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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  1960 Hits
1960 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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  1334 Hits
1334 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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  2542 Hits
2542 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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  988 Hits
988 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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  1985 Hits
1985 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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  1009 Hits
1009 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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  1959 Hits
1959 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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  1051 Hits
1051 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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  1126 Hits
1126 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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1029 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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  1744 Hits
1744 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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  1366 Hits
1366 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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  869 Hits
869 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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  1333 Hits
1333 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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  1624 Hits
1624 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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1954 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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  1782 Hits
1782 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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1611 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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  1677 Hits
1677 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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  2635 Hits
2635 Hits

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