I'm a Fenzi academy course addict ... I've taken scenting courses , ring prep courses, a rally course, a play course and I've thoroughly enjoyed them. Courses are at the gold (working spot) silver (participant - auditor) and bronze (silent observer) levels and I've done both gold and bronze. One gold turned into an expensive silver when a camera died in the first week of class.
One thing I find really rewarding about the classes? They constantly reinforce my sense that I am on the right path for me. Usually it's subtle - being positive, approaching training as fun, only sending 2 minute video clips (which I of course interpret as I only need to train for three minutes!) but every once in awhile a pearl drops onto a thread of discussion, or out of a lecture that makes it all so blatantly in line with my philosophies I grin for days.
One such piece of wisdom came from instructor Margaret Simek the other day.
"One judge isn't gonna change how I train"
So deceptively simple. So so critical.
Whoever the "them", "one judge" is you have to train to make you happy. If you are like me you also have the goal of happy animals. If one judge in scent work will slam you if your dog touches a box, or in rally hates barking and marks it way way down, or in agility builds courses that asks questions you don't train for for whatever reason- either don't show under them or show under with the understanding that your principles matter and you will stick by your beliefs. Don't change your training long term and CERTAINLY don't change it short term.
I am, to all appearances, casual about training but I plan every single training session with the dogs and horses. I plan pilling cats. The plan may be simple "build Thea's confidence on teeter". Or it may be more complex "squish to front to heel for Dora" but it's usually simple and helps me move towards accomplishing one of my goals. Oh yes, must get on long term goal setting.
Train for you, and your animals. Not anyone else.