Word From Belgium Wilfried Lüneberg Seminar - Part 2
By Michael Worrall
We had our first training day at our club after the seminar and I was anticipating what the reactions would be. When people have had a couple of days to sit back and absorb the events of the seminar, you can look at things more clearly.
The consensus was that Lüneberg is a "CRACK." Roughly translated, this means "the guy is superb at what he does." One of the most talked about aspects was his method of teaching his dogs the sit, down, and stand.
Lüneberg teaches the dog to do all his positions after five paces in motion: you have five paces heeling, and then comes the sit, down, or stand, depending on which exercise he is training. He always teaches all the exercises in their trial order: Sit, Down, Stand.
When the dog knows his positions confidently after five paces, Lüneberg increases this to ten. What you have then is the dog starting to anticipate the positions at five paces, but getting pressured to do the ten. When the dog finally gets the command for the sit, he is so happy! He "should" do a super fast sit to relieve the pressure that has been building on him because of having to do ten paces. Lüneberg stated that the dog should be glad he can do his sit. When he starts the exercise, the dog should be anticipating the impending sit. What he also does before the start of each separate exercise is to simply say to his dog, "Now it's the sit," "Now it's the down," and so on.
A few of the guys did not agree with this method. They believe that the dog should follow to the end of the field until the command comes, and should not anticipate anything. What I try to achieve is an environment where my dog knows what is coming, yet he still has to listen. I believe Lüneberg's ideas are pointed towards that competition ideal of 100 points.
Michael Worrall lives and works in Belgium. He regularly travels throughout Europe supplying sport dog equipment and takes full advantage of the opportunities to attend working trials and events across the continent. He is also a contributing author to USA Magazine. Copyright 1997 Michael Worrall.