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Meet Peter

 Weekend dog shows had always been a part of my life, and at 15 my father, Paul DeRycke Master Trainer in the System of Ghent, said to me “Son, I was 15 when I started” and from there, I set out on becoming a Master Trainer under the wing and guidance of my mentor, my Dad.

As I trained with my dad, guidance, body language and attitude were all a part of becoming familiar with the European way of training. Things were not done overnight, as some of the training in North America thought it should be. Competitive Training at Bolshoy was and still is non-existent. As time passed and my knowledge grew, I was amazed at what was taught to me as common sense techniques, were now looked upon as “How did he do that?”

Time passed, and in 1994 we published our training guide “From Heel to Finish; The System of Ghent for the Nineties." Dad’s health was starting to slow him down and he would now spend his Sunday mornings watching me conduct classes from the deck overlooking the training grounds. When class was over, there would be a pat on the back and “you should have moved more on this dog”, or “how do you think that dog did today?” Then, that one Sunday came and my father said to me “I can’t find fault in any of your techniques anymore, how does it feel to be a Master Trainer?”

With a hug, a kiss and a cold beer, I said, “Thanks Dad, I won’t let you down” and I like to think that to this day, I’ve kept my word.

Since then, classes are still held on Sunday mornings, although the equipment is better and the dogs are different, the System of Ghent is as it was, when my father stood in the small, walled courtyard in Belgium, watching and learning.

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Dog giving a high five

Peter DeRycke

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