I just completed a 2 day course at the Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers in California. Michael is a truly gifted trainer who teaches reward based motivational training for all dogs of all disciplines, including protection sports (his sport of choice.) I have a 4 year old, black lab who was trained utilizing Michael's training techniques; he is highly motivated and mutil-talented in dog sports (agility, dock diving, nosework, field training and bite work).
Michael recently acquired two black lab pups who he will be rearing to complete a field training DVD utilizing motivational reward based training demonstrating all the standard field drills. From what I understand there will be no traditional pressure based force fetch methods - purely motivational reward based training. It will include force to water, force to pile, etc... Before anyone begins the discussion that field training cannot be reliable without pressure, please be aware that Michael is a 4 quadrant trainer and does utilize adverse methods. However, his foundation work is reward based and this is where he will begin the DVD.
I am incredibly excited to see Michael's evolution into field training. The retriever world will be a better place with his teaching techniques.
For those who are unfamiliar with Michael Ellis here is a link to his training philosophy.
Tanya and Enzo
San Jose, California