Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Training Resources

Okay, since I am still recovering from bronchitis and restricted to doing training from my living room at the moment (don't worry-- I am self-releasing myself as of tomorrow!!) I am going to devote this post to listing a few of the resources for training and supplies.

Until I broke down and purchased an aircard several months ago, I suffered through dial-up and was never able to watch the videos on line that everyone else raved about. Now that I have the ability, I still don't have the time to do much about it but there are a couple sites you might wish to check out.


If you google "Knut Fuchs video" you will be taken to the link on YouTube for a basic obedience video. This shows him working the dog between the legs as we instruct. Having the visual might help you with your method.


This is my favorite site for equipment. Jim has always been very prompt in his delivery and easy to deal with, and I like the quality of his equipment. (more to follow about selecting the right toy for your dog)


This is just one of the sites that sells the Gripper Jute Ball, which is the one Sam is using that he received as an award at our annual meeting. Many sites sell them, so shop around.


This company is located near Rice Lake, Wisconsin and can deliver quickly. I have purchased SAR vests and other equipment from them and they are a small company with really nice people running it, who are involved in schutzhund. If you are like me, you will end up buying new toys to try out and you just need to find what works best for you.


Ivan Balabanov is one of the most well known trainers in the dog sport world, and he has been highly successful in schutzhund competition. The "train per view" site was his answer to the fact that his training methods are constantly evolving. He has several training DVDs that are excellent and which I recommend. The train per view site is not inexpensive, $20.99 I believe, per video which you can watch until the expiration period. This allows Ivan to change and improve and not have people stuck doing the same thing they saw at a seminar five years ago, or viewed on the DVD BUT not everyone can afford it. If you are one of the lucky ones who can, consider hosting a viewing party for your friends!!

Obedience Without Conflict: Clear Communication and The Game


The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog
The Power of Training Dogs with Food
The Power of Training Dogs with Markers

Our club was the first in the midwest to begin bringing Michael Ellis in for seminars. This occurred on the recommendation of Ivan Balabanov, who at that time had taken a sabbatical from seminars. I asked who he would recommend, who would be consistent with the training methods we were using, and he suggested Mike Ellis. We hosted many seminars with Mike and enjoyed his training methods and easy teaching style. His heart, however, is not in schutzhund and he not only convinced a number of our members to leave the club in favor of ringsports, but began an exclusive relationship with them so we have since turned to schutzhund specific trainers such as Greg Doud. Still, I highly recommend his foundation training. He is a master at the use of verbal markers and explains things in an easy to understand manner. He is just a really nice guy!! Anyone beginning in the sport of schutzhund can benefit from attending a seminar with Michael because those foundation pieces are consistent through the various dog sports.

He has since forged a business relationship with Ed Frawley of Leerburg, located near Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and created a series of DVDs listed above. I have not purchased or viewed them yet myself so cannot vouch for them. I prefer the professional quality of the DVDs produced by Canine Training Systems for Ivan Balabanov over those of Leerburg, as a rule, which have more of a home video flavor, with Ed narrating. However, I have seen Michael teaching these concepts and if the focus is more on that, with Michael doing the speaking, they could be good. And since Michael has opened a school for dog training in California and is traveling less, this may be your best opportunity to partake of his training expertise.

I would also like to note that Michael and Ivan have probably produced the most-winning Belgian Malinois in dog sports. The Loups du Soleil dogs bred by Mike Ellis are best known in ringsport circles but have also made a name for themselves in schutzhund, search and rescue, dockdogs, etc... they are extremely versatile and athletic. My own Jinx du Loups du Soleil is one of those fantastic dogs.

Check out
to learn more about their accomplishments.