E268: Sharon Carroll - "When Competition Performance Falls Apart"

Common advice is that a green dog just needs more ring experience but... is that really true? What's going on when a dog gets gradually worse the more they compete? Sharon and I talk about breaking that down and more!


Melissa Breau: This is Melissa Breau and you're listening to the Fenzi Dog Sports Podcast brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, an online school dedicated to providing high-quality instruction for competitive dog sports using only the most current and progressive training methods.

Today I have Sharon Carroll here with me to chat.

Hi Sharon, and welcome back to the podcast!

Sharon Carroll: Hi, Melissa. Thanks so much for having me back on. Super-excited to chat about this topic.

Melissa Breau: Me too. To start us out, do you want to just remind everybody a little about you, your current crew, and what you're working on with them?

Sharon Carroll: Sure. I'm a professional animal trainer. I have been for a bit over 30 years now. I have a bachelor's degree, a grad in captive vertebrate management, a master's in animal science, and I'm working on a Ph.D. in veterinary pharmacology.

As far as my crew, I have my 15-year-old papillon, Dodge. He spends a lot of time sleeping nowadays. I have Jerry, my 5-year-old apricot standard poodle. He has titles in obedience and rally, as well as TEAM and virtual tricks.

We have Vincent, who's nearly 3 years old now. He's my silver standard poodle. He just got his rally advanced title and just last weekend got his first ANKC trick title. The plan is for him to start competing in obedience and in nosework later in the year.

Kane is the baby. He's 11 months old now. That time went very fast. It's so quick. He's just having lots of fun and learning new things every day. He's playing around with obedience and rally and tricks and nosework, so I'm not sure what sport he'll start with, but it won't be for a while yet for him.

And then Stacy, our cat, which I never mention. I always talk about my dogs on the podcast. But Stacy, our cat, because I noticed you said pets today instead of dogs, so I was like, I'm going to introduce Stacy, our cat, who does an amazing job of just tolerating all our dogs.

So that's my crew.

Melissa Breau: It's an important job.

Sharon Carroll: Yeah.

Melissa Breau: I want to have you on to talk about that thing that happens to our training when we begin actively trialing a dog. When something goes wrong in the ring with a young dog or a green dog, it's not unusual to hear someone say, "That dog just needs more ring experience so he can become more confident." To start with, do dogs actually get more confident in a show environment the more that they compete?

Sharon Carroll: This depends a lot on the innate traits of the dog in terms of their inherent confidence and optimism and resilience. But it also has an awful lot to do with their feeling about being in the ring and exactly why something went wrong.

If the error in the ring was simply a mistake or a moment of split focus due to something that was not negative for the dog, but just resulted in a technical error so maybe requiring a second cue or something, then this might not have any impact on our dog's confidence the next time they enter a ring. However, if the error occurred due to split focus caused by the dog feeling uncomfortable in the ring, and that's the reason why they were slow to respond to our cue or why they missed our cue or performed the incorrect behavior, then just keeping on entering competitions without addressing that might lead to less and less confidence in the ring over subsequent performances or subsequent competitions.

To summarize that answer a little better, if our dog has a pleasant experience in the ring, and they feel like they were never out of their depth or concerned in any way, then yes, they can just get better and better with more exposure.

If they are not enjoying their time in the ring, though, and it is a negative experience for them, meaning that they feel a little bit lost or confused as to what they're supposed to be doing, or they feel uncomfortable or fearful due to aspects of the environment, for example, the judge being so close, or the presence of lots of unknown dogs and people, or unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, spatial pressure of the ring entrances or obstacles in the ring, a handler that's acting differently and so forth, or even the pressure of a nagging handler, so competing for the dog's attention when the dog is already over-stimulated by all the other things around them.

In this case, this negative experience in the ring can then go on to create preemptive avoidance behaviors like being unresponsive at the start peg or looking away from us or running off as soon as the leash is removed. These dogs will not just get better with more ring exposure. In fact, they likely will get progressively worse as they get quicker and quicker at identifying that this is the context where it starts to feel a bit icky for them.

So it really all has to do with how far they are being pushed out of their comfort zone and how they feel about their ability to cope and be successful in that environment. If they've only been stretched a little and they feel like they did okay, then that outing will contribute positively to future performance. But if they are stretched a little too far and they felt a bit flustered or unsafe, then that will not contribute in a positive way to future competitions.

