Interesting Dog Club – My Weekend

I found dog club very enlightening and interesting this weekend. We had a few behavior dogs and I was able to watch and see how their behavior transformed when handled correctly. The lady (Penny) who I trained under has such expertise and fine handling skills she is a joy to watch when working with dogs. One particular case at dog club was a young six month shepherd pup that is being trained for Schutzhund. This young pup is very stubborn and causing some questionable behaviors for its owner/handler. The dog knows the command to sit, but will only do it when its feels like it. So Penny started asking it to sit the dog refused, it was corrected (you could see the dog didn’t mind the correction) and continued to disobey. After changing equipment the dog still refused most the time but was rewarded each time it obeyed. The dog was worked and put away a few times continuing to refuse to sit, but now was also thinking of biting. She explained the only reason the dog did not bite was its age. She then went into temperament testing of the dog, this was so interesting to watch as she transformed this stubborn dog. Finally the dog obeyed, was rewarded and you could see a real difference in the dog. Now the dog was offering social behavior, being respectful, and relaxed even after an hour of on and off again intense work just to get this dog to obey. This is the kind of challenge I love but seeing someone who really knows how to handle it with such expertise is amazing. I love seeing how the dog transformed and seeing someone with amazing handling skills deal with the problem.

I also was very pleased with Rogan this weekend when Tracking, she did very well for saying it is only the 3rd time I have tracked her this year. At dog club she seemed a bit off and I was not able to get much drive out of her. I have also decided to work more on teaching and developing her skills rather than just building the drive. I will continue to do the drive work, but there are still commands she needs to learn in order for her to try for her BH which is our goal along with her Urban Tracking Dog title. I believe the drive work is important but should not be my main focus. I did work her on the field with her platz and recall and that she did excellent and I was very pleased. I love when I call a dog, and it comes speeding into me without any hesitation and great focus!


Currently I am working with Rogan to get her to respond to my command “platz” (down) quicker. Often she would hesitate but after just a week she is responding without any hesitation. I have also been working with both Rogan and Gracie developing their working in drive. I am very happy with the responses I am getting. For the first time Gracie dealt with her anxieties and gave me drive outside in a new environment. Other dogs and people were around and yet she was able to focus and go into drive. It was fun for both of us. When you get success in training and know that your dog “gets it” you and the dog are rewarded!

Ironically a client called me to tell me about how their dogs seem to understand how to properly walk after our last lesson. Prior to working with this client they could not walk their dogs especially together, as it had become very unpleasant experience. They still have work to do, but they can actually take their dogs out for walks and enjoy it. As a trainer I am very excited for them and pleased that I was able to help them overcome the issues and find enjoyment spending quality time with their dogs.

In working my own dogs, I was recently surprised at how Rogan would respond to me, with just eye movement. When I started working on better response for her downs and she was slow, but just a movement of my eyes would get her to respond quicker. I find it amazing how dogs are able to read even the slightest body language.

Each dog I work with whether my own or a clients, having success is always the goal. Developing the clients understanding and their own handling skills brings out better responses from their dogs and helps them to reach or exceed their training goals.

Success in communication and training brings such joy to the dog and the owner, building a stronger bond. Meeting our goals and often exceeding our expectations is the best reward!