Toller Training in Switzerland
Eveline with Jo-Jo Elsbeth with Bishi and Indaaji Barbara with Pina Barbara with Pamlico Helen with Ruffa and Orm Behind Helen:
Günter Walkemeyer Eveline with marchmallow Brigitte with Daanis
Over the four days of training we started with dogs that
would not stop on the whistle, which was a bit of a problem at first, as it is
difficult to do too much with a dog which
won’t stop and sit on command.
The group was asked to walk with dogs on a lead and to stop and give the sit command with voice, hand and a sharp blow on the whistle. After a bit of walking and repeating these commands we soon took away the sit command and with only a sharp blow on the whistle, would bring the dogs to stop and sit.
We then made dogs sit and stay while the handlers backed away, reaffirming the command to stay. Some dogs broke away and ran about, as you would expect. The stop whistle was not working again but it was improving fast. Dogs were brought together again and sat in line. Again, the command to stay was given. If a dog moved and didn’t sit to the whistle, he was quickly caught and brought to the place where he last heard the whistle and given a little shake and the command was repeated. It took some time, but we did get there and all the dogs were sitting in a line with the handlers some 10 metres away from their dog. Now the hard part, as one at a time, leaving the breakaway dogs until last, they were brought to heel with the repeated whistle command. Again, after a bit of reinforcement, all the dogs were doing a good job.
Anyway, over the four days we could sit the dogs, walk away from them some 15 metres, throw a dummy (bumper) behind them, call the dog in, stop him on the whistle at 7 metres to a sit, and then send him back to the dummy for a nice retrieve. It was a joy to watch.
Then we came to some retrieving from the water and we even had dead ducks to retrieve. Some took to this without a problem, while others who didn’t like to pick up game would be given a dummy with duck wings tied to it. This worked out well with most of the dogs, although some would hold the duck with too soft a grip, so I would throw the duck into reeds. This would teach the dog to grip better as he would struggle a bit to get out of the reeds.
The people who were in the group now knew their problems and what to do to correct them. I have to say that although I would train my dogs little and often, the four days that we done in no way made the dogs tired and they were all full of the joys of spring at the beginning and the end of each day.
I would like to end by saying that I consider it an honour to have been asked to visit your country and hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. I wish you all the best for your future training.
My special thanks go to Elsbeth and Ueli Wittwer for looking after me so well, also Gunter Walke-Meyer for translations in French and German.