Many dogs are frustrated, unable to do what they were bred for.. frustration is a stress, and stressed dogs exhibit behaviours that are often attempts to alleviate stress.. it may be that they or you cannot participate in such a manner to its fullest ..but there will be some sport or fun you can have that brings out the best and satiates their needs..
Gundog trials & training, Search & Rescue, Agility, Rally-o, HTM, Shed-Hunting, KcGCA, Man-trailing, that thing with the yoga balls, IPO- Shutzhund, Going-to-Ground.
There is not much better than watching a working dog do what it has been bred to do.. (not their raw instinctive behaviour)..but those instincts that were once harnessed and then trained to be used to work alongside humans.
Trained until experienced with rules, repetition, opportunity, forging a relationship with the handler and boundaries.
We used to work daily with families having issues with the behaviours of working dogs in family homes, not every working dog will be frustrated but for those that are. ..the highly driven, the ones with low thresholds and hyper-aroused.. those companion dogs are just crying out to participate in what they were bred for.
By giving most of these dogs opportunity to 'work', creating dogs that use brains in the face of following instincts, the ability to follow instruction and be controlled until able to self-control .. many of the problems seen within family homes would be alleviated
Give their species and breed the respect it deserves.
High drive working dogs can find themselves with unsuspecting, sometimes time restricted owners who feel that the dog needs to learn to calm down...that he's destructive ..unhappy at being left .. guarding, doesn't listen in distractions.. won't return when called..
Working lines are designed to have stamina.. they have an incredible amount of drive and instinct, heritable traits and genetics..
Taking on working-line, high-drive high-energy dogs and expecting them to live in a home with barely enough exercise to satisfy their needs will create a disruptive dog.
So what does it mean to give your dog a job?
When you give your dog a job, you put him to work by letting him do something that makes good use of his breed’s characteristics... Any dog can benefit too ..not just working breeds.
Those who have jobs to do are usually well-behaved, balanced dogs because their owners/handlers funnel their energy into productive work.
When they’re put to task, these dogs are following instruction by voice, whistle or hand commands.. happy to be under control, applying self control.. thinking ..concentrating .. focussing sticking to rules and boundaries
Training & Structure
Heel-work to Music
Search & rescue
Swimming & dock diving..
Even if you just set something up daily in your garden ..you'll see a difference.
We dont offer all the options, 'Jack of all trades - Master of none' springs to mind there, but we do offer structured training programs and gundog training.
THE behavioural work that we have excelled in for many years is currently unavailable
Our TRAINING Team
Balfour has worked beside dogs with behavioual issues but is trained in Rough and Walked-up shoots.
On the whole, he hunts, plays, concentrates, follows instruction and makes good strong safe decisions - sometimes for himself and sometimes for the client-dog.. and in doing so he demonstrates, he began by working alongside behaviour client-dogs, sometimes he needs to be a recall demonstrator/mentor.
He befriends, he watches over, he gives them space and he puts little pressure on dogs ..or he can ramp up the pressure to motivate or to provide distraction.
How does he do all that? .. Through our engagement and our connection.
Training, opportunity to learn, confidence, trust, consistency, the passing of time and maturity, and time off too.
No rush to get there ..it comes.
When you get to a point with your dog that you are in tune with one another to a very high degree, that you communicate without words.
There is just 'a knowing' when he's not sure what to do next, he asks.. when he makes a decision he tells me. When I can take my eyes off him and have no doubt what his actions and choices are.
Balfour is now 6 years old, Through watching, being nurtured and shaped beside my old boy Cupar, and working with me he can predict what we do next or what to go ahead with in any given situation ..he follows a routine pattern in sessions held with clients dogs.. glancing at me for confirmation to continue. He knows me, my habits, my body language, my moods. He can read me like a book.. he's worked with enough dogs to predict and anticipate their next moves too.
Then he follows the training ..the words, the hand signals, the whistle commands.. he's funny too, there are some things he doesn't like demonstrating and he knows when I'm likely to ask him to do them.
I love it when I reach this level of relationship with my dog.. we have banter, we can work hard together and just chill out beside one another doing nothing ( which of course is actually doing something in itself)
Young dogs can be difficult.
Balfour was a handful as a puppy, a real bitey, frustrated, eager to hunt, prey driven, defensive, 'speed before brains' character, plenty of energy and little impulse control.
& Now he's like my walking boots, shaped, reliable and comfortable.
Keep up your hard work, set goals (achievable ones) play together, work together, rest together.. grow with one another.
Many of you met Cupar in the capacity of a mentor, a friend or demonstrator for your your own dogs, sadly we lost Cupar at the end of 2022. A true diamond... one in a million, irreplaceable and my best friend, beside me every day of his life..he took his very first and very last breath in my arms ...he has passed the baton to Balfour now and lives on with the passing of his gentle wisdom.