Sunday, June 3, 2012

West Virginia Seminar

I just finished helping with a detection seminar hosted by Logan Haus Kennels in West Virginia. SAR and law enforcement handlers from TN, WV, FL, NH, NY and a few other places. It was a really great class with some excellent dogs. Although our training program is unique and highly effective one of the most important parts of the process is selecting the right dog.  I feel bad when people desperately want to succeed with a certain dog but the dog just can't give them anymore than it has - it's a difficult thing to hear but we have to be fair to both the handler and the dog and give them an honest opinion.

Steel, Calix and Amber got to take their turns doing detection work. Steel in particular delighted in showing everyone his unique style of being the detection dog/class clown.  The seminar was held on the fairgrounds for the West Virginia State Fair and offered some excellent opportunities to track. I had not realized how much the weather had been slowing Steel down until we tracked here in WV in temps in the 50's. I could barely hold on, he did some excellent work. Jill got to play obedience and is making great progress in learning her utility scent discrimination exercises. I have slacked off a bit recently with her heeling and I noticed a difference. Her heeling is a work in progress - she understands the concept well but is still developing the body control and core strength to do it properly and I need to get in a short session or two each day. She LOVES to heel so she won't complain either!

Here is a video of a very nice malinois at the seminar learning not to trust his eyes and ears to help him get his reward. His handler is learning that if we sit back and are patient the dog will teach himself the lessons that we want him to learn!

Tomorrow I am headed back through the tunnels under the mountains to see some german shepherd puppies!!!

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