The Gift of Safety

I was thinking recently about the role feeling safe plays in good training. How I want my dog to feel that no matter what choice they make, the worst thing that will happen is loss of reward. But what really is safety? What does that mean? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, safety is defined as: “freedom […]

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Stating the obvious, or are you?

Did you ever have a conversation with someone, and you thought you were talking about the same thing, and at some point, you realize you may not be? I always think of the credit card commercial with “Frog Protection” or is it “Fraud Protection”? Frog/fraud/frog/fraud, then they both agree they are talking about the same […]

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Strong Starts

Getting a strong start has been on my mind a lot recently, for many reasons. One is that it is so important, in any sport, to be able to start your performance with strong intent, from both you and your dog. In obedience this means walking into that ring and you and your dog are […]

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Go Treat Yourself Like a Dog Today

It’s those little tiny moves toward what we want in a behavior that we reward when shaping our dogs. So, they may go from nose touching a dumbbell, to slightly opening their mouths, we see that change toward what we want and we make note of it, reward it, letting the dog know we want […]

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Change Comes From the Inside

As I watched the young, 8 month old German Shepherd Dog spin and bark in its crate, I was wondering if there was any amount of money worth doing this at 9a.m. on a Sunday morning, it seemed like a good idea on a Tuesday afternoon, when I scheduled the lesson!   Once I covered the crate […]

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The Positive Proof

How can making something harder to do make it better? How can I challenge my dog’s understanding of what to do when distracted without discouraging them? I call it the positive proof, teaching your dog that they can gain reinforcement by fighting through the distraction. Here are some thoughts on proofing your dog in a […]

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Toothpicks in My Eyes

That’s how I feel as a trainer sometimes.  I have to put toothpicks in my eyes, like a cartoon character, so I don’t blink and miss something.  It’s those moments that you blink that you could miss exactly what you wanted to see. Seeing the animal’s behavior, what is actually happening as you train, is […]

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Getting The Strong Behavior You Want In Training

You know your dog “knows it”, right?  They know what you want them to do.  So you stand there waiting and they don’t do it.  Why?  Why won’t they heel or stand, or retrieve, when you have seen them do that behavior before?  Ahhhhhh, the great quest in dog training, behavior momentum!!  That is the […]

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