So what does my performance dog training mean to you, a non-competing pet dog owner, who simply wants your dog to behave?
I am always looking at a dog’s body language and how he/she is perceiving the environment. Dogs with tendencies to be fearful or reactive will rarely do well in competition until those issues are addressed. I have seen handlers with the best training techniques do poorly in the ring because the dog has shut down due to emotions (and it has happened to ME!). Pet dog owners who tell me they only want their dogs to walk well on a leash will still need to address fear, resource guarding and aggression before training can be effective.
A judge will expect my dog to perform while in new and different environments. A show can be full of over-the-top hormonal dog emissions, barking dogs, generators, people with hats, people carrying large things, rattling food wrappers, children, etc. Many clients don’t think about how, when, and where they train Sit, Down,and Come yet expect the dog to do those very things everywhere they take them. I can help you to become aware of how you train so your dog will “perform” when guests visit, at the coffee shop, in your car, around new dogs, at the vet clinic, etc.
In the Obedience ring, points will be deducted from my score if I give my dog more than one command so I train my dogs to respond immediately to my first cue. I can help you to get your dog to respond on your FIRST request, not after the sixth or seventh time.
If not handled properly my competition dogs will start lagging behind me and lose interest in our teamwork causing a very low or non-qualifying score. My vigilance in fostering a mutual relationship between you and your dog - by teaching your dog to make choices (the RIGHT choices) - will keep your dog focused and listening.
If you happen to watch an obedience competition, online or in person, take note of the focus that the dog has on its handler. THAT is the foundation of any dog-human relationship!
Love and hugs to you and your dogs!