The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
Nice to hear! Waiting around for 2.5 hours for your turn at a busy training club for your eval is pretty normal. Dogs get a lot out of their 10 -15 minutes of training when your turn does come up, so it is worth it.
People always want to get a jump start on their dogs' training and work on some basic stuff at home, but wait until you get specific directions from your trainer. Teaching your dog to bark on command and getting a dog to bark at the burlap to make it move (and thus the dog learning that he has control of the game - which teaches confidence), are two different things. Don't worry about him not barking yet - your trainer will get that going at some point, when the time is right. The dog needs to be in the right frame of mind and drive to get the 'right' bark, and you need experience to bring that out.
Okay to use a flirt pole and just let the dog chase and catch the rag for fun when using it as a toy to burn off energy. But if you are working on protection training, the flirt pole is a training aid, and everything you do with your dog is training. Used incorrectly, you could teach some bad habits that will be hard to break later on.
Ask your trainer if it is okay for you to work with a flirt pole at home, and if he could show you how to work Kona. If you are using a flirt pole to build a foundation for protection work, then you need to know exactly what you are trying to achieve, and what you are trying to develop in Kona. It is not as simple as just letting him chase the rag and catch it. Part of the things to work on is developing work ethic, building drive through frustration, teaching persistence, and rewarding a 'good' bite. Some trainers will not want an inexperienced person starting off the bite work on their dogs on their own to avoid making mistakes that will cost in the long run.
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015