Speed training

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Speed Work
In dog training there is a saying, “The fast dog loses marks slowly but the slow dog loses them quickly.” When two dogs do an exercise such as a “Recall” or “Retrieve” equally well, in my experience, the judge is likely to favour the one that executes the exercise the quickest. Quick sits or downs create a very favourable impression and speed should always be encouraged in obedience training. When a dog runs with speed he will not notice or interfere with other dogs on the way.
However, dogs like people can be very different from each other in that some can naturally do things very fast but others cannot do it as quickly. They can sit correctly but not very fast. We can encourage the dog by reserving our rewards/treats for quick sits. But does the dog understand that the treat was given because he was now sitting slightly faster than the previous time? The dog may not know the difference. Read the rest of this entry »

German Shepherds

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Why We Love German Shepherds 
Quanto 060• Written by: PetPlace Staff
It’s not easy to earn worldwide respect and admiration, yet one canine breed has accomplished just that.
Renowned for intelligence, physical prowess, and functionality, the German shepherd has developed into one of the most popular breeds across the globe. This fact comes as little surprise to most German shepherd owners, who’ve witnessed this breed embody some of the most desirable traits any human or dog can offer, including loyalty and heroism.
The German shepherd first achieved international prominence following World War I, when soldiers returned home raving about the intelligence this breed displayed while serving as military messengers and rescue dogs. Since then, this breed has been both purposeful and beloved while occupying roles ranging from police and military service to household protection and devoted companionship.
Here are six reasons we adore German shepherds: Read the rest of this entry »

Dogs and Food

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Dogs and Food
Treats in Training

If it is true that “Food is to a dog like money is to people” then it is silly not to make use of food treats in our dog training exercises. From experience we know that food treats can be used very effectively as a lure in puppy and novice dog training when we want to teach them the meaning of words and their hand signals. To capture a sitting position we simply allow a pup a brief smell on a treat before moving it over the nose and head and you instantly have him sitting so that you can give that position a name, “Sit.” Read the rest of this entry »

Abandonment Training

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Abandonment Training
While out on a walk you meet up with another owner coming towards you with her dog walking in front of her. Your dog’s attention focuses on the approaching dog and starts pulling forward. You notice his tail rising above his back, ears forward and his hair rises in two places- on the scruff and just in front of his tail. This is all too familiar. A scrap looms.
You know that you must take responsibility for your dog but what to do this time? Pulling back on the leash in the past has caused more frustration and aggression in your dog. Yelling has no effect. You are embarrassed and frustrated because, “here we go again” the walk is going to be spoilt and you have to fight your dog to avoid a dog fight. Does this sound familiar? Read the rest of this entry »

Training tips

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Meeting a Dog
When you are introduced to a new dog or come across a dog that you do not know, make a habit of calling the dog to you rather than you going to the dog. The dog must show his willingness and friendliness by deciding to come to you or not. Over 95% of dog bites occur when people approach dogs.
Territorial behaviour
Often, when visiting homes, I find dogs fiercely barking at me at the gate. After ringing the bell I move as close to the gate as is safe and completely ignore the barking dogs by turning sideways to them and standing still. I do not look at them or try to speak to them while waiting for the owners to come. When the owners arrive the dogs have had a good sniff of me and are already turning away to allow me into their territory. The owners often respond with, “How on earth do you do that?” because their dogs do not usually allow people in without first being restrained by their owners.
The dogs must come to you. No confrontation must take place. No eye contact is made. They must see that you are not a threat. The dogs must lower their heads and/or move back to signal that it is safe for you to enter before moving forward.
Respect older dogs
Respect dogs especially older ones. No two dogs are the same. Four German shepherds or Labs may be in the same class but they will all be different in behaviour. It is the personality or temperament of a dog that drives their behaviour. Older dogs are more fixed in the way they react to people so they must be treated with more respect.
Avoid “encouraging” aggression
Many owners regularly walk their dog past homes where dogs run up and down their boundary barking loudly at passers-by. The dog out on a walk will retaliate by barking back at them and strain to get closer to the dogs behind the fence. The owner usually has a difficult time trying to control his dog. Within a short period the dog out on a walk starts anticipating a confrontation by straining on the leash long before he gets to the houses where dogs usually bark. Without realising it the owners are contributing to their dog’s aggression by regularly walking the same route and allowing their dog to walk in front of them. When walking past barking dogs shorten the leash to 1 foot (12 inches) and hurry past the property on the opposite side of the street.

