January 2016 I travelled to California to work one on one with Michael Ellis.
Michael is well known for his numerous DVD’s and On-line courses, as well as the courses he offers at his school in Santa Rosa. He is a master at drive building and motivational training techniques. I think these skills are very important to incorporate into competition obedience training. This training helps to keep the dogs engaged and enthusiastic rather than just going thru the motions when training. I took my dogs, Remi – 3 year old Labrador, Pounce – 2 year old Golden and Sparks – 6 month old Golden puppy. Remi is a pretty powerful dog at playing tug and now he is even more so! Pounce was more about wanting the toy for herself so we worked on getting her to engage more with me once she had the toy. Sparks had just finished teething so we were working on his early tug and engagement skills. I had worked a lot of engagement with Sparks prior to arriving and it was great to get Michael’s feedback on our technique. We also did some restrained play with Sparks on the harness to get him even more excited about his toy play. Now I am busy training my dogs on the skills we worked on and also sharing these skills with my own students.