Melissa Breau: Based on that, if you are in a ring first time with a novice dog and something goes wrong, what do you do in that moment?

Sharon Carroll: We need to rapidly ensure that the dog does not feel uncomfortable about the error, so we want to resolve the situation as quickly as possible for the dog. Don't leave them lost and confused and uncertain. For most dogs, those feelings aren't pleasant, but for some dogs, they are horrendously aversive feelings. So for those dogs, being left experiencing those feelings for too long will rapidly result in shutting down and/or performing escape behaviors, and will often lead to avoidant behaviors occurring ahead of time in the future.

Exactly how we deal with the issue in the ring in the moment is going to depend a lot on the sport and exactly what occurred. Some options might include rapidly giving a second cue or an extended cue, just to immediately help the dog to be successful. Withdrawing from the competition might be another option, so making a decision to just not push on it at all as soon as our dog appears uncomfortable or looks to be struggling. This helps our dog to realize that we are listening to them and that we are not going to place them in a situation where they don't feel like they're coping. It also reduces the chances of the negative feelings being paired to the competition environment, which may happen if those negative feelings are prolonged or severe. It's always best to prioritize our dog's long-term confidence over a short-term goal. For example, not wanting to lose points by giving that additional signal, that additional cue, or wanting to finish that class or get that title or something like that. Providing our dog's confidence remains intact, then there will always be another day or another competition.

Beyond these strategies, prevention is actually even better than having to solve an issue in the ring. Not all mistakes that occur in the ring can be prevented, but there are some key aspects that will prevent bigger issues developing. These include things like ensuring our dog is adequately prepared for the environment, so doing all our systematic exposure to all of the elements before we even head into a competition ring.

And also ensuring our dog is fluent at the skills that they will … fluent enough that they can still actually even perform those skills with some split focus or some extra-heightened arousal. If the skills are a little shaky and our dogs are not always nailing them in practice at home, then keeping on working on them there until they're really consistently accurate, and then gradually adding in some more stimulating environments.

Melissa Breau: You've got a webinar coming up next week when this comes out. Instead of getting more confident, when handlers see things begin to deteriorate the more that they compete, and the more they compete, the worse things seem to get — when that's the case, what are some of the signs that things are heading in the wrong direction? What are some of the things that we should be looking for if we go to competition one and competition two … when should we stop and be like, "I need to think about this"?

Sharon Carroll: Yeah, absolutely, and there definitely is a point for that. When we see an overall downward trend, that's a really important piece of information. It's extremely unlikely that this will suddenly turn itself around without identifying the specific issue and directly addressing it. Even when we say extreme inconsistency, that too should be a bit of a red flag for us and give us reason to really assess what is happening and why.

Often when I watch a team turn up in a competition and they're consistently struggling week after week, especially with a dog that looks very uncomfortable, I wonder why they just keep turning up without changing anything. But I think the answer often lies with the fact that the handler just doesn't know why the reduced performance is occurring, or maybe they just don't know what options are available for turning things around. And that's fair enough. It's a complicated situation, and the answers are just not always obvious.

The reason I get so concerned though, is that as a competitor and as a coach, I know how important confidence is. It is as precious as gold, and it certainly is easier to lose confidence than it is to gain confidence. Once a dog or handler loses a lot of confidence, it can be a really long and bumpy road back and it can feed into this downward spiral. Our dog struggles in the competition ring, then we start to enter the ring feeling less confident, then this can impact our emotions and our behavior. This can then further impact our dog, and on and on it goes. And it can be really hard to pull out of that sort of spiral without a very clear plan.

But just to clarify here, success does not refer to ribbons and titles. We can have lots of successes without those. Having a dog who is never in the placings is absolutely fine. There are a whole range of reasons that might occur and there are no problems with that. Both the handler and the dog can be having lots of fun in those instances. But having a dog who is rarely completing the task in competition, whatever sport that is, may require some objective assessment as to why. Even not completing the task still may be perfectly okay. Maybe you're at the highest levels of your sport, and of course it's meant to be challenging at that point, so completion is certainly not a given at that level.

The dogs we are really looking to help, though, when we're talking about this topic, are those who are not enjoying themselves. They are clearly looking uncomfortable, distracted, uncertain, or stressed. They may be showing some spillage of behaviors, like frenetic barking, or doing zoomies, or leaving the handler to escape the ring or visit the ring crew. Or they may be just shutting down, stalling, slowing, staring vacantly, being unresponsive to our cues, and so forth. These are the types of dogs that we need to be looking closer at.