Desensitisation and Counter-conditioning (CC&D)

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Desensitisation and Counter-conditioning (CC&D)
We know what a pleasure it is to live with a dog that is friendly, affectionate and loyal. Sadly, there are many dogs that react with aggression, fears, phobias and anxiety to people or things in their surroundings and they can be hard to live with. You cannot explain to a dog that his behaviour is going to get him killed or lose the home he is in. Their problems can usually not be solved with commands such as “Sit -stay” to prevent a “fight” or “flight” reaction. What is needed is to change the way they feel about something, to eliminate what causes the emotional response that is so characteristic of their behaviour. Read the rest of this entry »

Converting Prey to Play

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Converting Prey to PlayFrisbee 01
Modern living in suburbia makes it difficult for owners of herding – and working breeds to redirect the strong prey drive their dogs are bred with. These intelligent, special talented dogs such as Border Collies, Aussies, Bouviers, German Shepherds and Boxers to name a few are most often only adopted as “pets” or because “we like the breed.” Their owners have little understanding of their special needs. Left alone they end up barking, chasing cats, kids and cars as they race up and down along the boundary fence and as a result often end up abandoned or given up for adoption. Read the rest of this entry »

The Long Down

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The Long Down

042 The Long Down is generally associated with the obedience ring when dogs must hold a down position for periods ranging from two (2) minutes in sight in the beginning and up to ten (10) minutes out of sight at the top level. These stay exercises are, what I call, the “bread and butter” items where competitors, having taught the stays properly, can be assured of full marks. Fifty (50) marks at “C” Level is a “gift” you should never miss.
However, although it is one of the easiest exercises that you can teach your dog as soon as he arrives at home, it is not something I find that owners have attempted to teach before joining a puppy school or club. Puppies are taught to “Sit” but not to stay sitting and they invariably will not have attempted to teach the “Down” command to their dogs. Recently I demonstrated, in spite of distractions, how easily a five (5) month old Jack Russell puppy can be taught to stay down for a while demonstrating that other owners can do the same. Read the rest of this entry »


By admin Posted in Advanced, Bonding, Updated posts / Comments Off on “Pushing”

Pushing is a basic dog training technique that aims to get a greater bond between you and your dog. It not only improves your relationship with your dog but helps him to relax during times of stress. It is the opposite of playing “Tuggy” when the dog’s effort is to move away from you. You get the dog to push against you by making use of his inherent prey drive (food drive) instinct. Read the rest of this entry »

Prey Drive in Obedience Training

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Prey Drive in Obedience Training
Prey drive is part of a dog’s food gathering behaviour which includes hunting and killing. Prey is always on the move, running away in an evasive fashion and often is panic-stricken. This behaviour in turn triggers pursuit, pouncing, biting, pulling etc. in the dog. Prey drive is inborn and is a trainable instinct that can be strengthened or reduced.
Many dog owners acquire high energy dogs as pets. These dogs can be difficult to live with because of a long list of behaviour problems they sometimes have to put up with. Destructive chewing is their most common way of dealing with their pent-up energy. Barking, digging, jumping, escaping and fighting can make matters worse. The physical ability required to handle these dogs properly can be very demanding as well as the fact that aggression in a dog greatly reduces its learning ability in obedience training.
Owners want to have voice control over their dog and also want him to enjoy training and display a willingness to work. Success in this regard depends largely on the owner and not the dog. Daily exercise, long walks, games and obedience classes can help to expend the pent-up energy and can be enjoyable for both dog and owner. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Obedience Train your Dog

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Why Obedience Train your Dog?

There is a saying, “If a dog is old enough to go to a home, it is old enough to learn.” When puppy arrives on your doorstep he can already do lots of things. He knows how to sit, stand and lie down, run, jump and bark and also how to eliminate amongst others. This he can do without our help. Our task then is to teach him to do those things and more, on command. When I say so! We also need to teach him the rules and routines of our home – what is allowed and what is not allowed. Read the rest of this entry »

Working Trials

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Working Trials

Originally Working Trials were based on training dogs for police work, but now Working Trials are purely a competitive sport. They develop and test many canine skills – obedience and control, intelligence and independence, searching and tracking, agility and fitness. Read the rest of this entry »


By admin Posted in Basics, Puppy, Updated posts / Comments Off on Temperament


gsdIMAGE_9A dog’s temperament is usually indicated by his behaviour towards people and other dogs. It can also refer to a dog’s steadiness and stability, his energy, alertness, loyalty and affection. It goes without saying that a well behaved dog with a sound temperament is a pleasure to live with. However, depending on how it was treated in the past, it can have a tendency to be aggressive towards people, have a fear of people, fear dogs or fight with dogs, be shy or hyperactive and you can have a lifetime of struggle with such a dog. Read the rest of this entry »

Body Language

By admin Posted in Basics, Problems, Updated posts / Comments Off on Body Language


Body Language
Dogs don’t use words to speak to us but use their bodies instead to show how they feel or what they are about to do. It can be quite revealing at the club to observe the dogs as they arrive with their owners in tow who are usually quite oblivious of their own dog’s intentions. Some puppies want to play, others want to attack and some are more interested in smells on the ground. Yet their owners want them to say “Hi” to the other dogs even if the dog’s body language warns against it. They cannot tell the difference between a happy, friendly dog and a shy or scared dog or the body language of an aggressive one. Read the rest of this entry »

Before Getting a Dog

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10 Important Topics to Discuss Before Getting a Dog


To raise a well-trained dog, you need a great plan. The best ones include communicating with everyone in your family about the basic expectations you have of your dog, the goals you hope to achieve, and the strategies you’re ready to use to get there. In short, you need to talk honestly and openly about what to expect from your dog and how you are going to train them – all BEFORE you get your dog.

