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Training the performance dog

Many people who compete in Dog Sports or work their dogs for a living can forget that they have a “performance dog”. A performance dog is a dog whose performance is regularly required to be at a high standard.

In knowing this I can open you up to elements of performance enhancing training programs that cover: –

  • Using the dogs drive to motivate the performance rather than food or toys that once removed the performance drops.
  • Teaching, shaping and honing the behaviours needed to excel in the performance
  • Testing, developing and maintaining the necessary level of fitness required for the performance
  • Analysing the dogs nutrition and prescribing a diet that with the correct fitness program will help the dog develop the necessary structure to run the performance repeatedly without loss of drive and lowering the incidence of injury.
  • Handler assessment and improvement strategies including ring craft and communication.
  • Problem solving and strategies to avoid future problems.

Whilst some people may just train once or twice a week, I take performance very seriously and I will strive to push you to get the best results if you really want to achieve the best results.

Some people are happy with a “nice” performance but would just like to have me help them fix one problems with their dog, that too is possible.

What to expect

I will always start our relationship with a 2 hour initial consult, you will be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire and I will read through this before the consult to save time in the consult. In our initial consult we will be discussing your goals, your dog and any problems your having and then we will do some practical exercises.

When you leave I record my thoughts on an audio recorder and in most cases we will send you a written program. I don’t need to see you at my facility every week, in fact most people who are winning in rings see me on average about once every six weeks.

This requires though that I receive weekly email updates on your progress and we often request video too.

Does everyone turn into super awesome winning handlers? no. It would be crazy to even suggest such a thing with so many variables such as handler and dog personalities and temperaments, but I do have a PROVEN system, I will help you achieve your best and get the very best out of your dog, you can count on me being on your side.

What I cant do is make you go outside and train your dog, I cant make you run the techniques as I explain them, that part is up to you.

At a recent seminar I did a lady said after working with me “training will be so easy now that I have this program”. I said “no it will still be hard, but you can rest assured you will only being doing things that work.”

This is a made up number but lets assume the average person who competes in the ANKC Open ring has input 1000 hours, that is likely a true number. The dogs that train under me still put in 1000 hours but they score between 195 – 200 / 200. Some others may put in the same 1000 hours and perhaps pass at 175 – 180 / 200.

You still have to do the work with me, you still need to put in the time, you just will see better results.

Your dog

Perhaps when your in your backyard and have a handful of food above your dogs head, you will see some nice heel steps, but when you don’t have that food there and there are many distractions around, does that performance disappear?

This wont get batter, in fact it will likely get worse! There is a problem with how your introducing rewards to the dog and you need to stop training this way if you are to ever fix this problem.

At my last seminar in Canberra, one of my clients brought her Border Collie Flick out for a demonstration. Nicole switched her dog on and Flick went into drive.

There was sign of food or a toy, there were 20 other unknown dogs around, some barking etc, there were 70 people around and me speaking over a PA.

Nicole gave the Heel cue and Flick exploded into position, she heeled forward and Flicks tug toy was thrown on the floor out in front of the dog. The work remained unaffected by this and they heeled on by.

Nicole did a right about turn and headed back along the same path, a staff member of mine Bec Chin picked up the tug toy and started teasing Flick with it, she even used the same release to tug cue Nicole uses, the work was unaffected.

Barking dogs, 70 plus people within 5 metres, PA system, new environment, tug on the floor, tug in her face – Heel work unaffected.Flick and Nic

Nicole finished by releasing her dog Flick and taking the tug from Bec and playing with her dog.

Don’t believe it? Well there were 70 plus live witnesses and here is some photographic evidence.

Nicole follows the whole program, she see’s me every 4 – 6 weeks, it is a 6 hour return trip from her house to our facility, she trains her dog with commitment so it looks like this.

If you want winning results, I can show you many dogs that will blow you away, it is not “can Steve do it“, the evidence says I can.

It’s will you.

There is you, your dog and me, you control two thirds of the team, you will control two thirds of the outcome.

If your ready to super charge your training program, send us an email and we can help you get started.