This year saw the IFR world championship held in the German town of Rottweil. The winner of the competition was Greta Marani and her rottweiler Balu vom Turnleberg.
Greta Marani & Balu vom Turnleberg
Firstly congratulations on winning the IFR again – this is in my opinion to most prestigious rottweiler award – how does it feel to be a two time world champion?
Thanks very much for this interview, I am very happy and honored!! The First time was great but in Germany is incredible. The victory of this year in Germany, in the home of the Rottweiler, has given me a great satisfaction; more than the victory of the last year in Italy.
When did you first start training in IPO and how did you start in this field of endeavour? I started 8 years ago with Mobidick Del Cavaliere Nero was my first Rottweiler with training IPO. With him I have done IPO 3 in Italy Champion Rottweiler, and then I have bought Balu vom Turnleberg. Balu is my second dog for training.
Do you have any dog training experience other than IPO? I have experience only for IPO and with these 2 dogs.
Have you always had rottweilers as your preferred breed, if yes, why? If no, What other breeds did you have and how do you compare those to rottweilers? Yes, I have had only Rottweiler. I have started with them and they have conquered my heart.
Did you start with Balu vom Turnleberg as a puppy? Why did you select him? What did you see in him as a puppy? Is Balu your only dog? Yes, Balu was a puppy. I have always puppy dogs bought. I have not selected him. Balu was the last puppy and I wanted a Max vom Turnleberg son. I have 4 Rottweiler dogs, Asia 12 years old, Mobidick 9 years old, Balu 5 years old and Gufo 1 year old.
Balu seems a very strong dog on the working field, how is he to live with at home and in a social context? Balu is wonderful. In the normal life he is harmless, he is well behaved and I love that.
Have you been a student of the rottweiler bloodlines? If not how did you decide on buying a vom Turnleberg rottweiler? I have studied the Rottweiler bloodlines and I contacted some German Breeders. I love immediately the Turnleberg bloodlines and I want a Turnleberg dog. So I wrote to Mr. Weber and I met him and his lovely Family.
How often do you train your dog (i.e. per week/per day)? Which club do you train with? Do you seek training assistance anywhere else to prepare your dog or only with your club? Normal I train now with Balu 2 time for week, but when we have a competition 3 times for week. I train with a Professional Trainer. Mr. Angelo Taddei is my director of Obedience and Protection.
Greta and her coach Angelo
Which parts of the IPO syllabus do your train more often? Which do you start first with your dog? Do you prefer one over the other? When Balu must learned we trained Obedience and Protection 3 times for week, now 1 time obedience and 2 time protection. We make tracking Saturday and Sunday morning with Giuseppe Soprani (he is 3 Time World Champion of Doberman). I like obedience; here you can see the feeling with you and your dog.
What type of training methods do you prefer to use for your rottweiler? Is there any that you would not recommend? In obedience when the dog is a puppy I used the food, after I prefer the ball, now there are the new magnet’s ball and it is perfect! In tracking always food. In protection the work is for dog and helper. I can’t say what type of training methods is best, because I am not a trainer; I have to try to build up always with my dogs a super feeling.
Balu in the protection phase
Do you make environmental socialising and habituation a specific exercise or does it occur as part of the dogs’ normal life with you? I have walked in the park, in the market, in every time to meet people and other dogs. I think that the dog is as a kind, the dog must to have a good education and he must know what is possible to do or what is not possible to do.
Can you tell us a little about the months leading up to the IFR; are there any special preparations that you make? No, I have make normal training.
Can you tell us about the IFR event and how it was for you and your Balu? Last year was my first IFR and I was quiet, never had I thought that I won it. This year I was nervous, I would liked my title to keep. But in Germany was not easy. Now I am very proud of me and of my Balu!
What are your plans for Balu now? Is there anything about Balu and his character that you would prefer to change or alter in some way? What are your plans personally for the future? Now Balu is in relax for 1 month, in March we have Italy Championship. I have my young Gufo and I am training with him. I love my Balu for that he is, I have learned from him that you need not a super dog, but important are the feeling with you and your dog. I think that Balu do all only for me.
Do you now receive many enquiries for Balu as a stud dog? I hope, Balu is really a good dog, not only for sport but he is a dog for everyone in the social life. His mind is clean.
What is your view of the modern rottweiler and the current state of the breed? The Rottweiler is a dog of work and I hope to stay so.
Is there anything you would like to see change in the rottweiler world today? This year in Germany for IFR I have seen good dogs and good preparation. I have confidence in the breed!
Greta and Balu on the move!
Greta, you also competed at the FCI World Championships, how did that go? A great experience! The FCI is really strong and incredible! At first I am happy for this chance, and I must thanks the management group of FCI, IFR and Rottweiler Club Italy, that they gave me the opportunity to participate at FCI. I think that in the overall we have made a good competition. We have had some trouble, but we have finished the competition.
How did the level of competition compare to the IFR? In the FCI there are the Best People and the Best Professionals of the training World. The level of competition is very high grade. The stadium is huge and the distance from you and your dog are big. The stress is big, here you have 4 days of competition, and you are always in match.
Were there any other rottweilers at this competition? No, I was only I and Balu! We were Wild Card, only the World Champion of Rottweiler, Doberman, Boxer take a part of FCI. The rest is made up of Malinois and German Shepherds.
Do you think that the rottweiler can compete against the smaller, faster breeds that seem to dominate this FCI competition? I think that a good Rottweiler with a very perfect grounding can make a good competition. Rottweiler is fast, strong, powerful, agile, dominant and combative in protection, there is all for a good competition!!!
Which of these two prestigious competitions give you the most satisfaction? We are Champion for Rottweiler, this is for me the best, and we are the best for my beloved breed. The FCI was for me an honorable experience and the Rottweiler can do well this competition.
Greta, thank you very much for taking the time to complete this interview for us, I really appreciate it and hope that sometime in the near future we will meet in person. Good Luck for the future!!