Obedience Seminar with Uta Bindels, here in Cairns

I am proud to announce that Cairns Dog Care and Training will be holding a 3 day seminar with German World Champion competitor, Uta Bindels. If you ever wanted to learn how to be a better obedience trainer, handler and competitor, here is your opportunity.

Uta will be in Cairns from Friday 24th November to Sunday 26th November 2017. The seminar will be held at the Cairns City Kennel Club grounds in Quigley Street.

All handling spots with dogs have been snapped up but we have still positions available for observers. You will see a variety of dogs working with their handlers, from puppies to experienced dogs. Seminar fee is $220.

For registration form please email: cairnsdogcareandtraining@gmail.com

 

State Obedience Champion 2017

We achieved our big aim this year – to do well at the State and National Obedience Championships in Brisbane. Many months of hard work culminated in Shelby becoming State champion in UD obedience for 2017. Competing against the best in the country, Shelby scored 196 points in UD and a compliment from the judge.

Showing her incredible work attitude, we competed in 4 different obedience categories, UD, Open, Rally Masters and Rally Excellent. We came away with a first in UD, 2nd place in Open and 3rd place in Masters Rally. I was over the moon, it did not seem real and I knew that everything else after this day would be a bonus

The next day we backed up in all 4 classes again for the National titles. We won 1st place and National Champion in Rally Excellent with a perfect score of 100 points, a close second only beaten on time in Rally Masters. in UD we only failed in one exercise, but against such tough competition, we did not make the placings.

The State and National Titles was a fabulous competition with Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility and Dances with Dogs happening at the same time. What a wonderful opportunity to showcase our sport and our teamwork with our dogs. The most beautiful experience was though, hearing from another competitor, who had friends come and have a look at all the competition. They said they saw a woman with a Belgian Malinois that worked so beautifully, it was worth coming just to see that. Hearing this filled me with pride. Yes, competition trainers train to win and aim for the top spot. That is only one aspect, the most important thing for me is that we both enjoy what we are doing. Together as a team, Shelby and me. To achieve that, is the ultimate reward.

What does awesome Heeling look like?

Competing in obedience requires the handler and dog to work as a team. It is simple, but not everyone is able to achieve total focus while heeling and instantaneous execution of commands. The Belgian Malinois is a working breed that is driven to please their handler, given good sound training techniques instilling a positive attitude and a lot of time spent in foundation skills. Here is Shelby showing why she is one of the best obedience dogs in Queensland.

Competition Heeling with Shelby

This is the form that won Shelby 4 perfect scores in one year in Open Obedience (ANKC), unequalled in Queensland.

Dog training for daily life

Recently I attended a dog walk with many other people. A comment was made, that people would not want their dog to be like mine, being a competition obedience dog.

This made me think. First and foremost, our dogs are our companions, our pets. As such I believe they need to be a well-mannered easy to live with dog at home and about. That is what I am aiming for with all my dogs. Regardless of whether we are training a companion or a competition dog, the same principles of rearing the puppy applies to all.

Ideally, when we get our puppy he will spend 80% of his time socialising. This encompasses learning new experiences, meeting different people and different animals, and of course, other dogs. Learning social skills is very important and will have an impact on the rest of the dogs life. Less time (about 20%) is spent on training good manners, like sitting for food, waiting at the door until released, no picking up food until released by the handler. At this early stage we are setting the ground rules of what our criteria are and the puppy will learn if it does not meet the criteria then there will be no reward of any kind. Clear criteria, consistency and timing are our most important tools when training our dogs for life as they are for performance.

As the puppy grows up after about 4-6 months, more time is spent of fun games that train the dog in a positive manner, forming a relationship built on trust and respect. The dog is learning how to handle his body in different situations, being aware of all parts of his body, being confident walking on different surfaces for example. A strong emphasis is placed on the value of coming back to the handler when called.

Only a small amount of time is spent on training heel, sit, drops and staying in position. All still very useful exercises, all trained in a positive manner that will teach our dog to want to interact with us, because they enjoy the experience.

When I take my dog out today, she is a model canine citizen. She is well mannered in human and canine company. All her interactions are being managed by me. She is happy just being a dog, running around, sniffing things out, finding sticks and meeting friends, but whenever I ask her she engages with me. She is incredibly focussed, obedient and able to control her impulses. All her interactions with me are happy, which is obvious in her body language. Her ears are erect and alert, her tail is up, her stance says ‘ready for action’.

In my eyes she is brilliant and most people who meet her would agree. So when she is brilliant and does an awesome job, I will reward her, because I think she deserves it. My rewards vary, they may be food, they may be a toy or it can just be being released to run free. Would there be any reason why I should not reward my dog for being brilliant?

I understand that most pet dog owners want their dog to walk nicely, to show good behaviour around others, to sit and stay when told, to wait for their food until released to it. These are all behaviours that I also expect all of my dogs to do and I know they will.

 

So why would pet owners not want their dog to be like mine? Would not every young rugby player strive to play like Jonathon Thurston? Not that I can compare myself with this genius. But what is wrong for aiming high?

I do not expect pet dog owners to want their dog to heel like mine. But I am sure I can help them work with their dog at a level that they require and make managing their dogs easier.

My aim as a dog trainer is to help other dog owners achieve a harmonious relationship, where dogs can learn with very clear criteria and be rewarded for doing a great job. Where dogs look forward and enjoy working with their owners.

Starting Dog Training classes at Clifton Beach

For all dog owners at the Northern Beaches, I conduct dog training classes every Saturday morning at 9 am. Meet me at the playground at Argentea at the end of Satellite Street/Osterlund Close, Clifton Beach. We will be working on good manners, walking nicely on leash, engagement with the handler under distractions, how dogs learn, a bit about dog behaviour. If you have any questions please give me a call.