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Canberra Workshop Report, Dog training.

Dog Training Workshop report Canberra April 2015

I spent last week in Australia’s Capital working with some people and of course their dogs. With a full week of private lessons and a jam packed Dog Training Workshop on Saturday I knew I had my work cut out for me, but there was a challenge I hadn’t prepared for…

I began the week by driving to Murrumbateman where I spent the week staying with my good friends Naroa and David. It was great having a home to go to at the end of each day rather than a hotel room and of course that came with home cooked meals by Dr David Pyne who I am sure is a budding chef.

I had plenty of company as Herzhund Alis (a puppy from my A litter) lives there and Naroa has also been raising Herzhund Brannox as he comes of age to export to New Zealand.

Each day I met new people and their dogs and we worked through problems or progressed toward their goals. I have to say the standard was pretty high and this made working with these dogs both a pleasure and interesting. The days seemed short!

We had hired an indoor facility so we could escape any weather that may be unfriendly and it was a great venue for this type of work.Dog Training workshop

I worked my way through the week and as Friday drew to a close, people (& their dogs) from Team K9Pro began to arrive.

Some were camping and others staying locally and we had quite a mob arrive to help support me and the workshop by demonstrating anything I might need to show on a trained dog.

Saturday morning arrived and I was up very early to get ready, we all headed out to Queanbeyan and began setting up for the workshop.

Normally we try very hard to keep numbers small so that I can try and give people the individual attention they need but as I don’t travel to Canberra often and I have so many clients that come from this region, we weren’t far shy of 70 people.

Now normally I am chomping at the bit to get going but to be honest my mind was a little more occupied by something else. My mum has been in ICU for a couple of weeks and the prognosis is not great, no matter how I explain it, her time is up, or just about.

I don’t pre write a bunch of slides or notes to read from, I want to be able to structure the event based on what the attendees want to know, so whilst we may have some topics listed, the floor is open for anything I have experience in, which means I need a clear head.

As the room filled I have to admit I was really unfocused.

When we put on an event, I really like to give the best value I can, so I normally have at least one staff member attend as well to help with event organisation etc. With near 70 people I had two staff members there plus of course myself and a few Team members who had volunteered their time.

As I watched the room fill and the dedicated staff and Team busily working to help me out on a professional event, I knew I had to press on and deliver the best workshop I could.

I took the microphone after Rebecca Chin had opened and I have to tell you the first few moments were a bit of a struggle, but the people in attendance were so nice, they remained engaged, interested and involved themselves throughout the whole day which made my job, much more easy on this day.

I aim to work every dog; and that I did, there were so many great questions and to watch the attendees making notes and remain engaged all day was uplifting.

I would like to tell you about the stand out dog, but there wasn’t one. They were ALL stand out!

Whether I was asked to look at a behaviour issue or improving performance, all of the dogs in attendance really made it easy on this tough day.

Dog Training WorkshopWe had demonstrations from three of the Team K9Pro dogs, first it was Nicole and her Border Collie Flick. They demonstrated how my Training In Drive System switches the dogs into drive without the need to show food or toys and how even during heel work the handler can throw the tug on the floor and her dog remains unaffected and keeps working.

Bec picked up the tug and offered it to Nicole’s dog who was not in any way distracted even though Bec used Nicole’s same release cues!

Jen was up next with the ever popular Working Line German Shepherd, Roscoe. Roscoe is a bit of a fan of mine so when I took his favourite toy off Jen and offered it free and he wouldn’t touch it, it was a great demonstration of the Reward Experience section of my system.

Last but never least was Herzhund Alis, Naroa brought her out and she was calm as can be until she gave the alert cue. Alis exploded into drive and showed a different view of a dogs predictive cues.

My system has a verbal trigger cue that helps the dogs predict the future.

I am super proud of these dogs.

It was a long day, but a great day. There were many questions throughout the day, I like when people ask questions because I shape the information I deliver to the people that are in attendance.

I had a list of topics and I also wanted to work every dog at the workshop, it turned out that the time we allocated (10am – 4pm) just wasn’t enough so we went right through until just after 7.00PM!

When we offer a Dog Training Workshop and consults, they sell out in minutes most times, this was no exception. I mean it when I say I am super grateful for peoples trust and value in my dog training and this is why I continued well after the advertised closing time.

