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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4107 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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1358 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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  3062 Hits
3062 Hits

E185: Petra Ford - "What goes into heelwork?"

Ever wondered what it takes for your dog to accomplish beautiful heads up heeling? Petra and I talk about the conditioning and body awareness work she does to achieve that picture for her dogs!

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3311 Hits

What You Need to Know to Enter an Agility Trial

Are you thinking about entering an agility trial as a new exhibitor and not sure what to expect? This post will help you:

  • Find agility trials,
  • Understand what needs to be addressed to prepare for competing,
  • Learn the procedure for entering,
  • Explain the procedure after you enter,
  • Understand what a typical competition day looks like,
  • Learn how COVID-19 has affected the trials.

This post focuses on AKC agility. But there are also many other organizations you can check out if they are in your area. Each organization has different classes, strategies, goals, and ways of doing things. There is something for everyone out there! 

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4941 Hits

E184: Shade Whitesel - "The Importance of Toy Skills for Sports Dogs"

Why are toy skills important? What does having them look like — and what can it help you accomplish? Shade and I talk about those things and more in today's interview! 

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2436 Hits

The Cooperative Care Certificate Program is Here!

It's here! It's finally here! After countless hours of effort and angst, I have a new thing to show the dog training world. And of course, now I have even more angst about whether or not the training world will love my new thing as much as I do! When you create something out of thin air you become quite protective and attached. It's time to let go now though and share the Cooperative Care Certificate Program, developed and maintained in partnership with Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.

Check it out at www.cooperativecarecertificate.com

The Cooperative Care Certificate is a virtual video titling program for dog owners and trainers. People who are interested in earning the certificate will train 10 essential husbandry exercises to a passing level. The essential exercises are 1) chin rest, 2) lie on side, 3) restraint, 4) wearing a muzzle, 5) handling feet & nails, 6) handling mouth & teeth, 7) medications, 8) injections & blood draws, 9) eye exams, and 10) ear exams. . . That covers a LOT of ground! In addition, there are 3 levels of increasing challenge for each exercise. 

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3614 Hits

E183: Amy Cook - "Teaching Your Dog How to Feel"

Amy and I talk about what it means to have a well adjusted dog — plus handling situations where maybe your dog isn't acting particularly well-adjusted.

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  3527 Hits
3527 Hits

Get in the Rally Ring - How to Enter a Rally Trial and What to Expect When You Get There

If you've never entered a rally trial before, it can be a bit overwhelming! In this blog I'll lay out the steps for entering a trial and knowing what to expect when you walk in the door.

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3394 Hits

E182: Deb Jones - "New Virtual Titling Program for Cooperative Care"

Originally a student suggestion, today Deb is launching her new virtual titling certificate program for Cooperative Care! Check out the program at: cooperativecarecertificate.com!

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2380 Hits

What it means to own a dog

Think about this for a minute. What it is to have a dog, another species, for a friend? A companion who will be there with you, day after day, asking little more than something to eat and a safe place to live.

I can take my dog's leash off and know that she'll return to me. She will chase critters, smell good smells, snack on fresh grass or play ball, but always with an eye on me. When she is done with her most current adventure, we'll go home together.

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  3093 Hits
3093 Hits

E181: Andy Hartman - "The USDAA@Home Program"

 Today I chat with Andy Hartman from USDAA about the organizations new program for video titling — USDAA@Home.

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2665 Hits

What to expect at a Nosework Trial

The hardest thing about any dog sport is getting started! Once you have found a Nosework class and have practiced your skills you likely have been bitten by the dog sport bug and are ready to enter a trial. What do you do next??!

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5406 Hits

E180: Getting to Know the New FDSA Alumni Moderator Team

Today we have on the new FDSA Moderators to chat a bit about their backgrounds and get to know them a bit more!

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1566 Hits

Socialization: A Positive Parent’s Guide to Raising and Training Dogs and Puppies

I am often asked how we should socialize our dogs so that they will grow up as well adjusted as possible.I think the answer is both simple and intuitive: The same way you socialize your small children.

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  3083 Hits
3083 Hits

E179: Barbara Lloyd - Living with Canine PTSD

Barbara Lloyd joins me this week to share her story, including that of her dog Didi who had a tragic start to life, but who has now traveled and competes with Barbara!  

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1621 Hits

Cuing Turns in Agility

When you go to agility classes, or seminars, you will always hear people talking about TIMING. This is a word that comes up in all levels of agility. From novice through World Team competitions. The ELUSIVE TIMING.

I have found that telling a student they are LATE can help them, but I like to pinpoint exactly what is late.

Which is why I drew up with the following diagrams to describe the cues for Extension and Collection.

Let's start with EXTENSION. Extension is the dog not having to make a turn. This can be different for big versus little dogs, so I have included both in diagrams.

Below is a diagram of typical extension for a BIG DOG. Imagine you are looking at two jumps from the side (so the vertical black lines are the two jumps).

The RED LINE is the dog's stride.

  • The dog takes jump 1 (first jump on the left) and then lands off 1.
  • Takes one stride between 1 and 2 (the jump on the right).
  • Then takes off for jump 2, which is the 3rd red line.
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3495 Hits

E178: We're All On a Journey - FDSA Training Assistant Interviews

Several of the FDSA Training Assistants join me to share their stories, tips for making it all the way through a class as a bronze or silver student, and more! 

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2254 Hits

Delightful Downs for Rally and Obedience

The down seems like such a simple behavior, but your dog's ability to be able to swiftly and smoothly down will save you points in the rally or obedience ring. You'll want to make sure your dog knows how to down from a sit and from a stand on a verbal cue only.

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1972 Hits

E177: Heather Lawson - "Life Skills for Performance Dogs"

The amount of time we spend in the competition ring pales to the time we spend living life with our dogs — so don't forget to work those important life skills with your performance dogs!

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  1828 Hits
1828 Hits

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