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Sandrina Deo about Trinidad & Tobagos events in January 2024

RSVglobal Trinidad and Tobago hosted a Schutzhund trial themed Be the Legend on January 7th 2024 and I, Sandrina Deo, the youngest member of our club was asked by Dr. Helmut Raiser (Chairman of RSVglobal) to write a report entailing my personal thoughts on the events that took place. During the days leading up to the trial, there was a series of seminars in which Dr. Raiser discussed the topics of obedience,  protection and tracking on days one and two, as well as decoy/helper work on the third day. 

Theory and the colors explained

On days one and two, Dr. Raiser taught the participants about the different drives that help in the mechanics of developing a great sport dog. He used colors instead of the actual terms to make it easier and faster for his students to understand. Some of which included: 

  1. orange (open)- this is when you create a free state of mind for the dog so that he feels comfortable and happy whenever the exercise begins to go downhill. 
  2. green (prey/appetence)- the desire to work for something, for example, the desire a wolf would have to chase, kill and eat a rabbit when it is hungry. 
  3. grey (aggression)- this is where the dog is in a state of mind which allows him to protect himself against possible threats and the intensity of his behavior and dominance. 
  4. red (mating)- the desire the dog has to reproduce. 
  5. blue- this is a very wide spectrum that describes a behavior from flight which is a response to decide whether to run away or at the end of the other spectrum if the dog can attack and defend himself. However in the blue phase based on what is done by the handler, the dog must be somewhat submissive and calm and must be patient to wait for the next exercise. It is designed as a means of control where the dog understands that whatever happens next is determined by their handler. It is meant to control the green and grey in particular. 

Practical work and developing of skills

In addition to the theory that was taught, Dr. Raiser did practical work with several dogs in which he showed us participants the change in drives of the dogs. It was an honor to watch the master at work, the way in which he worked each dog and his ability to read the behaviors of them and immediately know how to better the training of the dogs. 

On the third day which entailed the decoy/helper workshop, Dr. Raiser taught us the basics/foundation of becoming a good training decoy. The theory consisted of the changing of drives in the dogs and the work we learned in the previous seminars which he used to teach us how to read the behaviors of the dog and how to implement it in our training in preparation for the protection phase of a schutzhund trial. The practical work for this part of the seminar was intense but enjoyable. Dr. Raiser demonstrated some of the techniques that he uses in his training and worked with each participant to help us develop these skills as well. 

The trial day – Be the legend

On the trial day itself, many participants were successful in achieving titles while some were disqualified. Based on what I have observed, Dr. Raiser takes his role as a judge seriously and fairly. 

Over the course of the series of events, I was able to witness my comrades Josh Bachan, Stephen Bethelmy and Theron Compton (who were guided by Chairman of RSVglobal Trinidad and Tobago Mr. Roger Barkley and Og-Laz Mr. Mark Chin Aleong) achieve their Schutzhund 1 title. It was truly a moment that will go down in history because their dogs were bred and trained locally here in Trinidad and Tobago. 

In conclusion, it was a great honor to have met and learned from Dr. Helmut Raiser. He left me with two gifts; the first of which is knowledge, the greatest gift anyone can receive, and secondly the encouragement to power through the ups and downs of training and politics of dog sport in order to pursue my talent/passion and hopes of my comrades and I standing on the world championship field beside him one day.

Sandrina Deo
RSVglobal Trinidad & Tobago