Armin Winkler

Bitesuit-work for Schutzhund Dogs


A few weeks ago I got into a bit of a debate with another trainer over the fact that I did bitesuit work with a dog who is destined to be a competitive Schutzhund dog. The accusation was that suit work leads to sloppy gripping technique as well as "dirty" cheap shot behavior in Schutzhund dogs. This debate led me to think a bit about why this misconception exists, and that it might be a good idea to try to clear up some of the wrong impressions people may have...

Problem Solving in the Hold and Bark


There are different philosophies out there on how to teach the hold and bark exercise. I'm not going to get into which one is right and which one is wrong. The truth is there is more than one way to start and teach the exercise and they all have merit. The problems generally start creeping up when we think the dog has learned what we wanted him to learn...

Tell Me About Your Dog! Part One


Being one of those people that often talk late into the night until I lose my voice, I have discovered that very few things in training are quite as diverse as the interpretations of terminology. Why is that? Many terms used in dog training today had a certain meaning assigned to them through the way they were used. But often as the use of the word changed, so did its meaning. One of the most difficult things in discussions about training today is to establish a basis of understanding and interpretation of terminology. Usually once the people who are having the discussion are "on the same page" the discussion becomes...

Note on Tracking from the ART List


I am pretty careful with tracking because I believe that we don't ever know 100% what is going on in the dog. So a lot of evaluation is necessary to see if a dog is ready for influences that can reduce drive. I spend a lot of time studying the dogs to get a good read on whether they are tracking, comparing, solving a problem, or going off onto another scent. It is absolutely crucial...

Tell Me About Your Dog! Part II


I believe that reading dogs is one of the most important parts of dog training. In part one of this article I tried to address general qualities in dogs that we hear often when dogs and their training are discussed. I deliberately limited myself to traits that deal with perception and reception of stimuli. In this part I would like to tackle the active side of dogs' characters and talk about the traits that determine how dogs respond. As always my intention is to share ideas and provoke thought...

Two Sides to Everything - Part 2


I would say that the easiest exercise to practice with an arm on the right is the hold and bark. It does not involve a lot of mechanics from the helper. The picture of the helper with the sleeve on the left is a familiar one.

Two Sides to Everything - Part 1


A good foundation is where everything starts. I've covered foundation topics over the past few months and looking back, I think I missed something. The reason for that is probably because what I will discuss in this article may not become an issue until later in a dog's career.

Tell Me About Your Dog! - Part 5


This brings me to the end of the discussion of fighting ?drive?. The major contributing components I have been able to isolate are the six I just described: prey drive, defense drive, frustration aggression, social aggression, dominance behavior, and rage.

Tell Me About Your Dog! - Part 4


There are a few more points I'd like to mention regarding defense drive. I strongly believe that these three defense drive categories are pre-determined and that this predetermination sets limits to how much we can change through training. Comments like we need to put more defense into this dog make me cringe and feel sorry for the dog.

Tell Me About Your Dog! - Part 3


I believe that reading dogs is one of the most important parts of dog training. In part one of this article I tried to address general qualities in dogs that we hear often when dogs and their training are discussed.

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