Then and Now

I believe that one can be successful and fruitful in an activity only if he or she does that happily and with full devotion. In case of dogsports this is true in double: it is not enough if the handler is enthusiastic and gives 100% effort for being efficient, the handler-dog team will really be successful only if the dog also loves the activity she does. Moreover it is favourable if the dog goes crazy when it comes to work with her handler. To reach a high level of the dog’s motivation for work,  wide range of training-tool is available today. But it was not always like that.

As a kid, I grabbed every opportunity to see dogs and dogsports closely therefore as spectator I participated in every doggy event in Budapest. I was not choosy:  dog-show or service dog demonstration, or any leasure event that included dogsport demo I had a place there. Now I know that the dogs involved in the performance were mainly trained with the „old” – par force – method.  I started to train our first familiy dog –  who was a mix – with this method but I soon  realised that I was  not going to manage to teach anything to him on that way. The training of that dog had stopped due to the lack of my knowladge about alternative ways of  dogtraining. I just saw that I did not make any good to our dog so I gave up his training.

As time went by I got to know other approaches of dog training. These methods based on positive reinforcement and I used this newly learned methods for the training of my next dogs. I need hardly say that from that time both my dogs and I found a lot more pleasure and happiness in working together. That lot of play and reward-based training brought success for all of us: my dogs were happy and contented, they were easy to live with and had great runs on the agility course. My own dogs, and those who I trained during my university years – at that time I made my living from dog trianing – thought me a lot about the way of their thinking and learning, what they like and what do not. Now, in Jet’s training I  can use all this experience now added to those I learned from my instructors in the dogschools we attended before.

In the past few years the way of dogtrianing went through a vast amount of change. Performance dogs became partners instead of being servant of the handler. This change also reflects in the attitude how doggy people approach the trianing of their dogs. Besides the playful , reward-based methods clicker training gained ground which, according to my experiences offers brand new perspectives in dogtraining. What Jet and I  can achieve by using these experience and knowledge in the dogsport? Well, time will tell…

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