I believe that all dog training begins with having a strong relationship with your dog. PLAY WITH YOUR DOG! Enjoy your experience with them and they will enjoy their experience with you!
When I started training agility with my Doberman Ellie, she taught me a lot of engagement. Ellie was a difficult dog to handle. I found myself constantly bribing her with cookies, as she was too distracted and worried to play with toys and sometimes even eat food in public. I was constantly stressed by her unpredictability in different environments. Needless to say, this was not an enjoyable experience for me. I knew that there had to be a better way and I wanted so badly for Ellie and I to be a better team. I started to study from many of the best dog and animal trainers around.
I admire Silvia Trkman for her positive training methods and I strive to model myself after her training philosophy. I have learned so much from Michael Ellis about training engagement in drive, the importance of operant conditioning from Bob Bailey and clicker training from Karen Pryor. I strongly believe in the power of clicker training and teaching your dog to THINK. I love teaching tricks to my dogs. After all, Agility is just a sequence of tricks. Teaching simple tricks to my dogs like balancing on their hind legs, paw shaking and closing doors makes teaching complex behaviors in agility, obedience, French Ring and anything else I choose to do very easy. My dogs have learned to think and WANT to offer behaviors all because of clicker training, operant conditioning and the strong relationship I have with them.
I also believe that sometimes you have to try new things your way and don’t listen to others when they tell you something isn’t possible. So many people thought I was crazy when I wanted to teach Running Contacts. They said that Running Contacts aren’t reliable, that a big dog’s stride makes Running Contacts impossible and that certainly no Doberman could have Running Contacts. Also, so many people say that big dogs can’t turn tight and can’t be competitive with Border Collies. Well my Doberman Mya is proving all of those theories wrong. We have worked so hard on our Running Contacts and tight turns. Mya proves it’s all possible. If you want something, never give up. Keep trying and don’t be afraid to try things your way! You know your dog best!
Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with the following well recognized and respected individuals:
- Silvia Trkman (16 time Slovenia National Agility Champion and 2 time World Champion)
- Lisa Frick (3 time FCI World Agility Champion)
- Daisy Peel (3 time AKC National Agility Champion, 3 time USDAA Grand Prix Champion, World Team member in multiple venues for 5 years)
- Stacy Peardot-Goudy (IFCS World World Champion, 3 time IFCS World Team Member, 2 time IFCS World Team Coach, 7 time National Champion)
- Lori Michaels (6 time AKC Nationals Finalist, 11 time USDAA Finalist, 2 time World Team Member)
- Ann Braue (6 time World Team member, 5 time USDAA National Champion)
- Susan Garrett
- Karen Holik (8 time World Team Member, 4 time USDAA National Champion, National finalist over the past 15 years)
- Jim Basic
- Tereza Kralova (several time FCI World Agility Championships and World Agility Open competitor)
- Marco Giavoni (20 years experience, coached several teams to compete at the Italian Championships, European Open and several World Championships)
- Stephanie Spyr (several time National finalist)
- Sonya Anderson (several time National finalist)
If you want help with training your dog, I am available for private lessons. Contact me here for more information.
See more of my Running Contacts
See that a big dog can turn tight!
Check out ourFrench Ring Training
See how fun teaching tricks to your dog can be!