Dogs have assisted humans in hunting for sport since the Middle Ages. Today, many gun dog trainers are still using well-worn, ancient training techniques-traditional methods that often involve force and pain. As with any area of animal training, however, the impressive results of all-positive clicker training are clearing new territory.
In his day job, Attila Szkukalek is a biochemist in Norwich, England. In his private life he's a husband, father, and dog training instructor. To the rest of us, Attila with his dog, Fly, is the best freestyle trainer and performer on the planet-UK freestyle champions that perform regularly at Crufts and throughout Europe. Attila and Fly's performances are a powerful ambassador for reinforcement-based training. Attila is also one of the newest members of the ClickerExpo faculty. We spoke to Attila recently about his career, and his success.
Whether you know it as canine freestyle or heelwork to music—or you've never heard of this new dog sport at all—the time has come to dance with our dogs.
Q: My dog is responding slowly to the cue. How can I get a faster response?