Almost everyone has their eye on what Germans are doing in agility. Somehow they seem to succeed extremely well in agility. One of the top German handlers is Tobias Wüst and we had a chance to ask him some questions about what he does to get to that level with so many different dogs.
Sometimes you have to make a detour to get to the destination
For Tobias, there seem to be no secrets to success: “It's funny that I'm always asked about my training secrets. I don’t think I have any. I’m a normal person and my dogs are normal too. Sometimes we may be a bit crazy though.”
But there seems to be something different in what he does, right? “Well, I think I can adapt well to different dogs. So I can train every dog as he needs it. Every dog is an individual and needs individual training as well. Sometimes you have to make detours to get to the destination.”
Tobias also thinks that focus is the key element to get results: “For me it’s always important not to lose sight of the goal.”
The most important qualities in an agility dog
When asked what qualities Tobias looks for in an agility dog, the list is clear: “I appreciate health, speed, a will to please, and good social behaviour. It’s not a coincidence that certain breeds, such as shelties and border collies, are so dominant in agility.”
But as we all know, buying a perfect puppy doesn’t guarantee anything in this sport. Tobias thinks that the most important skills to teach a puppy are the ability to learn, willingness to explore the environment and want to play together.
Always reflect your training
Verbal commands seem to be something almost everyone is working with at the moment. But what does Tobias think about that? “My dogs have 6 verbal commands in addition to the commands for obstacles: directions, out, tight turns, and work ahead.”
Tobias thinks that everyone makes mistakes in agility training. However, he says the most common mistake is to train too much. “Mistakes can’t be totally avoided, but one should constantly reflect what he’s doing, how and why.”
Don’t imitate - Ideas come from results
“During the last few years, agility has become more professional, and this development will continue also in the future.” Tobias thinks that at the same time many things will improve.
But where does a professional like himself get his ideas? “There are many great agility athletes, but I don’t imitate anyone. My ideas come from results.” Ok, NOW we’ve found the secret to his success ;)
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