Hello Adrian, tell us about yourself and your life before getting into the dog world?
A. Hi, the year is 2020 and I’m 57 years old. I have a wife and three children; we live in Emerald in Victoria within the Dandenong Ranges. I’m a self-employed contractor to the flooring industry, a job I have done for most of my life.
In the year 2000, we decided to emigrate from the United Kingdom to Australia and have loved all of the 20 years to date, Australia offering a much nicer lifestyle and a good standard of living.
Q. You have been involved with dogs for a while, can you please tell us how and why you got involved?
A. I had dogs at home when I was growing up; my Mother always owned a variety of dogs. When I married, we had several Golden Retrievers. However, I still had a fascination for Rottweilers after seeing one in 1982, something about their mystique piqued my interest. In 2002 we purchased our first Rottweiler who we named Ben, on doing this, we joined the local obedience club as we were advised that training was a necessity with such a large dog. Along the way, I became very interested and keen about training and became an avid follower of Caesar Milan.
In 2010 I decided to complete the NDTF course to gain more knowledge of dog behaviour and training.
Q. Currently, you are competing with a German Shepherd. What makes you choose the German Shepherd?
A. The German Shepherd is my preference for the sport in which I compete. They have all the attributes and drives needed to be successful. I also find them very loyal are biddable and quick to learn.
Q. You also owned rottweilers, tell us about that.
A. Rottweilers are a beautiful dog but are misunderstood by the public. We have owned six in total, five males and one female; unfortunately, their life span can be very short due to certain illnesses!
They are actually a very versatile dog and can perform in all fields, from police dog to Seeing-eye dogs.
I have competed in ANKC trials with both make and female to a reasonable standard.
Q. Having been exposed to German Shepherds, your current dog is a male from Von Forell Kennels, what are your thoughts on Floyd?
A. Floyd is an exceptionally well-bred Dog from excellent and robust genetics. I would describe him as being a very vibrant animal and gives 100% of himself on the training ground. His drives are excellent, and the bond we share is second to none. Handling a dog of this nature is very educational as you must learn to read him!
Q. You are a member of the Melbourne Dog Sports Club. Tell us about your experience?
A. Being a member of the Melbourne Dog Sport club is a gratifying experience. We come together every Saturday and always have a super day. All members are working at a very high level with their dogs and get fully supported and helped by each other. We enjoy the success of all the dogs and handlers equally, and there is no room for Egos within our group!
Q. You recently competed in a competition. Tell us about your experience in training, preparations and the aftermath?
A. Yes, we recently competed in our first competition and have to say I really enjoyed the experience. Preparation was quite stressful trying to improve on all the little things to bring it all together, and there’s never enough time. It takes a significant effort and lots of extra time to get the repetitions in. After the trial, it is always nice to relax for a couple of weeks and just let the dog be a dog they need to rest, as do we.
Q. What improvements would you like to see in the Sport in Australia?
A. I’d like to see the sport sponsored and opened up to the public eye, so the image is enlightened and understood! Perfectly controlled animals under elevated levels of stimuli. Also, a better relationship between fellow clubs, thus leading to bigger and better trials, with one national champion per year.
Q. Due to your longevity in the dog world, have you noticed much change in the way of training?
A. Today’s training is vastly different from what it was, just 15/20 years ago. Understanding and modern systems have made coaching so much kinder on the animals, which is producing happy, driven dogs with a super desire to go to the behaviours asked of them. No more do we see tucked tails and sloppy exercises. It’s all about positivity and motivation!
Q. What about the public perception and understanding of dogs and their place in our community?
A. Ha, this is a complicated topic. People’s perception is very misguided and misunderstood, in my opinion. We have more badly behaved dogs than ever and dogs being PTS due to behaviour issues.
Q. Who are your mentors?
A. Initially, I followed Caesar Milan, but as my knowledge grew, I found people like Michael Ellis, Bart Bellon to be very inspirational. Later years kris Kotsopoulos has been my main mentor and has shown me how to truly train a dog and get the best possible results I can. I also follow Tobias Oleynik, Dave Kroyer, to name a few!
Q. How would you like to be remembered?
A. I don’t have an answer for this, I always treat my dogs well and make them shine where possible. So maybe for that!!
Q. Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
A. Only that, a dog is a dog and should be treated as such. Meet their needs, and they will give you as much as you want from them in return. Always be fair in any training and understand how they learn. I believe we only just understand their behaviour and there is much more to be learnt!!
Q. You feed your dog Performadog Ultra-Premium Food, what are your thoughts?
A. Floyd has been fed Performadog since a puppy so for the last 3 years. We find it to be excellent, a well researched balanced food containing all of the ingredients required for a health working dog.
Thank you, Adrian, for your time and we wish you well in 2020. We may revisit this interview some time into the future.
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