass rates in the advanced levels are very low. This frustrated me (and still does). As a new urban judge, I saw amazing handlers who passed, and others with poor starts, poor line handling, and sloppy habits lacking foundation skills. I saw dogs that had been given no skills although they were very natural and keen. I saw other dogs that seemed to have hit a wall and had lost their belief in themselves. And others with disrespectful habits, considering they were only being asked for 15 minutes of their time in a test!

Systematically Building on Training Ideas

I began to systematically work through my training with the goal of developing a system that set people off on the right path to tracking success. Of course, I always work out methods on my own dogs, and always have two dogs on the go – a beginner and an advanced dog. I continue to train both collies and shepherds and love the interplay of the two breeds and what they teach me! I expanded my training as I began to offer lessons and seminars across Alberta. I’ve also given seminars in BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick (and Fargo! Long story) – and in each place I love to learn the ideas people are using, and add to their toolboxes.

Finally, adding to my methods, I was very very fortunate to meet a retired RCMP dog handler who helped me with Caden for two years. I met him through my IPO friend and have never been so grateful for tracking help as I was when I worked with him. Caden did not take to IPO (largely because I didn’t). Caden was fast, powerful and gifted. While in IPO and while working with the RCMP trainer I endured hearing repeatedly that he was being wasted in my hands. He “could win the Worlds” I heard. He “should have been a police dog” I heard.

Well – he was mine to love and enjoy. My first MALE watershed dog, and a shepherd! Through Caden, I learned and practiced tracking as a discipline in ways I’d never experienced before. Caden passed his TD, UTD and UTDX on his first tries. He passed his TDX and UTDX on the same day in 2015 back to back. I had logged almost 1,000 hours of training with this magnificent dog and I knew we were ready. It was a day I will never forget and I doubt I’ll ever see anything like it again. Caden was my second Tracking Champion.

Thank God he passed. He died of cancer in his spine a year later after being ill throughout the entire summer. Sometimes those great dogs, the ones that shine, come into our lives for a short time, brightening everything in their path, then leave in a flash of light. I am so glad he stayed with me, ‘wasting his life’ by being truly loved and honouring this humble CKC tracker with lesson after lesson – and my methods GREW.

As he was an extremely gifted and powerful dog, I had to think about how I could take what I learned and share it with my CKC students. When my Border Collie Ben was born, I began to train Ben using my ideas of combining what I’d learned with Caden and all that I knew about tracking after 22 years in the sport. Thank you TCH Caden von der KleinenWiese.

TCH Spiritdance Blackthorn Ben, my first Spiritdance-trained Tracker

Ben has been my most successful tracking dog to date. Ben passed his TD, UTD, and TDX in a row, on his first attempts. He failed his first try at UTDX – breaking my streak of passing two in a row on my first tries with Jet and Caden! I figured out the ‘holes in my bucket’ (a herding phrase) and Ben passed on his second try. He is a quirky guy and is not the strong-minded tracker his mother Jet was. But I knew that my methods are solid when I saw Ben pull it together to pass and to track so consistently.

I give credit for Ben’s UTDX pass to my friend Dan Vas, a SAR volunteer with the Canadian Search Dog Association, who I met soon after my move to Medicine Hat. I’d never had opportunities to work closely with SAR trainers – not since my introduction to tracking with Nero the Bloodhound! I am currently enjoying training with Dan and his SAR recruits and adding little pieces to my training (as always!) The piece that helped Ben pass had to do with his article indications.

Micah, the New GSD Puppy

In keeping with my routine, I always have one GSD and one Border Collie in training. After losing Caden, I was fortunate to find Micah from a good Canadian breeder. Micah is also known as Gem von Wendelin. I started a training blog for Micah to chronicle her training over time.

Using my methods exclusively, Micah at age 9 months, is a confident tracker and ready for TD and UTD! If only we had tests in the winter! You can read her blog Training Micah for more about my puppy.

 

I look forward to this new journey and to continued friendships and sharing in years to come! 

