January 2014

My first time in Poland

I’m getting ready to leave Poland after my first seminar here. It’s been two great days with very ambitious and driven trainers. Many of them already use the principles and techniques that I do, and they do it great. They get inspiration from YouTube videos and blogs (and lately also seminars with Scandinavian trainers). I love how the internet makes distance irrelevant in many ways. Our online classes in English is so much fun, because it allows us to work with students from all over the world who like our style of training. I hope to see more Polish trainers in our classes in the future.

Polish training area – cool but COLD!

A dream that I have would be to invite to an international obedience camp at our place. Everything in English. Please let me know if you’re interested in this. I’d love to organize it if we get enough international participants. Until then, we’ll just have to meet online and when I’m teaching abroad. I love meeting international students on seminars like this, but it also takes much time. I instructed on Friday and Saturday, but I had to leave home on Wednesday night and won’t be home until late Sunday night, so four full days away from my home for two days of teaching.

I’m very inspired to train obedience. Both with Squid, who just needs more training time to be a great obedience dog, and with my new puppy later this year. I am surprisingly happy with most things that I’ve taught Squid, even though it was five years ago. There are some things that i definitely will do differently, mostly related to heeling. The challenge is not to change and do things that you’re not happy with better. The challenge is to remember all the things you did that made your older dog great, and not take them for granted.

Planning for Italy

After a mild and nice December, snow came at last two weeks ago. Although snow makes it lighter outdoors and cleaner indoors, I prefer to be able to train my dogs outdoors, and to be able to easily walk in the woods with them. We don’t have a good indoor arena close to out home. We have the riding facility just 5 minutes away, but it’s cold and the footing is very heavy and soft. To get to a nice, clean heated arena with decent footing, we need to travel for more than an hour. It’s often worth it, but can’t be done very often. This winter we’ve been there a few times to shoot video for our online classes. We do get time for some more training as well, here is for example some obedience sequences with Squid from Monday:

It’s so much fun to finally be able to do some serious training with Squid again. She’s not quite ready for much agility yet (have started to work on some jump grids), but I do let her run, stop and play in obedience now. I’ve finally found a physiotherapist that I trust and who really makes a difference in my dogs. Epic looks really, really good now after four sessions with her during the past five months. Squid has had two sessions this winter and we’re very hopeful about her full recovery. She does look awkward when jumping right now, but Epic did too after his second session and I was really worried. He does look very good now though, so I just need to have patience. At least I have a lot of obedience to train with Squid! And agility skills that doesn’t require a lot of jumping.

It’s only six days before I leave for Italy with my two dogs, where I’ll spend a month teaching, training and exploring. I’m excited, but very nervous. A long drive, a foreign country and a long time away from home. How will I be able to fit my whole life into my car? How will my dogs cope with going from farm dogs to experiencing new things every day (It’ll probably be very, very good for them)? What will we eat? What should I pack? Can I manage without knowing the language? What will I do when Squid comes into heat? She hasn’t been in heat since having puppies, and it should be about now. That can get interesting with an intact male with us. I think he’ll do okay, but I have no idea about how Italian dogs handle it. It’ll be an adventure for sure.

Before driving to Italy, I have two days of teaching in Poland. I leave tomorrow morning and come back on Sunday night, so I don’t have many hours left in my house. I’ve never been to Poland, so it’ll be a fun experience.

Five Years Ago – Puppy Squid

I’m really looking forward to training a puppy again. I’m looking at old videos of Squid and get excited about teaching new things (on the other hand – my grown up dogs still learn new stuff all the time!) and think about how I would do things differently today. You do learn a lot in five years!

Do you want to learn more about how we train, how to use shaping to teach new behaviors, how to create self control, stimulus control and drive? Check out our Foundation Class, starting tomorrow.

This is how we started – cuddling, playing, resting and socializing.

A week later – flying to Stavanger, Norway, and learning new skills.

Eleven weeks old – circle work, finishes and self control in her crate.

Fifteen weeks on New Years Eve. Many new tricks on her repertoire and training on stimulus control.

Seventeen weeks old – visiting Bergen, Norway, new tricks and stimulus control.

Foundation Class Countdown

Just four days left before we start the second round of our new and improved Foundation Class online. We’ve been very happy with the class, and the feedback we get from our students shows that they are too. Here are some comments that we got from our American student Sara Pisani, who now has gone on to take our preparing for trials obedience class:

“I loved the Foundation class and if I was not so busy working with you on the next class I would take it again. What I most liked and what really changed work for Finn was the station for breaks during work. It really increased his drive. I also really loved the switch command. His retrieves are so much faster! Of course, the backwards heeling has really helped as well. Your feedback – both of you – has been spot on and greatly appreciated. Thanks so much and looking forward to continue to work with both of you!”

There’s still room for more people in our Foundation Class. Read more and sign up here

Here is a picture from yesterday. As you can see, we still have very mild weather – no snow or ice. I love it! One of my goals for 2014 is to get my dogs out more in civilization. We mostly hang out on the farm or in the forest, and they really need to get to see more of the world. I guess our Italian tour will help too.

Squid and Epic

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! It’s going to be a good one, I hope. I’m finally starting to see the end of the rest and rehab tunnel that both my dogs have been in for the past months. I really, really hope that they will be able to get started with some serious agility training when we spend February in Italy. I am also waiting for my new puppy to come into this world. If all goes as planned, puppies by Epic will be born in a month from now.

I also look forward to going abroad to teach this spring. First out is a seminar in Wrocław, Poland in January. It’s my first time in Poland, and I really look forward to it. When I get back from Poland, I will pack my dogs in the car and start the long drive to Italy. In Italy, I will teach at least two seminars (one in Onigo and one in Rome) and try to get a lot of training done with my own dogs in between.

Italy Seminars

When I get back from Italy in the beginning of March, I hope to have dogs that are ready to compete again. My eyes are set on agility try-outs for EO and World Championship in the beginning of May. Please keep your fingers crossed for my amazing dogs. All I want is for them to be healthy and strong this year. The rest is easy! In the beginning of April, I hope to welcome my new puppy to our home. After the try outs, I will go back to the U.S. and PosiDog in Ohio for another 10 days of seminars with some of my favorite people!

PosiDog Seminar

Thomas will also have a hectic spring, where he is training Paxa (german pointer) for mountain hunting trials in the beginning of spring, commuting to Norway to finish his masters degree in ethology, training border collies for herding trials and helping 40-50 lambs into this world.

On top of this, we always strive to bring our online students quick and helpful feedback. Every day. Next online class is our Foundation Class, starting on Wednesday January 8th. This class is good for anybody that wants to know more about our way of training. Here is a video made by one of our students from this fall – Lise Pavard with aussie Lulla:

We’re also at lesson 2 with our class “Obedience – Preparing for trials“. It’s so much fun! You can still join us if you want to give your dog a boost before the trial season begins.