2 – Picking Your Performance Puppy

I’m not a great fan of conformation dog shows, but I am interested in understanding the effect that structure has on a dogs movements and performance. I met Helen King in Florida a few years ago and was impressed by her knowledge of structure and how it relates to for example agility and herding. As a trainer and breeder, I’m always looking to know more so that I can help my dogs be the best they can be and maybe help people pick the puppy that best suits them in a litter (I don’t think I could do that for myself though, I pick with my heart and not my head once I’ve decided on a litter).

Last week I bought Helens new e-book “Picking Your Performance Puppy” and I liked it so much that I asked Helen if she would give a book away to a reader of this blog. Helen was happy to do that, so we’ll have a little contest in the blog, where the prize is a copy of Helens e-book. To enter the contest, write a comment below where you tell us what your favorite video on our YouTube channel is, and why. Please include the link to the video so that everybody can see and try to write in English! We’ll randomly select one lucky winner among the comments. Please remember to include your e-mail address so that we can contact you on Sunday 4th when we’re drawing a winner.

If you don’t win, you can buy your copy on

  • reply Ingerid ,

    • reply AK ,

      This one!
      Because Pi is such a sweet dog, and because this video realy inspired me to training body awareness and strength with my dogs. 🙂

      By the way, I am visiting my future puppy, who ever he is, tomorrow and could realy use that book 😀

      • reply Marie o Fen ,

        “Epic with a toy” För att det är så snyggt jobbat!! Vill absolut ha så med min framtida valp :o)

        • reply Carro ,

          Squid och Pouge-videon från Son. Varför? Man blir bara så GLAD!

          • reply Vinn en e-bok | ,

            […] du tittar in på och dagens inlägg i adventskalendern så kan du delta i en tävling där vinnaren får en gratis e-bok som jag verkligen kan […]

            • reply Cindy Valdez ,

              I chose this video as my puppy is getting ready to start doing herding and I have never really seen it in action with a puppy and wanted to sort of get an idea of what to expect.
              The reason I would like to win this e-book is I would like to be able to see what best suits my dogs for what activity, and to be able to help my students when they are participating in agility and their dog is exhibiting a certain behavior and it may be based on structure. Thank you!

              • reply Fanny Gott ,

                Please link to the video you’re talking about and try to write in English if you can 🙂

                • reply Sofia Nyberg ,

                  • reply Marta ,

                    Den med fotarbeidet i fvf for fører. Fordi jeg ser den om og om igjen og finner nye ting å fokusere på hver gang 🙂

                    • reply eva-karin ,

                      My favorit clip is “teaching the release”
                      I hadn’t even thought about a releasecommand before I saw this mowie so it really change my wiev on dogtraing. A releasecommand is so important in all dog training and the “reverse lure??” (omvänt lockande) helps the dogs understand all the stay positions in all the different trics you can think of…. just love it!!

                      • reply Sandra & Keep ,

                        Oh my good! This was hard, but one of my absolute favorits are your retrive games with Missy. It is a fantastic complement to your articel about retrivning. And in it you give more extrem tips and really show overtraing when it is at is best.

                        • reply Trude ,

                          • reply Mette ,

                            This is my favorite:

                            It’s my favorite because it showed that retrieving can be so much more than just a retrieve. Also the fact that the methods of teaching a retrieve have been and still are often far from a game. That makes the video both important and educational.

                            • reply Maija Vinnikka ,

                              It’s impossible to choose a favorite cos’ all your videos are great. But because I’m starting to teach rear cross foundations and lefts and rights for my youngster also, I went to look your videos for some ideas and came across this:
                              So I’ll pick that as a favorite, because it’s usefull for me at the moment 🙂

                              • reply Frida ,

                                • reply Camilla ,

                                  • reply Anna ,

                                    I must say this one:
                                    because that is great multitasking (dog training for people with little time and dirty houses!) and because it shows that you don’t really need any “super-cool-extra-awesome” toys to reward a dog successfully, as long as the dog enjoys it. (And also, Squid is really cute.)

                                    • reply Beate ,

                                      • reply Josefine ,

                                        • reply Åsa ,

                                          I love this one:
                                          Why? Because it realy show that you can teach a dog a lot, if you are a great trainer! See Squid seperate running och nose touch is great! And yes, Pouge is in this video in the end and he is a cutie!

                                          • reply Ida Eklöf ,


                                            I love all pup-videos, so it was hard to pick just one. But I picked this one because it makes me happy to see playing pups in the beginning of their career.. 😀

                                            • reply Silke ,

                                              • reply Sally ,

                                                My favorite would have to be Epic and Win at 9 weeks –

                                                As others have said you can never get enough of watching young BC pups learning the basics and having such a blast of a time.