I talked to people before the workshop, during the breaks and of course after, as I truly appreciate being given the chance.

Of course there were many people that did not get in fast enough to get a ticket, I do apologise about that but we really want to keep these events personal and interactive, but I am going to do my best to get back to Canberra again in 2015.

I was impressed with everyone I met, you were all warm, friendly and willing…

Some comments we have received in feedback:

Thanks for a great day. You sure do have a way with people and dogs. Safe trip home.

Such a good day! Thanks to everyone who made it all possible!!

An awesome day with sooooo much to work on. Thanks Steve and team!!

Had a great time thank you to everyone involved in organising and for making the trip, well worth it can’t wait for the next one  hint hint

Sooo much great information!

Absolutely loved it learnt heaps thanks Steve, Bec and the team awesome day

A wonderful day. Thanks Steve, Bec and the rest of the team. My head is bursting with good ideas!

Succinct, Informative and Professional! Our Thanks to Steve, Bec and the everyone in the K9Pro Team especially your dogs! This brilliant workshop was a testament to your dedication, time and love for dogs. Thanks for sharing !!!!!

A great day – thanks very much to Steve and the whole K9Pro team.

Great day and what an experience. Thank you Steve and the K9pro team.

Personally I looooved seeing the other dogs work in drive

I enjoyed the individual time spent with Steve and my own dog

I’m so excited to start this new adventure with my dog who by the way can’t get enough of it 🙂 she just thinks it’s all fun and games not only training 🙂

I don’t think there was a part that was not interesting.

The way Steve worked with each dog registered for a working spot – you picked up on whatever it was, behaviour/motivation/precision and just focussed on that and demonstrated a striking change in each of the dogs. In a very short period.

The positive attitude and encouraging atmosphere around the whole workshop. No judgement on the dog or handler.


After the close of the Workshop there were some quiet celebrations with my Team, and then I slept like a log and after a quick training session with Alis, Blaze and Brannox we were homeward bound to our families.

As I write this my mum is still ticking away and I know she would have said “the show must go on”.

For those of you who could not make it, I have five tips I shared at the workshop I would like to share with you: –

1. When you are training your dog, always give more than you take.

2. Life is short, play with your dog…

3. Leave the comfort zone behind.

4. Forget that high drive or excitement means no precision.

5. Intensity is how much energy it takes to make you pay.

Thank you Canberra, until next time! Steve!

As in all our articles, we welcome your feedback below.

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6 comments

  1. Hi Steve and crew, I was one of Adam Toretto’s group at the seminar. Unfortunately as my daughter had an appointment at 6 we had to leave early. I was so disappointed that I missed the last of he seminar. I really did enjoy it and regret not getting the chance to chat with you. I have started applying some of the positive training techniques that you demonstrated, with my 5 month old pup. As I have been using a check chain and correction/praise for the past 18 years, I am finding old habits hard to break but am persisting. Here’s hoping I can achieve some great outcomes with my boy based on a positive training experience.
    I will definitely be at the next Canberra seminar, hopefully with my boy (GSD) 🙂

    • Would love to meet him! I am working with another of Adam’s pups as he is working to be a Childrens Therapy Dog in my K9 Angels program.

      I don’t think using corrections makes you a bad trainer or anything like it, but at this age you will certainly develop a strong bond through a controlled and structured reward system.

      It isn’t all about smiles and cuddles, I can be pretty tough on criteria which makes for a solid work ethic, but I do avoid using physical punishment especially if the right behaviours have not been taught.

      There is a great blog I wrote on “Catching your dog in the RIGHT” http://blog.k9pro.com.au/dog-behaviour-problems-catch-dog-right/

      This can help too.

  2. Great blog. Please please please ! Send me an email when Steve is coming to Canberra again would love to book a private lesson. Thanks so much again for a great day and love your philosophy on life people and out four legged Freinds

  3. Dear Steve and the Team,

    You are ALL just amazing and Steve…..what an outstanding workshop and knowing now that there were very deep feelings and fear in you regarding your mom`s being ill, I just admire how you dealt with all of this.
    I am sure that if my Summer could talk she`d ask me to take her to Steve 🙂

    Best wishes regarding you mom and hope to meet again soon.

    Thank you heaps,
    Suzie and Summer

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