Last weekend I found myself in Indiana helping at a SDONA (Search Dog Organization of North America) training. SDONA had brought in Brigitte Versterre and Petra Grothe from the Netherlands. These two ladies are two of the world’s best. Both hold numerous World Champion titles in IPO (International Prüfungs-Ordnung) and the IRO (International Rescue Dog Organisation). They ran workshops in a West Virginia, Arizona, and in Indiana while in the United States.
The first two days consisted of classroom elements and field work. They also spent some time explaining how their team trains and why. I must say that K-9 training is quite different across the pond. There are similarities but if I had to say one thing it would be that they are committed to detail. Here’s an example of what I mean. They work to have precision in obedience and control from the start of training. They spend vast amounts of time on precision. I can only say that after watching Brigitte’s dog work, both on and off the rubble pile, that time is well spent.
Other things that we worked on were focused engagement, engaging with live subjects, and understanding the use of drives to develop search work, obedience and control.
I learned so much over the long weekend that I am still thinking about how I train and work my boy, Küster. I also will be making every effort to be one of the first signed up for the next time they come to the States.