Moc Klinkam Photos courtesy of the Northern Working Dogs Association DVG
"Well, it's over!" exclaimed Kenai Schutzhund Club President John Fielden. Schutzhund pro Dean Calderon, fondly christened the "Mad Man" by Fielden, wrapped up his seminar in beautiful Kenai, Alaska the weekend of July 11-13. "He rode us hard, and put us away wet. Literally!" claimed an exhausted Fielden. It seems that the land of the midnight sun played havoc with Dean's inner clock. Each day of the seminar, participants worked their dogs from 9AM to midnight. The weather was typically Alaskan, with a few surprises. With renowned northern hardiness, the participants shrugged it off. "The last day was tracking," John reports, "and with the last five dogs, it downpoured."
Attending members of DVG club Northern Working Dogs Association receive instruction.
"We needed that seminar bad," Fielden notes. To underscore that need, club members and visitors from throughout the region brought 26 dog teams to the protection phase of the seminar, 28 to obedience, and 19 to tracking. 26 people showed up from around the state and Canada, truly making it an international event. The Canadian was a SAR team from Whitehorse, Yukon, the handler a certified member of CARDS (Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dogs). The seminar was also attended by an SAR team from Fairbanks, a Border Collie team with ASAR (Alaska Search Rescue). Eight members from the Anchorage DVG Club, and two members from Kenai's sister club, Hundesport in Anchorage, also attended.
Dean demonstrating drive through agression with Panter.
The club officially videotaped the entire seminar from start to finish. That's 44 hours of training, starting at 9 AM Friday and ending at 11:30 PM Sunday. We have to agree with John when he says, "You figure it out -- that's a lot of training in a short time!"
John Fielden observing Dean in "neutralizing" Kaiser to the handler.
Fielden dropped Dean off at the airport at 11:00 AST. After working tirelessly to pull together a seminar of this depth and calibre in the upper corner of the country, Fielden had some mixed emotions as he bade farewell to Calderon. "On the one hand, I really wanted him to continue," John laments. "But I needed to get some sleep soon!"
At last report, John is retrieving some of that elusive snooze, and a remarkable number of sport dog enthusiasts have returned to their clubs and their homes in the northern reaches with good memories and enhanced skills wrought from what is typically a training marathon presented by master trainer Dean Calderon.
With the level of enthusiasm and support for high-level training evidenced by the Kenai Club's commitment to tap into top-notch resources like Calderon, this is a club well on its way to becoming a center point for quality training and competitive teams.
Be sure to visit the Kenai Schutzhund Club's home page.