                                                • reply Linda ,

                                                  I really like the video with Squid, when she is learning to retriev. Retrieving Part 1
                                                  I think that the stratergy to learn the retrieving part is so wonderful in this video. The thinking of learning this were never in my mind untill this vid.

                                                  • reply Suzanne Nanninga ,

                                                    • reply Maud ,

                                                      • reply Barbara Scanlan ,

                                                        I like this one because newest is best, right?


                                                        Seriously, I subscribe to your channel and this is the video that caused me to look up your website for the first time at 4:30 in the morning. It is also the one that I decided I must share with my friends right now, which also brought me here.

                                                        I was intriqued by the way this simple exercise “multi-tasks”, teaching foundations for impulse control, dynamic stand, stays, independent foot, leg awareness, balance for contacts, contact independence, contact release, as well as building strength. Genius!

                                                        In addition, I have just been laid of from my job, which is why I am up early worrying. I have long been a student and observer of performance and structure since training horses for dressage early in life and this book would be adopted into a very appreciative “forever home.”

                                                        • reply Laura, Lance, and Vito ,

                                                          I love teaching the send to square:

                                                          Being from the US we don’t have this difficult of a go out and I loved seeing the process of how to teach one!

                                                          • reply amanda lundwall ,

                                                            • reply Cecilia ,

                                                              • reply Amy ,

                                                                You have dozens of fantastic videos, Fanny, but the one that really blew my socks off and the one that I have referred many ‘traditional’ type trainers and owners to is “Doggie zen with bitch in heat.” I think it does a brilliant job of demonstrating that you absolutely CAN teach even ‘non-agility’ and ‘non-obedience’ breeds how to have spectacular focus and self-control by making judicious use of learning theory . . . and hormones! 🙂 It does such a nice job of showing how to be creative in the choice and use of reward (no food or even toys needed!) and how you can take Doggie Zen games to a whole new level to really proof your training. It’s a great way to introduce the concept of the Premack Principle to people in a ‘real world’ way. And finally, it’s just awesome to show that you absolutely can train a hunting breed to perform for field events without having to resort to using e-collars. THANK YOU! I hope you continue to showcase not just your agility and obedience work but also how your training methods can be incorporated into any and all dog activities. 🙂

                                                              • reply Elin Persson ,

                                                                • reply Catrine ,

                                                                  • reply élizabeth ,

                                                                    I love this video because it shows a very difficult exercise that requires the herd to the dog independence, intelligence and understanding of the situation.
                                                                    Squid is shown here that one can be a good dog obedience, agility without losing his instincts and learn to express it more so gorgeous!

                                                                    • reply Emelie ,


                                                                      (Strength and understanding) I get very inspired. Because my Yim is sometimes too excited and energetic when someone is touching him. He hardly can’t sit stil in “tandvisning momentet” i LK1. He get’s so happy that he begins to wag his body (not only the tale), and then he is jumping like a little kangaroo. 😉
                                                                      So we have began our training now!

                                                                      • reply Jennie ,


                                                                        I think all of your videos are great, but this is a favourite of mine as it’s so inspirational and shows such an awesome way of teaching dogs to heel in a nice way! It can be a bit tricky to teach small dogs (like in my case Papillons) to heel in a proper way, but this method has really giving me the key to success and this video has been really helpful!
                                                                        Thanks for sharing so wonderful and inspiring videos!

                                                                        • reply Nina & Link ,

                                                                          It was hard to pick one but i must say that all your videos gives INSPIRATION! Inspiration to go and train your dog at once!

                                                                          I chose the video where you in a pedagogical way shows how to use games to retrieve. For me it was really an eye opener and I think that the video inspired many to start using the new fun games instead of the old methods.

                                                                          • reply Lovisa, Inja & Fendi ,

                                                                            Difficult task to pick a favourite! You have so many different categories to pick from. But ok.. My favourite will have to be this one for the simple reason that both you and the dogs seems to have SO MUCH FUN! 😀

                                                                            • reply Raegan ,

                                                                              Puppy training with Maria Hagström is my favorite because puppies! And there’s so much energy and so many dogs and people having a fun time playing together. And I love all the puppies’ names! Hero, Epic, Win!

                                                                              • reply Jag vann… « Bacillen betraktar ,

                                                                                […] ..en bloggtävling! […]

                                                                                • reply Leena ,

                                                                                  My favorite is this video of Squid training scent discrimination: That is something that I had before read about, but never seen anybody training it. It was great to see how it really works.

                                                                                  • reply Leena ,

                                                                                    Oops 🙂 I was too late 🙂

                                                                                    • reply Loretta Elmslie ,

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