Wednesday, 8 February 2012

interview with a pro: Maria Brandel

This month we will know more about Maria Brandel from Sweden. For those which are already involved in obedience this name is well known. She's a professional dog trainer and She has been at the top in FCI obedience and working trialslike searching, rescue and tracking for a long time and her young working kelpie Yllewas qualified for national championships in both tracking and
obedience when was only 2 years old. He also made the national obedienceteam. Maria won a Gold Medal at the IRO rescue World Championship held inAustria year 2000. She has also won 3 Swedish championships in searching.
Good reading :)

Maria and the warm up questions...

Favorite movie?

What sound or noise do you hate? 
Jazz(but my husband says that’s because of I never have heard good jazz live)

last time you opened the fridge / why?
I opened it all the time, I’m obsessed with food! Eating, cooking or just watching it!

Ok , I think is enough , let's be more serious and begin with the interview

Could you tell our readers a little about yourself (who are you,your dogs,...)
My name is Maria Brandel( prev Hagstrom) I live in Sweden together with my husband at a little farm on the countryside. I have two working kelpies, sheep and hens. My profession is acting as a trainer and instructor with courses and clinics for obedience, search and tracking dogs in Sweden and the rest of Europe. I do a lot of competions in obedience, tracking and hearding. I have been in the national team in searching, tracking, rescue and obedience. Right now me and my dog Ylle is in the national team in obedience. 2011 Ylle was the winner of the Swedish championship in obedience!

In 2000 you won the gold medal in the World Championship for IRO RH FL A (search for missing persons 1). What happened next , regarding to this category ?
After year 2000 it became impossible to transfer the dog abroad to some countries because of nation legal restrictions. Thus we couldn’t participate in the championship for some years. As a consequence I focused on national search championship. After my dog named »Kogårdens Bull« I have not practice rescue competions any more.

Tell me a little bit about your start in working with dogs?
I started at the local dog club with my first dog. I became interested, trained a lot and went on all the courses were. After a while I realized that there were lots of knowledge outside the club and continued to go on courses and training camps in Sweden and Norway. Then I met, of course, many others with the same interest in training and through the years we have continued to meet at camp and workouts. So is it just continued and I still think it is incredibly fun

Do you remember your first obedience competition?
Yes of course, with a Cocker Spaniel, It really was a fun time in my dog training career. I believe it was not a public sensation but I had an 8 in one exercise, and that made my day! Today my requirements are higher, so to say. From this very first day I learned a lot from every competition and most important I learned how important it is to make the dog love the games and the competitions.

Which competition remained more in your heart?
World championship in rescue 2000 was a high light. We, the Swedish team, did not know so much about the competition routines and rules, but we caught up as time went by... The very good result was a great positive – and happy - surprise for all of us.
The Swedish Championship in obedience 2011. We had two very good runs and on the finale day the rain was showing us deep wet, but even though Ylle was totally unaffected and we received 22 points more than the second best – the best advance anyone ever had in the Swedish championship.
The Swedish championship in searching which I won the first time with my first working kelpie Kim 1996. Winning the first championship was big!

When was established your "dog school" Skogsborgs Gård HB  , how It's all started?
I started to have some courses in parallel with my ordinary job and after a few years I had so many requests about courses and clinics I come to a point of decision have to proceed. At that time we bought a small farm giving the possibilities to run courses and clinics at home. And so it went on and my engagement develop in a very positive way.

How it makes you feel. How do you feel when one of your "students" wins a race or he puts in use one advice given him from you?
It’s of course very nice and gives me good experience in what works and what does not in the training. I really like to see people and their dogs develop in what they are doing!

Describe your typical training day
There is no typical training day, the training depends a lot of the season and if there are some competions in the period. My training is a mix of basictraining, details, chains and preparing for the competionenvironment. The most important everyday is to have the dog with me(in a mental way) and I want to see that the dog really likes what we are doing! I also want high quality in the training and a purpose of each exercise will lead us forward towards our goals! High quality and having fun is not a contradiction, it’s a prerequisite.
The dogs get a lot of physical exercise every day, mostly by walking and jogging in the woods were they can run free.

Which were and which are your favorite training moments?
I like all kind of dogtraining, but if I have to choose I’m very fond of basictraining and competiontraining. Basictraining creates a dog that is easily trained and the competitiontraining is collaboration between the dog and handler were both parts must do a good work for a good result.

Can you give our readers some tips that they should remember when training their dog?
Have fun and ensure that your dog has as much fun as you. Customize your training for your dogs individual circumstances. All dogs are different and you need to be expert on your dog. Listen to all advices but act according to your own conviction.

What advice would give to someone participating in their first competition?
Only one thing is important- really important! Give your dog a good experience of competition environment. For a young dog or a beginner the result is not very important but if your dog learns to love to act in front of a public- the future is very promising!

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I am focused and have a great deal of patience. I like to learn and think in new ways!
Sometimes I’m too careful and stick to the completely unnecessary details.

You are also the author of 2 books Från Valp Till Stjärna( From Puppy To Star) and Nosarbete (grazing Muzzles) . How do you feel in the role of a writer?
you have new projects in this area ?
I really like to write, it’s interesting to collect your experiences and put them down into words.
You have to think and really think about your training at a deeper level. It develops me as a trainer and as a coach!
This year I will write a book about competiontraining for the dog and the handler, one of my favourite subjects. Many people are good at training details but failure because they never learn the dog how to act in competionenvironments. This is a big and really interesting area in dogtraining.
And in a couple of weeks a film based on “from puppy to star” will be finished!

Others plans for the future?
In the beginning of mars my new puppy is ready to move to Skogsborg. It’s a working kelpie again and my old dog Ex is the father. I’m planning to film and write a lot at my blog about the development of the puppy and our training!

If you do not practice this sport what would you have done in your life
I really don’t know, probably obsessed by some other profession or hobby. Doing nothing is not me!

If you could go back in the time what would you change in your life?
Believe it or not but I can’t find anything to change, So fare I had a great life! And my years in the dogsports have been amazing; I have met nice people all over the world and have had so much fun!

What are your dogs favorite toys?
I don’t think they really care what we using for the moment, my dogs loves to play with me, whatever we use! If you ask them they probably say something else (haha)


Obedience training with a lot of distractions. Vallmyra Ylle working kelpie
by skogsborghund

Ylle SM 2009
by Yllejim

the photos are a courtesy of Maria Brandel


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