Life is always super busy at K9 Pro and when I moved to Sydney to start working in the office full time a few weeks ago, Steve asked me to help him with some of Wisdom’s social training.
As we mentioned here on the blog a few weeks ago, Steve’s hectic schedule meant that it was very difficult for him to take both Wisdom and Venom out as much as he wanted to, so I started taking Wisdom on some social outings and walks so she could experience the world some more and learn basic manners when out in public.
I aimed at training her to walk on a loose leash calmly through busy crowds, traveling to different places like the beach, parks, hiking in the rainforest, visiting shopping centres, our local busy town centres and much more all the while allowing Wisdom to learn how to behave nicely in public and work appropriately in different environments.
I started training a couple of bits and pieces with Wis for fun, she responded really well to training and we were having a super great time together – what can I say, handling a Malinois is FUN!
Steve saw what a great time we were having together and asked me if I’d like to train Wisdom in some aspects of obedience and drive. Not only would it be great for Wisdom, but it would a super experience for me and a way for me to work on my skills as a dog trainer. Of course I said YES!
Training a working line Malinois is not like anything I’ve done before. It’s a bit like giving a learner driver a Ferrari – driving it well requires experience and skill. Not only does Wisdom learn super fast, she is super fast at everything she does so you have to be quick to mark the right behaviour.
Steve sets us ‘homework’ each week to work on – Wisdom learns a new behaviour or command or we build on something she is in the progress of learning and I work on and develop my skills as a trainer.
I got into dog training and obedience when my beagle Daisy was young, almost six years ago now. Training Daisy was a big learning curve, but training Wisdom is a whole other ball game! Daisy is a moderately driven hound and I had to learn a lot about developing drive in her and it was hard work to get her to put consistent effort in, to a level I was happy with.
Wisdom naturally has a huge amount of drive, not just for tug but for food and play/pats so a lot of the things I learned to do as a handler with Daisy don’t work or don’t apply to Wisdom.
I began to teach Wisdom rear end awareness and we are just moving onto heel in motion, although I have instructed in a club environment before and have seen many dogs progress really well, Wisdom’s ability to learn and offer new behaviours is extraordinary. In literally minutes her heel flip was looking like a dog that had been in training for months!
I keep saying to Steve “I can’t believe she gets it already, I have only done it 2 or 3 times!” Their (Malinois) levels of motivation mean training them or working them isn’t something you have to beg for, energy, drive, motivation, speed, agility and intelligence is all on tap!
As Wisdom is the foundation bitch of Steve’s Malinois kennel, Herzhund Malinois, it’s important for her to be trained to a level that displays the style of training, training in drive, that K9 Pro is famous for, as well as show casing Wisdom’s superior genetics. For this reason she will be trained to do a range of things from obedience to scent work to bite work – after all, Malinois can do anything!
Wisdom and I have had a great time training the basics in these areas so far and can’t wait to share our journey with you.
It’s not just fun but completely addictive handling such a super dog!
– Bec and Wisdom