The Accordionist

Bravo to Andrew Ramsey and Mitzi for taking on this challenging role!

Balzac and Mitzi

A huge part of our creative process is junk shopping. Luckily this is a passion for both Norma and I. We are always looking for inspiring objects. When an object is beautiful, sets the right mood and is a perfect prop for dog training, I go crazy.

An object holds meaning, an expectation, a set of assumptions. I’m obsessed with the creative potential of the interactions between dogs and objects. Luckily for me, dogs like to be obsessed with objects too. Nothing builds the dogs confidence like being encouraged to explore and manipulate new things. This is one of the creative engines behind our Circus Class, we always hunt for new props, each new prop has its own set of problems. By solving those problems you discover new possibilities.

Turtle and Jester in Circus II Class

This is how it works: Comb the streets of Oakland or San Francisco looking for interesting things. Bring them home and explore the creative possibilities of the interaction between dog and object.  In this video the object was a leather accordion case.

Can the dog: climb on it, under it, paw it, push it, pull it. Then you ask what is the implication of the dog doing this. What else could the dog do?  What other behaviors can you add ? Will you confirm the audiences assumptions or will you allow the incongruity of a situation to have a life of its own?

Francis and Norma

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