“A dog is not a toy, he is a member of the family”

“A dog is not a toy, he is a member of the family”
Elisabeth Lobner with her husband Werner and the Dutch Shepherd Secondo.

Elisabeth Lobner’s love of dogs was passed on to her by her father. Her first dog was a Doberman. She later switched to the Dutch Shepherd breed. “I attended a tournament in Anthering and saw this breed. It really was love at first sight,” says Lobner. Nevertheless, she waited two years before getting a new dog. “I didn’t want to rush into anything and did a lot of research on the breed. I went to a lot of herding meetings. I was in contact with a lot of breeders,” says Lobner.

She did what she hadn’t done with her first dog – to find out more about the breed. “To be honest, I was stupid and naive and just got a dog. I was overwhelmed at times. That’s why I didn’t want to make that mistake with the next dog,” says Lobner. From her experience, she advises anyone who wants to get a dog to first find out everything they need to know about the breed they want. Everyone should also be aware that a dog needs a lot of attention and training. “A dog is not a toy that you can put aside when you don’t want it anymore. The animal is a member of the family and should be treated as such,” says the dog lover.

Surprising victory

She got into dog sports through her first herder, Ares. More by chance. “Ares was trained by the experienced dog trainer Reinhold Steingruber in Seekirchen. He saw Ares’ talent for protection dog sports and persuaded me to take part in the World Championship for Dutch Shepherds (IGP 1 World Championship) in 2016,” says Lobner with a smile. The duo returned from the tournament in the Czech Republic – much to her surprise – as winners. “To be honest, I never expected that. But Aris was simply my soul dog. We were a great team,” says Lobner, who later took sixth place with him at the World Championship (IGP 3). She was recently able to repeat the success from 2016 at the tournament in Halle (Germany). This time with her two-year-old secondo. “Again surprising, as it was our first big tournament,” says Lobner, who is competing for the ÖGV Ried-Eschlried dog school.

Lots of training

There is hard work behind Lobner and her four-legged friends’ success. After all, dogs and their owners have to perform as a team in the competitions. Every mistake, no matter how small, is punished. Daily training is therefore extremely important.

“I invest a lot of time in training my dog. Not because I’m obsessed with success, but because I just really enjoy training with him and teaching him things,” says Lobner. In addition to training, there are regular visits to the dog physiotherapist or swimming for variety. “Dog sports are competitive sports. I treat Secondo like a competitive athlete. Regeneration phases are therefore also part of it,” reports Lobner.

In the fall, she wants to take the IGP-3 test with Secondo and then take part in the World Championship for Dutch Shepherd Dogs. “Secondo has the potential to do this. But he is still a very young dog who has a lot to learn,” says Lobner.

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