Melissa Breau: How do you tell when things are actually getting worse versus "It was just a bad day," "It was just like a one-off mistake"? What are some things that maybe you say, "No, I should take this a little more seriously"?

Sharon Carroll: Mistakes happen. We make mistakes. Our dogs make mistakes. Mistakes are not a big issue. Of course, we always want to determine why the mistake occurred, and we don't want to see trends of consistently increasing numbers of errors, or the same error over and over again, because these might be indicators of a bigger issue.

Mostly, when it comes to errors in the ring, we really want to know how our dog felt before, during, and after the error. It's really about how a dog feels. Are they showing appeasement behaviors like jumping up on us? Are they showing displacement behaviors like wandering off sniffing, self-grooming, scratching. Do they appear avoidant? Are they just not looking at us and not responding to us? Seeing any of these behaviors when we ask our dog to set up for an exercise is another red flag to watch out for. Or a big change in our dog between the time outside the ring and the moment they enter the ring. That's another big warning sign that our dog's not feeling positive about the experience.

As far as mistakes go, though, I would say that if you are seeing the same issue occurring at home and in competition, then it's probably a foundational issue, something to do with a lack of understanding, and ideally that needs to be broken down into pieces at home and resolved there. Mostly, though, when we see errors occurring in the ring that are not occurring in the practice training of that same exercise or activity, then we can almost always put that down to the impact of the environment or changed arousal levels, neither of which will be fixed by just going home and practicing that exercise more.

Instead, in these cases, we need to work out exactly what the cause is. Maybe it's arousal that's in excess of optimal arousal, and that's making it difficult for the dog to think clearly and perform complex tasks. Maybe there's discomfort in the competition space. Maybe there's distraction caused by stimuli in the environment that are just too interesting, and there hasn't been enough training to allow a dog to continue to work and ignore those distractions. So firstly it's about working out exactly why the mistake happened, and that will help us to determine whether we need to make some changes or if it's just a one-off mistake that we can pretty much ignore.

Melissa Breau: Let's say we're seeing a trend. Maybe a dog started off strong, they did pretty well their first few times in the ring, but gradually things seem to be getting worse. The first time went well, the second time went well, maybe the third time we saw some mistakes, the fourth time got a little worse. What's going on there? What could going wrong?

Sharon Carroll: Common issues are going to be related to the increased duration of the time in the ring, either the number of behaviors that have been put together, so the training time without treats or toys, time without talking in some sports, talking to our dog, extended time of physical activity, extended time of mental focus. So a lot of it has to do with the fact that we often have increased duration in the ring compared to what we've done maybe in practice, if we haven't thought about that aspect.

The other thing is the significant difference between the usual training environment and the competition environment, so the increased noises, sights, smells, closeness of people and dogs, number of people and dogs, etc.

But there are some key areas that can influence a downward trend. Those three are the number of times in competition. That's one aspect. We see a dog like you're saying, they're okay the first time, the second time not so good, third time a little bit less, they started to work out what it's all about and it's all disintegrating a bit.

It can be, though, that we see this happen as dogs move up the levels. They're quite good at the lower levels, quite successful at the lower levels, and then, as they move up, then we start to see some deterioration in behavior, in performance, deterioration in performance at those higher levels, whereas that was a very successful dog at the lower levels.

The other thing to influence this is age. The developmental stages and maturity can have an impact.

So if we just look at those three and just look at a couple of key parts of each, if we're talking about a dog that's just progressively getting worse over the number of times in the ring, then often it's because we've missed some changes in behavior, some of those subtle changes in behavior, where the dog is showing us they're a little uncomfortable, they're a little stressed. We've missed that entirely, and so they're just getting bigger and bigger. Those behaviors are just becoming more evident. That's one thing that can be happening.

It can be that we've stopped giving treats in the ring without a planned and systematic preparation for that. That's another reason why we'll see that just happen over several outings.

Also it could just be that we didn't prepare the dog for the mental stamina that's required to maintain engagement and focus for extended periods. Or we haven't adequately conditioned the dog, and hence they're experiencing physical fatigue over this competition experience.

