Dog Training Experience and Education

I have a lot of people ask me how they can become a trainer, how they can become more skilled maybe win dog sports competitions etc, most times these people do not give dog training experience and education enough time.
These days we want it all, yesterday. I see people go to every seminar, watch YouTube until they fall asleep and live on trainers Facebook pages and groups, but what I don’t see much of is – IMPROVEMENT.
You will only get better by doing, and doing a lot.
4 + years ago (roughly), I began searching and researching Labrador Breeders, because I felt that my daughter Biscuit (AKA Hunter) was ready for the responsibility of owning a dog.
It took me a while to decide to source my puppy from Tapua, and I did so because I liked the genetics and equally important imprinting they do from 0 – 8 weeks.
I find this work vital to producing sound, stable and able puppies.
I selected Rosie Cheeks (Biscuit named her) and home she came.

Rosie grew and so did Biscuit, most of Rosie’s training was carried out by Biscuit in my programs and with my guidance but she did it herself, when she was 5.

Small pieces here and there, these dogs are super easy to train as pups, but they do need the work put in when young.

So Rosie was sourced and raised to give my daughter “experience and education”. She is very good with animals, a natural I think, a lot more than my other two children so I wanted to nurture that considering my life is and always has been, animals.

Biscuit had to earn the right to own a dog, I think it is a right to be allowed to share your life with an animal, and she did.

Now I would not give her one of my Working Line Malinois, but a Labrador is an awesome children’s dog as long as an adult ensures the dog is trained and raised correctly.

I myself grew up with a black Lab and you can read more about that here, its a nice but emotional story.

Rosie has developed into one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever met and owned, she is driven, intense when needed and super chilled and sweet when not. 

Her incredible genetics, imprinting and training have come together and produced such an incredible dog.

The next stage of experience and education

Rosie has proven to us that she is an excellent example of the breed and after careful consideration we mated her with Magnum, Willowspring King of the Wind (IMP NZ).

Biscuit is now 9 years old and was there to participate the the experience and education as well. 

Rosie was confirmed in whelp and last night she whelped 7 puppies. I have a considerable amount of experience in assisting females whelping, so Biscuit was there right beside me, gaining more education and experience. 

I am very exact in every detail when whelping, so Biscuit assisted in each birth, recording details, weighing, fitting identification collars, noting down remarks, help dry puppies, trim umbilical cords and even catching puppy coming out (Rosie whelps standing up).

She watched and helped me latch pups onto their first feed, she was part of all of it and I am proud of her clear headed approach.


When all pups were  whelped we slept until morning in which we traditionally take all pups and mum to our Vet, Karen Hedburg and have them health checked.

I have enough experience and education to do this but I want to have an independent report that I trust.

Biscuit was part of all this too.

Alison and I discussed the impact on her if we had a stillborn puppy, but this can happen. I feel my techniques etc reduce the risks of this happening as much as possible but life is life.

We felt that this was part of the education and experience I wanted her to have, but good fortune, all puppies happy and healthy.

Over the coming weeks, we run a very intensive imprinting program with our litters and you will see Biscuit a big part of it all.

Setting them challenges, early neurological stimulation, environmental exposure and conditioning, etc.

She will probably do this with dozens of litters before her own.

If you want something, it takes work, it takes a lot of work. There are no short cuts to excellence so if you want to be excellent, start now. 

Get practical experience, lots of it and if your lucky and you work hard, it will come to you too, and it will feel awesome, because you have earned it.

I love the hard yards, because they are behind me now, find your hard yards like Biscuit is, and put them behind you!


About SteveK9Pro

Steve Courtney is a Nationally Accredited Canine Behaviour Specialist, Obedience Trainer, Law Enforcement Dog Trainer and ANKC Breeder. Steve has been training dogs all his life and in these articles he shares with you his experience...

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