My name is Tessa Stow and I am a qualified Vet Nurse with 25 years experience. I have for the last 10 years taught puppy school in Veterinary Clinics and have trained pet dogs for the public. I have attended many courses, for positive training, as well as many Veterinary seminars on behaviour and training. I have read any book I could get my hands on to full fill my passion on learning dog behaviour, psychology, and training.
I found it increasingly frustrating that no-one could teach me what to do when positive training alone did not work.
I was fortunate enough to meet Kris a few years back when I was looking for a Dobermann. I always kept an eye on his website and recently discovered his dog training seminars from puppy socialisation to Law Enforcement work and everything in between. I attended a National Decoy, Helper, Protection Dog seminar as an observer. I must admit I went with a perceived idea of how these dogs may be trained or what I was going to get out of this 2 day course, because I am knew nothing about this type of training. The first thing that interested me was that there was NO teaching the dog to be aggressive. Aggression is not what this training is about. That became very clear very quickly. In fact two of the dogs had been trained elsewhere and were aggressive, Kris was teaching their handlers how to tone down / remove aggression and work on prey drive.
I learnt more about dog behaviour, dog response, prey drive, and dog psychology than in any book, or seminar I had been to. Why? Because he showed you with the different dogs and handlers. And always had question time after each session. It was very interactive. Understanding the differences in bark and facial expression, and tail position to read a dogs mood, was a good tool to learn. Even if you do not work in the Enforcement / Security area you can see what will drive your dog and just make it fun at home to full fill your dogs need for using his prey drive, (a part of his natural instinct which we put a big limit on in pet dogs, no wonder they get frustrated!)
The few corrections I saw were very slight, not like what I have seen with check chains. Not one dog responded with any sign of fear or pain. It just changed its behaviour and was rewarded. The calmness Kris shows around the dogs was also a great thing to watch. No handler was allowed to get frustrated or mad with their dog. “Don’t worry about what your telling the dog, look at what the dog is telling you” That will stay with me. We all need to be able to really read our dogs. Fulfil their drives, and train fairly and calmly.
Thanks Kris, It is great to tap into the knowledge of someone with your experience, and patience. Looking forward to the next seminar. The Kinglake pub is a great place to stay and eat too!