Dahlia and I have continued training but I have been remiss in blogging about what we are doing. I thought I would catch up here.
Dahlia and I have continued training with Deb at Fox Valley Police and Schutzhund Club. We took a trip to Colorado to work with Mark Chaffin. We had a great time working Marks dogs and training Dahlia. Dahlia started her bite work with Mark. We also started tracking. Mark and Anne Marie are very knowledgable. Anyone that can work with them on a regular basis would gain a lot of knowledge. I had a great time discussing theory with Anne Marie and Mark and working the dogs.
After Dahlia and I got back to Wisconsin we continue working with Deb. I also started working with Greg Doud and I plan to see him every three weeks. He has an interesting philosophy about training dogs that I hope to learn more about. Greg was working with Dahlia to build her prey drives including hunting, capturing and keeping prey. He is not in a hurry to rush a dog onto a sleeve and instead focuses on the foundation of what the dog needs at the time. From Greg’s perspective we have a lot of time to move to a sleeve and need to work on basic drives and behavior. Dahlia was rewarded for chasing and capturing the sleeve with holding it. Greg had a Linen bite sleeve on the end of a buggy whip and after Dahlia captured the prey if she loosened her grip she would loose it. It did not take long before she was very careful not to loose the sleeve. Greg feels that time of possession is important and as Dahlia keeps and holds the sleeve she is developing her possessiveness and strengthening her jaw muscles by hold the sleeve for an extended period of time. She also naturally corrected her grip if she was going to loose the sleeve. Greg also focused on making Dahlia activate the process and works in some minor defense throughout.
I was very impressed with Greg’s systematic approach to developing core behaviors and attitude to move to the next stages. It is likely we will be working on these core behaviors until Dahlia is a year or so old. I got the impression that he was very impressed with her.