E195: Julie Symons, Stacy Barnett, & Melissa Chandler - The New Nosework TEAM Titling Program

On Dec. 8th FDSA will launch a brand new Nosework titling program as part of the TEAM titling options! Today we have Melissa, Julie, and Stacy on to talk about the program and what you can expect!

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79 Hits

Nosework for Puppies: Puppy Superstars, Nosework Style!

You don't have to be raising the next Nosework Star to get massive benefit from a little Puppy Nosework. In fact, you don't need to be interested in searching at all! However, if you play some of these Nosework games with your puppy, your puppy will really reap the rewards!

We all want puppies who are comfortable in the environment and eager and focused on their task, right? And what about empowerment and problem solving? Or perhaps a puppy who is comfortable interacting with the environment and enthusiastic for our food rewards? Does all of this sound good? Of course it does!

Let's explore some of those benefits! And then let's talk about how you can get your puppy started TODAY!

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871 Hits

E194: Sharon Carroll - Fear, anxiety, or something else?

Sharon Carroll comes back on the podcast to talk about what we know about the psychological issues possible in dogs — and some of what we can do about them.

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583 Hits

Making training a hard habit to break

It's been a strange year to say the least....Many of us found that in trying to deal with the day to day stress of living in the year 2020 our motivation to train has suffered.

I did not train at all yesterday. Though that's not all that unusual. I often skip days and find that my dogs, based on their desire to train after a day (or more!) benefit from the break as well.

But go too long and it can be hard to get back on track and find the mojo that kept us motivated. It's easy to get a little sidetracked on your behavior goals when your normal day to day life is disrupted. 

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1093 Hits

E193: Laura Waudby - "Reduce Reinforcement & Enhance Fluency"

Do you struggle with getting ready for competition or with reducing reinforcement in training? You're in luck! That's what Laura and I chat about in today's episode.

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529 Hits

How to Get Perfect Position Changes

Position changes are super important in both obedience and rally! Your dog needs to do position changes both in heel position (without going wide) and in front of you (without creeping in). Platforms can help teach your dog both of those concepts!

The position changes are sit, down, and stand. Your dog should be able to do these in any order — in other words a sit to down, down to sit, stand to down, stand to sit, sit to stand, and down to stand.

You'll need a platform large enough for your dog to stand and lay down on. It doesn't need to be as narrow as a sit platform, since some dogs like to stand with their rear legs a bit wider than the front legs. It can even be something like an agility table, as long as your dog can lay down on it.

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847 Hits

E192: Helene Lawler - Loopy Listening

You may have heard of Loopy Training, but have you heard of loopy listening? Helene and I talk about why loopy training is making waves and what she means by loopy listening!

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625 Hits

Using Restrained Release to Teach a "Go To Target" Behavior

I love shaping as much as the next trainer — but I occasionally come across a dog who does better with luring and prompting (including my own young dog, Levi). So I combined a few concepts I've seen elsewhere and used what I'm calling "Restrained Release" to teach him a targeting behavior.

What concepts? 

Well, I'm making use of opposition reflex here in much the same way we often do when teaching a restrained recall — holding the dog back and encouraging them to pull forward leads to a naturally dynamic and enthusiastic behavior. I'm also using a location specific marker ("Get it" means food out on the floor) and combining those things with the visual prompt of the food being consistently delivered on the target. 

This is the method I typically use when starting a new dog in Treibball, since it's quick and it builds an interest in searching out the target that can then carry over nicely to going out and around a ball to find their target even when they can't see it.

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946 Hits

E191: Julie Flanery - "How do I train that?"

How do YOU choose which technique(s) you'll use for a particular behavior? We do a deep dive into that question with Julie Flanery in this week's podcast.

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951 Hits

Improving Your Heeling the Easy Way!!

Does your dog heel wide? Does he forge or sit crooked? Is she wrapping around your body? It's likely that your reward placement has contributed to these problems!

Heeling is such a complicated behavior. Pair that with the fact that dogs want to go where the rewards come from, and you can have a mess on your hands pretty quickly!

When I help my students with heeling troubleshooting, so often the fix, or at least part of it, is changing the reward placement. It's pretty incredible what a change this can make!

