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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810 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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1658 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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893 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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1760 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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903 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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991 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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881 Hits

Searching Anywhere and Everywhere… The Key to Nosework Trial Preparation

The ability to search anywhere and everywhere begins with ROUTINE and VARIETY. The sheer range of areas that we get to search is part of what makes this the coolest sport in town.

In trialing, I've searched fairgrounds, stadiums, and even Victory Lane at the Chicagoland Speedway!

Every time we step to the line, it's something new, something different, and an entirely new and unique experience. That newness isn't just for us, but also for our dog. So how in the world do we prepare our dogs to search anything and everything?

The answer is ROUTINE and VARIETY.

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1600 Hits

E176: Julie Daniels - "Self Control for the Wild Child"

Julie Daniels is back — and we're balancing out last weeks chat on sensitive dogs with a talk this week about the wild child... and how to put the "good" in "crazy good." 

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1238 Hits

Discover the Fun of the Master Rally Class!

Are you a little intimidated by the master signs, with all those spins and sends?

There's no reason to be! Although some of the signs seem intimidating, most of the master signs are just building off skills that you already know from advanced and excellent. Many signs are simply chaining multiple advanced or excellent signs together, or adding some distance or speed. 

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718 Hits

E175: Sara Brueske - "Mondioring: Not Just for Bitey Dogs"

Sara comes on to talk about the new Mondioring Obedience title, which is open to all dogs — and what it takes to train for and compete in this exciting and unpredictable sport.

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1028 Hits

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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1361 Hits

E174: Helene Lawler - "Training Sensitive Dogs"

Have a dog that shuts down or checks out during training? Helene shares why this is overarousal, not low arousal as many handlers think — plus her 5 part approach to training sensitive dogs!

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1780 Hits

Virtual Titling in Rally: A Fun Opportunity!

The days of cancelled dog shows due to COVID-19 have led to several opportunities for virtual titling in various sports, including Rally.

Virtual trials can have so many advantages, so this is a really exciting opportunity! Some dogs can't compete at normal dog shows, and this is a great way to show off their skills. For dogs that struggle with reactivity, or severe ring stress, or ones who find the dog show atmosphere too distracting or scary, the virtual titling program is perfect. 

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1519 Hits

E173: Petra Ford - "Keeping Heeling Fun + New Puppies!"

Many dogs lose their enthusiasm for heeling once they begin to train patterns — we talk about keeping heeling fun, and Petra's new puppy!

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1384 Hits

Challenge Builds Commitment: A Nosework Case Study

What builds more intrinsic value for you? Something that you can achieve easily or something that you have to work for?

I did a poll recently and 75% of people leaned towards more challenging scenarios as builders of value. Of course there are modifiers, and for most people it isn't an either / or, however the trend was clearly in support of more challenge vs less.

In fact, Psychology supports this!

Achievement is tied to interest… which is associated with feel-good feelings. These feel good feelings also create a strong tie to memory and retention. While not a perfect comparison, we can extrapolate this to how our dog's feel when being trained.

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1427 Hits

E172: Michael Shikashio - "Resource Guarding, Aggression, and Reactivity"

Mike and I chat about all the projects he's working on right now — and the differing types of guarding, aggression, and reactivity that dogs exhibit.

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2079 Hits

How to do Hard Things

It's the end of June, which means we are now exactly halfway through the year. Do you remember, way back in January, when you set your goals and plans for 2020? Do you even recall what you intended to accomplish? It feels like 100 years ago, doesn't it?

So, how are those goals working out for you? All met? Knocked out of the park? Or have they been thrown under the bus?

If your hopes and dreams for the year have tire treads through them, you're in good company. For the past weeks and months, many of us have had to put some or even all of our plans on ice and just focus on staying safe, staying calm, and staying healthy.

As a result, it's tempting to just write off the year and hope that 2021 will be better. But we still have a solid six months to turn things around and accomplish things we'll be proud of.

Pause for a moment and pay attention to what your brain just whispered into your ear when you read that last sentence. Did it say "Hell yes! Let's do it!" Or did it toss out something like "What's the point?" or "It's too late now!"?

Take note of how you feel when you look forward to the rest of this year. If you feel tired, heavy, sad, or scared, it's going to be hard to find the motivation to do the work it takes to train your dog and achieve your goals.

Here's why: Your thoughts create your feelings, these feelings fuel your actions, and your actions produce your results. If you aren't achieving the results you seek, work your way back up the chain to figure out the weak link.

(Spoiler alert: It's always your thoughts.)

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1209 Hits

E171: Julie Daniels - "7 Days to a More Confident Dog"

How do you build confidence? Can you? Julie and I do a deep dive on the topic and talk about her upcoming workshop, starting this Sunday!

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1636 Hits

Fluency on Cue!

 Let's talk fluency. It's something we all strive for in our behaviors. Behaviors that are fluent are consistent, dependable and reliable. They have been generalized to various location and contexts. In short, the dog has the skill and confidence in the behavior, and we can count on the dog executing it to a high degree.

We not only need to have fluent behaviors; we also need fluent cues.

Whaaat!? There's a difference?

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1044 Hits