This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the world’s leading trainers how she chooses to approach puppy training.
Silvia Trkman has achieved phenomenal success on the agility scene, with not just one, but all six of the dogs she has owned and trained. They also all have a fantastic repertoire of tricks and seem to have huge enthusiasm and focus for working with Silvia. Therefore, the question we all want to know is, what is the secret to raising and producing multiple champions?
In this DVD, we follow the first 5 months of Silvia’s latest acquisition, Too, a Border Collie puppy. Trkman shows us everything she did with Too, right through from choosing a breeder, to all the different tricks and exercises she taught her. She also shares her insights on other key aspects she considers important in raising puppies.
Whether you are bringing up a pet dog or a future dog sports star, you will not want to miss out on Trkman’s tips to creating a well-rounded, fun-loving dog who can’t wait to work with you.
Trkman begins by explaining how she went about choosing her puppy. She tells us that personally, she doesn’t believe it is overly important which puppy in the litter you choose, and that although temperament tests give us some good information, they are not everything. It is her belief that researching the line and the breeder is the most crucial aspects and she shares with us how she goes about doing this, and what she looks for.
Trkman then moves on to bringing the puppy home and explains that her first focus with every puppy is play. She shows us how she begins playing with her puppy, as well as how to introduce other resident dogs, and how they can be used as a distraction in training.
In the next section, we explore discovering the great outdoors. Trkman tells us that she takes her puppies for walks from day one, carrying them partly, to begin with. She adds why she believes the woods she regularly walks in, serve as a fantastic learning opportunity for young puppies.
Trkman also looks at clicking and shaping and explains how she also begins this from day one. She shows us how her puppy was afraid of the sound of the clicker, to begin with, and therefore what she had to do to overcome this. Trkman then takes us through shaping the first trick, which in this case was a paw touch, showing us video footage of the first and second sessions of teaching this. She explains how she will take the puppy’s food ration for the day and use it for several shaping sessions. Trkman also comments on the importance of varying the object from early on to work on generalisation skills. We are then shown footage of the third shaping session, and the beginnings of achieving pivoting steps. Trkman mentions how from re-watching the video she is able to pick up on the signs her puppy is showing her to indicate the session is too hard, and what she did in future sessions to deal with this. Trkman then moves on to teaching the next tricks, explaining she never waits for the dog to master one trick before moving on to the next. She begins working on 4 in a box and backing up, choosing these as they both promote rear end awareness.
We then look at some general puppy stuff for weeks 8-9, including how to deal with mouthing, using the crate and the daily schedule. Trkmans discusses how she encountered some problems with getting her puppy to accept the crate, and how she worked through this. She also shares her views on whether puppies should have free access to toys and play with other dogs, and the benefits of chasing and tugging. At this age Trkman also begins with restrained recalls and sends, as well as continuing interaction with different objects, showing us an example of shaping interaction with a tunnel. She also begins to teach a frog (teaching the dog to lie flat with his leg splayed like chicken legs).
In weeks 9 and 10, Trkman concentrates on socialisation, getting her puppy used to different surfaces, people, dogs, and noises. She explains how she uses agility shows as a great place to socialise. We are then given advice on switching between food and toys, and what to do with a puppy more interested in food than toys, and vice versa. During this time, Trkman continues with outdoor runs, adding how she believes allowing your puppy to run is very important in helping them to run efficiently in later life. She also shows us how she teaches a cue at this age for running fast. Trkman carries on practising all the tricks previously mentioned and shows us how to begin progressing these, as well as why she feels they are important.
When the puppy is 10- 11 weeks Trkman teaches even more new tricks. She shows us how to teach the beginnings of Cik and Cap (her method for teaching turns), 2 on 2 off, cavaletti, front feet pivoting and side legs up. Trkman also continues to play and introduce the puppy to more new environments.
In weeks 12-13 Trkman begins to introduce pairing one object with another, the foundations for heeling, more interactions with new objects, as well as starting with sitting pretty and continuing with cavaletti and front feet pivoting.
Trkman describes week 13-15 as the fun age, and during this time she got her puppy used to running and playing in water, as well as continuing with walks in the wood, adding more on why she feels it is such a great environment for future agility dogs. Trkman continues with socialising and begins to train tricks in different environments. She also starts to teach a figure of 8 backwards and walking in-between and on her feet. Trkman explains how we can also revisit old tricks, such as paw touches, and advance these, which in this case means pairing them with a new object such as a skateboard. She also continues with balance and conditioning exercises and shows us how she is progressing with the frog.
At 15-17 weeks Trkman focuses on adding in luring tricks during play, such as spins and changes of direction. She explains why she does not begin any luring until the puppy properly understands shaping first. She also continues with progressing Cik and Cap and balance work and starts to teach the retrieve, stay until released and ball rolling. Trkman also asks the puppy to begin multi-tasking at this age – for example, doing Cik and Cap and fetching something at the same time.
When the puppy reaches 4 months, Trkman continues with tricks, tricks, and more tricks! She progresses with the sitting pretty, starts a sit up to stand, does the first session on teaching hugging and begins with verbal discrimination. Trkman emphasises the importance of training in new environments and shows us video footage of a training session she did in a hardware store.
Trkman explains that at 4-5 months she started to experience some problems with focus, and shows us what she had to do to work through this. She also demonstrates tricks and games to play with the seesaw in order to desensitize your puppy to it.
Finally, Trkman stresses that every puppy is an individual so they will progress at different speeds and stages. Therefore the key skills to remember are problem-solving and adjustment.
Running time- 3 hours, 24 minutes