OneMind Dogs Coaches and pack members situated all over the world, compete and train with a wide variety of dogs, from the smallest Chihuahua, to the largest German Shepherd and everything in between! We spoke to some of our OMD Coaches to ask them for their opinions on the differences between training different breeds of dogs.
Photograph: Joonas Häkkilä
OMD Coach Nic Jones from the UK said: “5 years ago I got a Jack Russell terrier, to see if there was any difference with 'another' breed as many students told me “oh, it's not a collie, you cannot handle like that”. The only difference to training and handling my terrier, Thumb, is that she is small, and has shorter strides and spends less time in the air when jumping!”
Nic continues: “With my large dogs I feel like I have more time when they are performing techniques 'over the bar', (German Turn, Twist, Reverse Wrap) but as my terrier has the same commitment to obstacles as my collies, she is already landing before my collies would have so I have to cue even earlier and be moving, even earlier and connect even earlier! If my large and small dogs are competing on the same course, my course walking has to take into account where I plan to be when my collie will need his cue and where I plan to be when my terrier needs her cue, but isn't that true for ALL different dogs? Her breed makes no difference to my training, she is as different from the collies as the collies are from each other.”
OneMind Dogs Coach Nic Jones
When we asked Nic if she finds there are behaviour and temperament differences between different breeds of dog that affect the way they can be trained, she responded: “Thumb has strengths in character and weaknesses in character but that is just because she is an individual and no two terriers are identical and no two dogs are identical. I was aware she may like to 'hunt', she is bred from working stock that hunt for gamekeepers so I trained against that from the day I took her home but I always have collies from strong working stock and I look to see if I need to train against any behaviours that I want to avoid there too.”
As trainers and handlers, we should not be presumptuous about a dog based on its breed, two dogs will not suit the exact same training and handling just because they are the same breed. Each dog is an individual, with their own character and personality that we need to discover and understand in order to be the best agility partner we can be for our dogs. OneMind Dogs is such an adaptive and diverse method, with a variety of options and solutions for everyone. Handlers can adapt the core principles to suit any kind of dog, they just need to work with the dog’s individual response to the handling and adjust along the way, to make the method their own.
OneMind Dogs is a method that was created for dogs - by the dogs themselves. That includes dogs of any shape, size or breed. Any dog, from anywhere in the world, will instantly understand OneMind Dogs. For them, it simply makes sense.
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