Rachel and Fledge – Obedience New Zealand
Steve began working with Rachel some 10 years ago with her awesome dog Monster (RIP) , now she is back with her Malinois Fledge.
I joined Team K9Pro in 2014, I’m very excited to be included, I live in New Zealand. My dog “Fledge” is a 5 year old malinois bitch. Her primary role is as a wilderness search and rescue dog.
Fledge is a stroppy, driven, independent dog who is a joy to train, but who can sometimes be a challenge to live with. She is perpetually on the go, and we joke that she was born without an off-switch.
We started training for SAR when Fledge was about 6 months old, and qualified as a wilderness area search team nearly 3 years ago. Maintaining our SAR skills remains our top training priority.
Fledge absolutely loves her SAR work, and my goal is to continue to requalify her annually so that we can continue our volunteer work in this capacity for as long as possible.
I have dabbled in training obedience exercises and tricks for years, in order to keep my dog occupied between SAR training opportunities, but this year I decided to get more focused and train with the goal of eventually getting her into the competition obedience ring.
I have completed several distance learning courses with K9Pro before – with my previous dog as well as my current dog – and have always been hugely impressed with Steve’s depth of knowledge, and the generosity with which he shares his time and thoughts.
Steve’s methods depend on creating clear channels of communication between dog and handler, and on encouraging the dog to view their handler as the pathway – not the obstacle – to reward; making training enjoyable for both handler and dog.
When offered the opportunity to join Team K9Pro I jumped at the chance. Fledge is a quick learner, but very “wired” and easily distracted, so we’ll need all the help we can get if we are eventually going to be competitive in the distracting environment of a dog show.
Watch this space!