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How to make high drive dogs performance safer during the hot months

 By Olga Baram, Certified Canine Athlete Specialist

The focus of this article is mostly on how to achieve best performance in IGP in the hot months ahead while keeping our dogs as comfortable as possible and safe from overheating. And by the way, not just in the summer.  Our high drive dogs with big hearts often give it all and don't pace themselves, especially in protection, and it is possible for their bodies to overheat even in winter months as well...

I feel strongly about injury prevention and safety for our dogs, so I will briefly list the basics here as well, since refreshing never hurts, yet let's hope we all already know not to leave our dogs in the cars in the sun with the windows rolled up or the AC running with cars out of sight.  It is heartbreaking how many k9's are lost every year because of engine failures and the handlers realizing it when it's too late....  Dogs overheating can lead to a stroke, permanent damage and even...

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Babying your Dog VS Using the Leader of the pack approach

Uncategorized Mar 22, 2020
“My dog doesn’t listen to me, because I’m too soft with him”.
“My vet told me that a Malinois needs a firm hand”.
“He sleeps in my bed. I know, I shouldn’t baby him like this”
“I can’t be harsh with him, so he does whatever he wants”
“I know, I have to dominate him to calm him down”.
These are authentic quotes from some of our clients struggling with their disobedient dogs. Such conversations always make me wonder how people perceive the way to get a well-behaved companion and make me realize the extent of misconceptions about babying the dogs.
Do you know, why your dog is disobedient? I do, although I don’t know him. It is as simple, as it gets: most probably your dog doesn’t understand what you want. Now,...
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Supplements for IGP dogs during pre-trial and trial season

nutrition supplements Mar 02, 2020

I am often asked what I feed my dogs and what I do to keep my dog in such a great shape.  During pre-trial and trial season he glows and shows off his shiny coat and muscle definition. The truth is, a lot of it is genetics, and a lot is exercise along with raw diet 90 percent of the time and the appropriate supplements according to his needs which of course vary at different times.  He doesn't look this way all year around, we don't train the same and nor do I supplement the same during our "off" and "maintenance" periods. 

Supplements... Always a controversial topic, and rightfully so. Most professionals don't like to recommend particular brands, to avoid being blamed later because every dog may respond differently.  That is a smart move on their end, yet I decided to be brave enough to share what I have found to work for us over the last couple of years.  Please only take if for what this is - my opinion based on my quest for finding best...

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0 to 100 or how we went BH-IGP1-IGP2-IGP3 in under a year

competition Dec 12, 2019


Just a little over 2 years ago I brought my little Bravo home from Kentucky.  It was a long trip with 7 hours at the terminal, the flight, and a 4 hour drive through the night after... We never stopped the traveling and he simply doesn't know it any other way!


D&C’s Bravo IGP 3...98-86-95 today HIT alternate breed at the USRC IGP 2019 Nationals!

This dog!!! We went in just under a year through a BH, IGP 1, IGP2 and IGP3!!! And he is only 2 years old!!! Proudly walking in his dad Scooter’s footsteps.  

What a ride and what a journey!!! We are still on high cloud with so many friends and acquaintances from all over the world congratulating us on our great results and my hard work.  So many are asking how we did it.  I am thrilled with this beginning and I continue to work on getting better to keep up with my big guy and...

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How sport specific conditioning will improve your IGP performance and reduce the injury risk

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Nick Vannerom of Dog Runner about different breeds in IGP and Sport Conditioning



15 x World Championship Competitor
7 x National Champion IGP
5 x  National Vice Champion IGP
Trainer, Handler, Decoy and Coach
Seminar Worldwide
DogRunner Treadmills
Involved in IGP for 30 years

I met Nick a little less than 2 years ago, during his first visit to NY.  Super soft spoken, and calm, working dog after dog, and taking a long time to quietly speak to each handler.  Then protection started, and Nick, still focused and composed with the handlers, connected with the dogs on a different level.  It seemed when he worked them, they literally got on the same frequency, and spoke one language…The whole demeanor of that weekend was all about the dogs, not always the immediate results, but always dogs’ well-being in mind, and the joy of having a relationship and spending time together training.  Since then, we talked a lot about the working dogs attributes, the maintenance and “off switch”, drives,...

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IGP Warm-up for beginner dogs


Do you know what minimizes the risk of injuries and improves your dog's performance on the field?  Just like the human athletes, they need a proper warm-up.  It increases their heart rate and warms up the muscles. And, when it's sport specific, it actually warms up "the right muscles" , those same ones that will be used most during your training session or the trial routine!  

Way too often, I watch handlers hang on the sidelines, wait for their turn, go to the car to get the dog ready and... They put on the gear, and take it for a walk to the nearest tree!!!  Can you even imagine a serious athlete not warming up or stretching?  All you need is 5-10 minutes TOTAL, including putting on the gear and  a bathroom break, to prepare your dog properly, and to get him engaged and happy to work with you.  I keep my warm-ups fun so focus and excitement become a natural part of the game!

I want to share this short video I made this winter,...

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10 Components of a Balanced Canine Conditioning Program

Uncategorized Jul 05, 2019
By Starmark Animal Behavior Center, Inc. 

Conditioning the Canine Athlete 

The body of a canine athlete should be physically toned to enable him to perform and excel in whatever sport or task required of him. Though all dogs need daily exercise, ones who regularly work or perform need a more expansive exercise regimen to maintain top physical form. Physical conditioning involves not only exercise, but also stretching, and warm-up and cool-down exercises. Most dogs do not exercise themselves with peak conditioning in mind, so it is important to make exercise part of your dog’s daily routine to maintain top body form. 

Before beginning any exercise program with your canine athlete, have your veterinarian perform a full health check to detect any physical problems that could be aggravated by the activity. Extra weight means extra stress on bones and joints, so make certain your dog is at his ideal weight before leading into activities that may be too...

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Tracking Expert - Q&A with Bernd Föry (English Version)

Uncategorized May 24, 2019

Interview by Patricia Pehrsson of IQDogsport



Bernd Föry is one of the most renowned tracking experts in Europe and worldwide. He took the time to talk to us. 

A light question first: what was the funniest thing that happened to you in connection with tracking?
I have more than one funny story to tell. But let me tell you one of my favorites: Giving a private class, I asked the handler to hold her dog’s eyes closed after indicating an article. We didn't want the dog to see the food we put down on the track that he would get for starting on the track again.

We had done this many times. One day she rewarded her dog for indicating the article. No further action from her end. „Don’t you remember?“ The handler looked at me guilty, pulled out some food out of the pocket and the next thing I notice: she’s closing her own eyes with her hand ..

One of the most difficult problems you encountered...

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