 

I appreciate all of the students who’ve been involved with my training from the beginning and the respect that they have shown in the treatment of my unique ideas, methods and materials developed over the years to help each of them grow and succeed.

Notice of Copyright

Please be advised that all materials, unique methods and ideas expressed on this website, other websites, blogs and social media owned and managed by Donna Brinkworth and all materials, recordings, handouts and presentation material related to Spiritdance Coaching and to Spiritdance online and in-person tracking is protected by copyright. Material cannot be reprinted, distributed or used for training and professional purposes without consent and permission of the author, Donna Brinkworth. If material is cited publicly on websites, in presentations, to students and clients or online (videos and social media) credit must be given to Donna Brinkworth, Spiritdance Tracking and Coaching and unique methods protected by copyright must not be portrayed as any other individual’s ideas or methods. All clients are asked to respect and honour this and the waiver signed as a condition of participation. This is in effect January 1, 2018 for all published and shared material and methods this year, and protects all original methods and materials shared with clients in past training and coaching. 

NEW! Group Coaching – What is it and how does it work?

This winter, I am very excited to offer something new to Spiritdance Coaching! Every second week, I’m hosting an ‘open house’ online that I call Tracking Mastery: Group Coaching. Group Coaching is becoming popular in coaching circles because it offers the benefits of working with a Professional Coach at an affordable price by sharing the time with others focused on the same goals and themes. I always keep my webinars small because they are LIVE and offer interaction and the ability to explore solutions to your questions.

One of the benefits of Small Group Coaching is to maximize the energy, experience, and wisdom of participants, which in turn helps others to learn and develop ideas to achieve their goals.

Group Coaching is slated to start November 9 pending registrations, then every two weeks following! It’s a new idea and another way I hope to encourage people on their tracking journey and form an online community of people from across Canada to share their ideas and their love of tracking.

In each session, I am the group facilitator.  My role is to keep discussions focused, develop themes, help individuals with ‘laser coaching’ techniques (quick problem resolution) and make sure everyone takes part and sees benefits.

Details about how to sign up can be found HERE.

A session could focus on one topic, such as “ARTICLES” and involve questions, sharing, tips, and field work (homework) being assigned along with goals to bring back to the next session. OR, it may be round table where each participant has a 10-minute focused discussion that everyone can learn from. And there are a lot of other ways the group can function once it gets going.

Well-known Coach and author Jennifer Britton says group coaching allows everyone to benefit from having a real-time conversation with peers for faster learning – often faster than 1:1 Coaching because the topics are focused and participants have a chance to both interact, and step back to listen and reflect during the session. In 1:1 Coaching, a client may feel “put on the spot” by a Coach who deliberately spends time with people helping them to focus and develop awareness. Group coaching can be a more comfortable space, particularly for people who want professional development or skills training.

Hearing different issues and resolutions in one session lets people pick and choose from a variety of ideas.

As facilitator, I will make sure that time is used wisely, everyone’s goals are met, and keeps everyone accountable from one session to the next to go practice, experiment, and participants are invited to bring results back for feedback and discussion.

The Coach (that is me!) also brings insights, guides discussion, manages group dynamics, helps to set goals and makes sure the discussion stays positive and productive. Everyone ‘co-creates’ the experience and a supportive community can become the result!

Graphic slide one

A closed FACEBOOK page will be also created for photo and video sharing as part of this experience for people who sign up for Group Coaching!

For the most benefits, people should attend regularly for ongoing support and feedback.

The cost PER 90 MINUTE SESSION is only $30. The average price for 1:1 coaching is $75-$120 per hour. Maximum participants will be 7 people per session.

For more information go to the Seminars, Training and Coaching page, or click HERE to register for upcoming group coaching sessions! 

Group Coaching – printable flyer: Tracking Mastery – What is Group Coaching

New blog post offers tips to make the most of a training track!