So in all of those cases, what we're really seeing is a dog that, for one reason or another, any of those reasons, they're physically struggling a bit, mentally struggling a little bit, or changes in reinforcement. All of those things, as the dog goes out more and more and more, they start to realize that this is the environment where those things happen. This is the environment where they feel uncomfortable. And that's why we get that progressive deterioration over the number of outings.

Whereas if we look at issues associated with moving up the levels in competition, that can be because the tasks themselves get longer. The time in the ring gets longer, the number of behaviors gets longer, and that can be a problem for our reinforcement-to-effort ratio.

It can be that the tasks become more complex and that's the reason we're seeing problems, because we need to have better arousal management. When a dog is performing very simple tasks, the optimal arousal zone is quite wide. But as we get to the more complex tasks, that window is very narrow, the optimal arousal. So we have to be better at arousal control to get more complex tasks successfully.

It can be that there's just a greater potential for errors in the higher levels. And if a dog is not comfortable with errors, if we have not done enough to make the dog comfortable with errors, then we can see that in the higher levels and not have seen it in the lower levels. Some sports just require entirely different skills and traits at the higher level.

Obedience is a prime example where we spend all this time at the lower level with the dog very close to us, and then all of a sudden, at the higher levels, the dog is being sent away on go-outs, it's sent away to do the scent articles, sent away to do the seek back. All of this independent thinking as needed, and that's a very different skill. That can be a reason why we see a dog that was successful at the low levels and not at the high levels.

It can be because a handler changes a bit. Maybe the handler's skills are getting stretched more at that higher level, so they're not as available to help their dog. Or it could just mean more to them at the higher level, so the handler is becoming more emotional. Or it can just be environmental changes, so more objects and obstacles. Agility, nosework, rally — we just get a more cluttered arena as we move up the levels.

And then looking at the last one, issues associated with developmental stages and maturity, a lot of people just sort of rule this one out. They don't appreciate the effect it can have. But often when the dog fully matures, they're quite a different dog to what they were through the earlier part of their life. And so we can see things like their independence level, which of course varies from dog to dog, but it develops with age and that can affect performance.

Our dog's understanding of the concept of choice develops over time. We can have a dog that we spent all this time pointing out to them that they have choice, and then, when they start to demonstrate that choice to us, we're not as keen on the idea of choice. That is something that happens as they go through to social maturity, or as they develop over time.

But also reactivity issues often become more apparent with maturity, especially when driven by something other than fear or prey drive. This increased need for hyper-vigilance for potential triggers may pull focus away from the handler in the task, and/or just the reactive responses themselves might become problematic, like lunging at dogs or not wanting unfamiliar people nearby. And, of course, learning also occurs over this whole time frame, and that will influence our dog's responses to situations, as well as their overall confidence and resilience. So there's lots to consider when looking at deteriorating performances.

Melissa Breau: You mentioned reducing reinforcement in there a couple of times, this idea of how reducing the amount of treats the dog is getting for the work, the work-to-effort ratio, that kind of stuff, contributes to some of this. Can you talk about just how reducing reinforcement as part of the training you have to do for the competition ring contributes to all that? Does it tend to lead toward deteriorating competition performances?

Sharon Carroll: I think it's right up there with one of the top reasons for a lot of people. But it's often not that our dogs won't work for that amount of time without treats or toys; it's just that the strategies needed to do that haven't been effectively implemented.

I often hear people say that their dog knows there won't be treats available in the ring, and that's why the work falls apart, but it's really not that simple. Sometimes the dog is genuinely confused at the lack of treats because they haven't practiced working for so long without treats. They get worried because some things feel really different to them all of a sudden, and then they start to become avoidant of the ring because they felt uncomfortable in there the last time because suddenly these treats were missing. But it's not actually about the missing treats. It's about the fact that it's so foreign to them.

But even just starting the process of delayed reinforcement is complex. There's so many pieces to how we go about putting treats and toy access onto an intermittent schedule. It's really not as simple as it may seem. There's a lot of science behind it. The science behind intermittent schedules is what drives a lot of human behavior. Buy six cups of coffee and you get one free — that's a fixed ratio schedule. Studying for weekly exams — that's a fixed interval schedule. Having someone buy a lottery ticket or sit down at a slot machine and push a button in the hopes of a reward — that's a variable ratio schedule.

