In cooperation with the Working Flatcoated Retriever Group WFRG we organize a webinar: Stress & Excitement – breeder’s edition. It will be given in Dutch language, but in case you are interested we can schedule an English version in the future. Minimum participants 7. Price for three evenings included digital hand-out €95. For more info please send an email via Contact.
In my own training and when training others I aim to use as many force-free and dog/human friendly methods as I possibly can. I believe boundaries are necessary and can be communicated without adding pain or dominance towards dogs and/or humans. We all just need to learn how. Understanding behavior of the dog is the foundation from where I work with handlers – the goal is to create a unity between the working dog and his handler. A working relationship with obedience only I find a bit boring.
Good teamwork is based on trust, respect and clear communication – but should first of all be enjoyable for all parts of the team.
Understanding the flatcoated retriever and her unique way of working is essential. She needs some freedom and respect of her intelligent way of solving things and will loose eagerness if drilled too much. At the same time she needs clear guidelines and communication. As a handler it is a challenge to move between these two poles, searching for the right balance of both.
My past training:
- ongoing gundog training of my own dogs since 2007 – by several trainers in the Netherlands
- Summercamp training – clicker gun dog Helen Phillips, UK
- Basic Aggression Course for dog proffessionals by Vet behaviorist Amber Batson
- Advanced Aggression Course for dog professionals by Vet behaviorist Amber Batson
- Puppy Power Course for dog professionals, breeders & trainers by Vet behaviorist Amber Batson
- Several canine workshops on behavior, training & health.
- Mind the Gap by Amber Batson from dogschool Feedback
- Puppy Development Course for proffessionals by Amber Batson
- Webinar “Eyes” by Tommy Hardon for Danish Kennel Club
- Several webinars om gundog training (Oliver Kiraly – Jane Arden – Sanne Ammitzbøl)
- Kennel club Canine Instructor education (2021 part 2 out of 3) at the Tinley
Since 2019 I have been part of creating and executing workshops for working retrievers on the theme Excitement & Stress. The workshop is a cross-over between dog behaviour, (human) psychology and gun dog training and consists of a lecture and two in the field training days. The workshops are offered within a team of 3 trainers including a behaviorist, a gun dog trainer and a coach/therapist. For inquiries on booking us for a workshop please use the contact form.
After a successful completion of the online workshop for breeders on behavior origin, we are currently building on an online puppy basic course for future owners of working gundogs.
July 2021 – private workshop for a training group of college trainer on learning to recognize emotions in your dog while gun dog training and using this to balance steadyness and drive.
For inquiries on custom made workshops feel welcome to contact us.
Here are some photos of my own training moments with Rumi:
Prevention of separation anxiety in dogs July 2021
As we are slowly coming out of the Covid lockdown restrictions we are picking up old routines meaning that our four legged friends are spending more time on their own without our presence. Dogs are by nature animals living in social groups – being alone instinctively means that they are less safe and have lower survival chances (=higher stress responses in brain). This explains why their brains are build to have stress when left alone. The extend to which the individual experiences stress when left alone varies and there are many ways to limit the impact of being alone. It is important though for us to realize it is a situation unnatural for dogs to be in.
So the whole being alone situation might be best to limit as much as we can and for the time that we cannot limit we can opt the circumstances for the dog.
First of all training being alone gradually is a good way to start. The key to this training is that one makes sure that the emotion of the dog is as positive as you can obtain. We humans tend to look at the functional part of a training eg how long the dog can stay alone instead of the quality of the training and how the underlying emotion of the dog is being shaped. So take this in mind when you set up a training plan.
Taken in consideration that dogs have social needs, behavior specialists have discovered that dogs who have been met in this need sufficiently can better cope with periods of being separated from social contact. This leads to a couple of practical ideas:
– ensure your dog has access to social sleeping during night (sleeping with humans in same room or within hearing range of humans or other animals of household)
– shortly before leaving the dog to alone time, spend around 20 min in low activity cuddling or other social interaction with main caretaker
– offer activities such as (safe) licking/chewing or scavenging while being away to allow natural coping/stress release to happen.
– think of offering cloths with your smell behind for the dog to snuggle up against
Good luck preparing your dog for a happy lockdown end – hope this short article provides you with some inspiration on how to get started,
canine greets from Birgitte from Flatastic Flatcoated Retrievers