In this new blog post, I provide details about the planning, plotting and running of tracks with tips to all trackers about making the most of your training. When you plan your weekend tracking training, you should put a lot of thought into your tracks, locations, and goals. Once the track is plotted and laid, make good use of it! There is nothing I love more than using a track more than once. I might run it again with the same dog or one of my other dogs either as a hot track, or after it has re-aged.

Last weekend I was able to do just this. After a training – practice track on Saturday, I laid a wonderful track on Sunday that was run by THREE dogs in a row. One ran it blind at two hours old, one ran it after it was aged 30 minutes, and my own pup Micah ran it hot at the end of our training session. Each track offered new things to consider and it was a real learning experience to see how age and scent affected each dog.

Judy end of track
After Peggy and Reggie (feature photo) ran the track at 2 hours old, Judy Wallace and her Border Collie Lark ran it at 30 minutes. Then my Micah ran the track hot, for motivation! 

The opportunity was created when a friend came to visit, and of course, to track! Peggy drove for 6 hours from Edmonton to Medicine Hat Alberta. She has been here before and we’ve tracked at the college, so I wanted to choose different locations for a new experience and help her prepare for future urban tests.

The Training Micah blog post has all of the maps and information about this great weekend.

Read more on the Training Micah Blog! 

Micah is growing up! Above she is pictured in her harness, and on the track, running it hot, right after Judy and Lark!

Celebrating 5 years! Of what, exactly?

What makes Spiritdance Motivation Coaching & Tracking different? Why is working with a Professional Coach a unique experience?  After five years, let’s explore these questions and talk about how coaching is different from instruction, advice, technical expertise and mentoring and why coaching leads to comments like this:

“Your seminars are so different!”
“I always feel like I know what I am doing after a lesson.”
“I feel so motivated after a coaching session!”

Read more… on the Spiritdance Life Coaching Website

More Webinars and 1:1 Coaching coming soon!

I just love the online training environment! When we are all together online, it is like being together in a class! We all look at the same screen (we don’t see each other); we can talk to each other, chat and share links, use a whiteboard, look at a presentation, view videos and get handouts! It is surprising how comfortable it is! Plus you can meet trackers from across Canada and build your network and share ideas!

Spiritdance online students have been doing very well in their tracking tests and preparation. One of the benefits you’ll notice right away is the difference it makes to work with a trained, professional coach. If you’ve never really had a coach, you’ll experience the difference when you take part. This is not cookie-cutter training. Your needs and individual goals are important!

If you are looking for ideas, don’t have access to in-person instruction, or if you are striving for excellence and would like performance coaching – why not try a webinar? No commitment to classes – learn some tips in one morning, then head out to practice!

Some new webinars have been added for Fall and Winter 2017!
  • Beginners Lessons
  • Getting Started in Urban Tracking
  • Starting your Puppy
  • Winter Tracking!

Details are here!

 

If you like the webinars and online lessons, you may like to try 1:1 Individual Coaching too. Offered in 3-session “chunks” we take things one goal and one topic at a time. No long-term commitments. Personal coaching will begin in mid-October. Only 4 people per month are accepted for two sessions per month (every two weeks). Watch for future coaching announcements!

Cool new stuff coming this fall!

It must be the time of year! I have been receiving webinar and coaching requests from Newfoundland to BC! WOW! I am so excited about this. I will be putting together some new packages that I know people will love – after the trial first year – and thanks to everyone who took part in the first year sessions and all of your wonderful feedback.

Coaching will begin this fall. There will be more short webinars starting this fall on specific subjects this year, for small groups. I will also offer small group coaching and will continue with 1:1 for people who prefer individual goal setting and plans.

I’m going to be offering training booklets online as well, including a special blog and channel that follow’s Micah’s tracking training from the start (or, how Micah trains me!) Micah – or Gem von Wendelin, is 4 months old and already doing very well learning tracking foundations! She is pictured above, doing a great 400 meter long track two nights ago. I am very excited about her training, using my Spiritdance methods! 

Information and registration will all be posted here – using a new method. Lots of cool new stuff coming. Keep an eye on this website for announcements!