The more we know about why intermittent schedules work, the better equipped we are to effectively train towards no access to treats and toys in the competition ring. Now obviously, I'm not saying that continuous schedules are not effective. They absolutely are. But unfortunately, we can't use them in a lot of our sports. Obviously, we need our dogs on those continuous schedules of reinforcement during the learning phase of new behaviors. This is proven to be the most effective schedule for rapid learning. But after the behavior is established, then if we are in a sport where toys and treats are not going to be able to be used in the ring, then we absolutely need to move on to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement, and we have to be clever about it. We need to carefully build that ratio of effort-to-reward and we need to maintain that unpredictability.

Now, of course, if you're working with a high-energy dog, this is less of an issue, because they don't find the work physically taxing. They deem most things to be physically low effort, and they often find work that involves movement to be intrinsically reinforcing. If the behavior itself is considered low effort and has properties that are intrinsically reinforcing, then our toys and treats play a much smaller role in maintaining the behavior. Still important for learning a new behavior, but not so important for maintaining the behavior.

Also if you're working with a high-drive dog, or a dog who is passionate about the sport they're doing, then again the work itself is perceived as low effort by the dog and is intrinsically reinforcing. In these cases, it's not truly our toys and treats that drive or maintain that behavior. Sure, the dog enjoys them; they're not going to knock them back. But the true reinforcer is elsewhere.

But not all of us are working with these types of dogs. Some of us are working with dogs where it is our rewards that truly drive and maintain the performance of the behaviors. For us, we have to be really smart about how we use our toys and treats and how we get onto that intermittent schedule of reinforcement.

I'm not going to say that it's easy. I have one dog who absolutely works purely for the treats. He's a low-energy dog, and although he's very happy and comfortable doing everything we do together, he is very clear that he does not find the work intrinsically reinforcing. He does the work to make me happy and to receive the praise and the treats. This means I have to be acutely aware of how I train towards working for long periods without access to treats.

So anyway, suffice to say, in this upcoming webinar we will be talking a lot about reinforcement, and the various different intermittent schedules, and precisely how to go about having our dog compete without access to those toys and treats.

Melissa Breau: Is there any way to tell before beginning to compete with the dog that they may fall into that category of likely to struggle over time?

Sharon Carroll: The answer here is yes and no. It really depends on why a dog is struggling. If we know we have a dog who struggles with new environments, or struggles with unfamiliar dogs and people nearby, then we can predict issues, if we haven't adequately prepared them.

If we know we have a dog who is easily over-stimulated and can easily be distracted from us and the task, then again we can predict issues at competition, if we haven't put all the work into helping them develop the skills they need in order to remain engaged and focused in a challenging space.

If we know the exercises themselves are not super-solid yet in practice, then we absolutely can predict that once we add the addition of a potentially arousing and interesting environment, then we will likely have some issues.

If we're in a sport where treats and toys are not allowed, and we know that in practice training we can't get through the whole routine successfully with a happy and confident dog without our toys or treats, then again we can absolutely predict that our dog is going to struggle in competition, and that we are setting them up to deteriorate further and further, the more competitions we enter without adequately addressing moving onto that intermittent schedule of reinforcement in training and building it all the way through to being able to practice for the full duration without the use of toys or treats.

So in some cases, yes, we can predict issues, but that doesn't mean that we still can't be surprised at times by a reaction we totally weren't expecting from our dog.

Melissa Breau: Are there things that we can do in training, before we ever step in the ring with our dog, to prevent some of this or at least prepare for it?

Sharon Carroll: Yeah, there definitely is. Ensure our dogs know the skills really well. Ensure they're prepared for all aspects of the competition environment. Always prepare in excess of requirements. If you know the judge is going to walk within two meters of your dog, then train all the way down to one meter. If you know the stays are going to be a one-minute stay, then train in excess of that. If you know you need approximately five minutes' worth of behaviors without toys and treats, then train for five-and-a-half minutes.

Another important piece is to plan ahead. Know how you're going to enter the ring. Know how you're going to go from exercise to exercise. Practice the pieces you might need, such as sitting in heel in an engaged way while the judge talks to you. Know what you will do if your dog is in the ring with you and there's a delay. You're in the ring and something happens, like suddenly realize they haven't put the jump to the right height or something, and you're stuck in there in the ring with your dog. How are you going to entertain them? Are you going to bend down and pet them? Are you going to do some fun tricks? Are they going to sit in a well-rehearsed formal heel? The actual way you deal with a delay is going to be dog-dependent, but you need to have a plan ahead of time, and you need to have practiced for it so that your dog isn't confused or uncomfortable if you need to implement it. Also know what you're going to do if things go wrong. Have a plan for what are you going to do if suddenly the dog is looking uncomfortable. What's your plan? Planning ahead of time is a really, really important part of having successful outings.

