Advent Calendar 2011

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

Advent Calendar 2011

Count down the days until Christmas with Fanny and Thomas at We will share training tips, videos, recommend products we like and share stories about what’s happening here at the farm.

Today is the first day of December and I have embarked on my count down project – trying one new form of work out or training every day. This is probably my biggest weakness as an agility handler – I hate working out… I can train dogs for hours, but not my self. Trying one new thing every day will hopefully be a fun (and painful) experience and I won’t risk getting tired of anything. Maybe I’ll find a way to work out that I actually like. Today, I did the only thing I kind of know how to do – jogging. Shejpa and I went for an hour run and it wasn’t that bad… What kind of work outs do you like? Recommend them to me and I’ll try to get the chance to try them before Christmas.

I will keep you updated on my project, but this blog will mainly focus on dog training for the next 25 days. Today, I will share a video that shows two exercises that I use on my dogs to increase their strength as well as their understanding of criteria for stand, sit and down. Many things that we want our dogs to do, like a balanced sit with back feet under the body, standing absolutely still for a longer time or lying down without shifting weight to one side requires strength from the dog. This strength can be trained gradually by some easy exercises like the ones I show in the video. Working on an exercise ball is also great for increased strength. I do stand, sit and down on the exercise ball and work on the dog holding his feet still for gradually longer repetitions.