As you may know from previous posts, Liezel and I train with two different trainers. One for agility and another for behavior / obedience. The latter is more of a police dog and personal protection dog trainer, but he handles a lot of aggression cases and that’s how we got started with him.
He has a group of people who train in dog sports, mostly French Ring, but some in IPO and I’m sure others I’m just not aware of. All of the people in the group do bite work with their dogs and that is a huge part of the group training (like a few times a week). We did bite work for a while with Liezel, not in a person protection sense, but more for fun and confidence building. We worked up to her biting the sleeve (over the course of months) and it did help her confidence! She went from looking to me like, “What do I do,” when they tossed the pillow to her, to barking at it, to biting it. She got to a point at home when she would start nosing the special harness used for this training. Nosing it like “Hey, let’s do this.”
Knowing Liezel isn’t my Schutzhund dog, and having succeeded in building her confidence, we stopped bite work. We still work with that trainer in tracking, obedience, and behavior modification; and, we are still part of the Sport Group even though we follow a very different path than the other group members.
Since we don’t do bite work anymore we don’t see the people in the group very often but the Group had a dinner Wednesday night that my husband and I attended. We arrived early and found just one other member there already. He’s an older gentleman who’s a little rough around the edges but nice enough to chat with. We sat down and right away he said, “I’ve been meaning to talk with you about something.”
My immediate thought was he was going to give me advice on how to handle Liezel or explain how I’m doing something wrong in our training. Preparing for this I said, “Uh oh, okay, what’s up?”
He said, “I’ve been meaning to tell you what a good job you’ve done with your dog. You’ve come a long way and have really improved.”
I was really caught off guard! I thanked him and the conversation went on to other things. While I was at work yesterday, I posted a message on Facebook saying “Thank you for your kind words last night. It was really very nice of you to say.”
The trainer immediately called me. Because the guy can be a little gruff sometimes, the trainer was concerned that I was being sarcastic and perhaps something was said that he should know about and / or address. ❤️
I feel really fortunate to have found the trainer and to be part of this great group of dog people!