Melissa Breau: If somebody is listening to all of this and going, "Man, that's my dog. What now?" What's your advice? What would you say?

Sharon Carroll: My advice would be to sign up for the webinar next week. I think there's going to be something in there for you. But beyond that, I would say, listen to what your dog is telling you. If things are deteriorating, then your dog is probably not having fun, and it is unlikely that you're having fun at that point, either.

Keeping on exposing our dog to a competition setting when their performances are deteriorating, without resolving the cause of the issue, it's extremely unlikely to improve the situation. And unfortunately, it has a high likelihood of causing further deterioration, and ultimately the potential for big avoidance behaviors, which can be a long road back from that sort of situation. So instead, take the time to work out exactly what is causing the issue, and then just start working directly on that.

Melissa Breau: Gotcha. Speaking of the webinar, do you want to share a little more about what it will cover or won't cover or whatever, and anything else you've got coming up on the schedule?

Sharon Carroll: In the webinar, we're going to talk in more detail about the same things we talked about here today. We talk about the reasons deterioration might happen. We talk a bit about split focus and reduced ability to think, and why difficulty processing or responding to cues occurs in those situations, and also exactly what behaviors we might see from dogs who are struggling with this.

We talk a lot about reinforcement, not surprisingly, and the different schedules, and the reward-to-effort ratio, and how behaviors can be used as reinforcers, and exactly how we go about moving onto that intermittent schedule in an effective way, so literally a bit of a step-by-step on how we do that. And we talk about the impact deteriorating performances can have on the handler, and some strategies to address this, because that's quite important. It can have a real impact on the handler.

I really think the information in this webinar is just as valuable as a preventative as it is for helping people to find a way forward once there is a problem. So really it should appeal to anyone who's even contemplating competing at some point.

As far as what else I have coming up on the schedule, I have my class called Training and Competing the Sensitive Dog coming up in a few weeks on the first of June, and then, the term after that, I have my class called Working with Reactive and Hyper-aroused Dogs. And then there's another couple of webinars in the pipeline, but I don't even have titles or dates for them as yet, so I can't even talk about them.

Melissa Breau: Fair enough. To round things out with one last question, if we were to drill things down into one key piece of information or a takeaway you really want people to walk away from this or understand, what would that be?

Sharon Carroll: I always dread this final question, Melissa, because I'm just so not good at summaries. I'm not a summary person. Let's see if I can come up with a useful take-home message here. So here goes. Repeat exposure alone will not automatically improve a dog's feelings about a situation. We can't just objectively decide that the competition environment is safe and fun, and that our dog would just realize that if only they would just keep turning up to the ring, they would work that out.

Our dog's perception is the only thing that matters, and we need to do whatever it takes to ensure that our dog feels safe and feels confident and comfortable while at a competition. The only way we can do that is to adequately prepare them and then closely monitor them at the competition and respond rapidly as soon as we notice any signs that they are struggling.

That was pretty good. That wasn't too much. That was pretty short for me. That was pretty good.

Melissa Breau: Yeah, it was a real summary. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Sharon. This was excellent.

Sharon Carroll: Thanks so much for having me on the podcast again, Melissa. I really appreciate it.

Melissa Breau: Tons of information. Thanks to all of our listeners for tuning in! We'll be back next week with Amy Cook to talk about the science behind her system for dealing with reactivity and her process for helping sound-sensitive dogs.

If you haven't already, subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the podcast app of your choice to have our next episode automatically downloaded to your phone as soon as it becomes available.


Today's show is brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Special thanks to Denise Fenzi for supporting this podcast. Music provided royalty-free by BenSound.com; the track featured here is called "Buddy." Audio editing provided by Chris Lang.

Thanks again for tuning in — and happy training!


Today's show is brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Special thanks to Denise Fenzi for supporting this podcast. Music provided royalty-free by BenSound.com; the track featured here is called "Buddy." Audio editing provided by Chris Lang.

Thanks again for tuning in -- and happy training! 

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