Baron got me to thinking about my past and starting out dog training. I was young and found a litter of lab pups. I took a female home and started reading.
Along the way a friend gave me Bob Tarnowski's name and told me to call him up for advice. I did. Every night for weeks I called Bob and we talked for anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours about training. I would get off the phone and run back outside to start all over again. Every morning I would get up and train again.
One night Bob invited me out to the Dog Musher's Field where they were going to hold a Sunday Training Session. I was not much of a joiner, but went anyway. I got there, watched them train, and introduced myself. Bob asked me to get my pup out of the truck.
He, being old and wise, oohed an awed over her. He introduced me to all the folks there, and then much to my horror asked if I wanted to run a mark. Scared to death, as I had never used bird throwers, I said yes. The crafty man set up a mark, which I did not realize at the time, that a blind and deaf dog could find. Ebony pinned it, and I was hooked.
I guess the moral of the story is two fold. Number one, never ever forget that we all have the ability to influence new trainers into a great pastime, and second, as a trainer, do not be afraid to fail. Rather, be afraid to not try.
So what about you? Who influenced your training? Who was your mentor?