Having a dog is a lifetime commitment. That’s why it is important to understand what’s really involved with having one before you make that choice. Take a few minutes to consider what you want from your new dog and how you are going to introduce the dog in your home. Read the rest of this entry »


By admin Posted in Basics, Puppy, Updated posts / Comments Off on Play


“Playtime provides perhaps the perfect opportunity to combine fun with learning: there is no greater pleasure.” Jan Fennel. The Dog Listener.

Play PoloCan you ever resist your dog meeting you in the morning with a “toy” in the mouth and that begging expression on the face? This is how Polo often meets me and tells me she wants to play and she wants it “now.” During puppyhood my dogs start their day playing with a ball or a tug before feeding. So, in a way I am to blame for creating the love for play in my dogs. I invite my dogs to play with me and they invite me back.

All dogs learn to become dogs through play with their littermates and later with some others at puppy school. We see games of strength: Tug-of-War, Rough-and-tumble etc. Possession: Bury the bone, steal the ball, hide the hoof etc. Chase: Running away with the ball or stick. Come and get it etc. Killing: Shake the rag, stick, slipper etc. All these games help prepare dogs to establish pack dominance as well as developing hunting and killing skills. When they win an object it becomes a trophy that is carried to its kennel or bed. We think it is fun to see them pounce and hear them growl while playing and shaking toys yet for some breeds we need to be more aware about who initiates games and who is allowed to win. It could determine his position in the human pack with problems to follow. Read the rest of this entry »

MAN’S Best Friend

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MAN’s Best Friend


31 700 Number of years Fido has been keeping man company.

78% of men currently own a pet.

3% never owned a pet

30% of men share a bed with their dog.

2 Number of canine Titanic survivors.

72% of men say they will risk their lives to save their pets.

73% think their furry pals would do the same.

15% the number who will put their pet’s health before their own if money was tight.

20% of men have used their pet to pick up women.

24% found their pet more affectionate than their partners.

46% the number of guys whose love life was interrupted by their dog.

30% of dogs are chubby.

10% of a dog’s kilojoules intake can come from treats. No more.

165 the number of words the average dog can understand.

1 in 6 the number of men who keep a picture of their pet on their desk at work.

1 in 10 who have been told they look like their dog.

300 minutes According to a Canadian study is the average time dog walkers walk in a week.

168 minutes the average time those without dogs walk in a week.

1 in 13 say a romantic relationship soured over a pet.

12 months the average time a man waits before replacing a dead pet.

59% of men want their dog if they got divorced.

Tiger the Exotic pet the average guy wants to own.

Voice Control and “No”

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Voice Control and “No”
I once read an article by Gary Wilkes in which he asks, “If I sneaked up behind you and want to whack you behind the head, would you want me to say, “Duck”….
1) Before I hit you
2) As I hit you
3) After I hit you
One should not have any difficulty in deciding that Option 1) is the correct one because only if the answer is “Duck” BEFORE you get whacked that you can use the verbal information to get out of the way or change your behaviour. Read the rest of this entry »


By admin Posted in Basics, Updated posts / Comments Off on Commands


“Commands are opportunities the dog will eventually learn not to miss.” Jean Donaldson

In order to become a successful dog trainer you need to have a good understanding of how to use basic commands. It is the way in which commands are given and rewarded that will determine how a dog will progress. This applies to voice commands as well as to signals. Read the rest of this entry »


By admin Posted in Senior Dogs, Updated posts / Comments Off on Coyote



Breed: German Shepherd Dog

Name: Vanoben Bosunski        Tattoo: HC292

KUSA: Registration No. BJ012154

DOB: 20/07/1992       Died: 04/12/2004   12y 5 1/2m

He was one of a litter of 11 puppies born to my dogs:

Bosun: Simaxdal Drogo and Thandi: Orinoco

He was the spit image of his father and chosen by my son Colin who started his training. However, due to the fact that he was a student at university, time for training was limited so I took over responsibility for his training.

Coyote was a dog trainer’s dream, one in a million! He bonded closely with me from the start and above all, enjoyed going to trials.

His record in the obedience ring I believe is second to none.

Over a period of 11 Months he progressed from Beginners to Class C as is recorded on his Blue card and signed by all the judges.

23/07/95         96%    Beginners Class

19/08/95         97%     Novice Class

11/11/95         90.1%     Class A

01/05/96         94%     Class B

01/06/96         93.8%  Class C

Our interest at the time was concentrated on obedience competition with the result that Coyote was not often entered in the breed ring. He did however score Best of Breed as a Novice and in Open competition. He also received his Canine Good Citizen Certificate.

In his senior years Coyote often helped to collect funds for TEARS (The Emma Animal Rescue Society).

Jan Meyer

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