Many people hold treats in their right hands, and they reward by reaching across the front of their bodies and treating the dog, either from the right hand or by passing it to the left. Generally when I see people give the dog the treat, it's being delivered with the dog's head wrapped in front of the handler's left leg. Reward this way a few dozen times, and you'll see your dog wrapping and forging in order to get closer to where those treats are coming from!

Another common way to reward the dog for heeling is by spitting food. Sounds like a great way to teach the dog attention, right? Here's the problem - in order for the dog to see your face, he has to forge and wrap.

You can see how rewarding this way can set up the dog for some issues, yet most people aren't even aware that they are doing it! Thankfully, it's a simple fix that can make a big difference!

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1380 Hits

E190: Kamal Fernandez - The Building Blocks of A Dog's Life

Kamal and I talk about proactive socialization for lockdown, life, and longevity — including how to tailor socialization to the dog in front of you, and why socialization isn't a one-size-fits-all process.

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1239 Hits

Play with Dogs: Play for Everyone!

I think playing with dogs is a really good idea.

When people play with their dogs, they like them better. They smile more. Their dogs start to look towards them more easily and frequently.

In short – it's just nice. It's nice for people and it's nice for dogs.

So. How does one play with a dog?

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1711 Hits

E189: Denise Fenzi - "From Partner to Friend: Conversations with Raika"

Befriending a dog is a special gift — in this weeks podcast, Denise and I talk about her latest book, which takes readers through the journey of exactly how special that friendship can be.

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864 Hits

25 Dog Training Books by Fenzi Dog Sports Instructors (and where to buy them)

​Stuck at home and looking for new ways to expand your dog training knowledge? Or maybe you're a Fenzi fan looking for more from your favorite instructors... either way, this list is for you. In it, I share a full list of books from our various instructors! And we'll plan to come back and update it, so if you want to bookmark it and check back in later, you can. 

Books are organized alphabetically by author last name, and each book includes a bit of a summary and where you can find it, so you can click straight through to go shopping! 

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1973 Hits

E188: Kevin Ringstaff - "Dealing with the Loss of a Pet"

Pet Grief Counselor Kevin Ringstaff joins Melissa to talk about the inevitable, and how to find support when it happens.

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1224 Hits

Trainer Persistence and Problem Solving: Training Dogs to Enter the House Politely!

One of my dogs has a rather unfortunate habit. Lyra comes into the house from the yard like a demented bat out of hell, with both of my other dogs after her in hot pursuit.

The results are an impressive combination of screaming, careening into walls and a generic cacophony of noise and energy that is rivaled by few. The mayhem lasts for about a minute or two, at which point the edge is off, and we go back to a more normal situation – only to be repeated the next time the dogs come in from the yard.

I have put up with this behavior for some time now. Not because I like it, but because it usually happens when I'm most vested in my work and I don't want to stop to train dogs. Since I have not addressed this issue and you get what you give, I get…bedlam.

Recently I decided I'd had enough, so I decided to solve the problem. 

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1688 Hits

E187: Melissa Breau - "A Little Bit of Background..."

Today we flip the script — Sara Seymour comes on the podcast to interview Melissa. We talk treibball, marketing, and more!

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497 Hits

Building a Breathtaking Back Up!

Whenever the Back Up 3 Steps appears on the course map at rally trials, collective groans echo through the Excellent crowd. Against a wall, the back up is great, but take away that wall or gate and everything goes south.

The good news is, you can have a beautiful back up! This process is how I teach the back. If you break this skill down, you will build a breathtaking back up in just a short amount of time!

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2373 Hits

E186: Lori Stevens - "Fitness Foundations"

Lori Stevens joined me this week to talk about how to get started in fitness and the benefits of fitness — not just for our dogs, but also in terms of improving their handlers' skills.

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419 Hits

What to expect at an Obedience Trial

Starting a new sport is exciting. Entering your first trial can be a little frightening. Everything is new and you don't know what to expect. The more information you have ahead of time the better you will feel. Here is a little guide on how to prepare for your first obedience trial and how things run once you get there.

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1387 Hits