E229: Barbara Currier - "School of Fish: Raising a Performance Puppy"

Wondering where to start with your performance puppy? Barbara Currier shares her take after 25 years of raising performance puppies! 

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  1158 Hits
1158 Hits

Position Changes Out in Front: Exploring the Sit

Teaching your dog to sit seems so simple until you start thinking about the different ways a dog can sit. There is a stand to sit and a down to sit. In either of those position changes, the dog can either plant his front end or his rear end.

When I'm thinking about teaching my dog position changes, I try to think about the final behavior. If you do obedience or rally, you will need to teach your dog sit in front and in heel. Exercises that include a sit in front of you are the signal exercise, command discrimination, and several higher-level rally exercises. You'll see a sit in heel much more often, such as during heeling patterns and command discrimination.

Let's talk about how to teach the sit position!

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  1994 Hits
1994 Hits

E228: Sharon Carroll - "Behavior Mod for Reactive & Hyper-Aroused Dogs"

Sharon joins me to talk about her 10-step process for working with reactive and hyper-around dogs through Offered Durational Engagement. 

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  2305 Hits
2305 Hits

Building resilience: effort, reward, and coping with stress

Stress resilience is the ability to effectively respond to stress. In humans, higher levels of stress resilience are associated with decreased susceptibility to mental health disorders. Poor stress resilience is associated with mental and physical health concerns and decreased quality of life.

Basically, stress resilience is key to living a good life.

Dogs that have better stress resilience will be happier - and therefore less likely to develop behavior issues. This is all well and good, but is this something we actually have the ability to change? As more and more research comes out on this topic, the answer is increasingly becoming "yes"!

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  2320 Hits
2320 Hits

E227: Deb Jones - "Wizard in Training: Bringing Home a Puppy"

Deb recently brought home the newest member of her household... a koolie puppy named Wizard! Today we talk about what she's been working on since bringing him home and how she approaches building a relationship with a new puppy! 

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  957 Hits
957 Hits

Introducing a Cat to a Dog: With A Step by Step Training Plan

A few weeks ago, I did something bonkers. I decided to get a cat. That might not seem so strange until you realize that I live with a dog who kills things. Breezy is a 9 yr. old husky x border collie. He has killed birds, rodents and rabbits. He would have LOVED to add 'cat' to that list.

Historically, Breezy has been totally unable to function cognitively with a cat in the vicinity: lights on, no-one home. He couldn't eat, take treats or respond to his name. When we have stayed with friends who have cats it has taken at least 24 hrs before he could be distracted from trying to access them. Even when he could be distracted he went right back to hunting as soon as he could. With a couple of near misses out and about, cats were BIG on his radar!

So why the dickens did I want a cat? Well, I wanted to train another species. So, in a fit of impulsiveness, Speck, the 12-week- old kitten, arrived. I'm pleased and relieved to be able to say it has been a total success.

Here's how I did it... 

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  2459 Hits
2459 Hits

E226: Ryan Cartlidge - "Overcoming the Us vs. Them Mindset in Dog Training"

In this episode, Ryan and I talk about the idea of overcoming differences in mindset and training, having difficult conversations, and building better relationships for it!  

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  1152 Hits
1152 Hits

The benefits of appropriate challenge for our dogs

We talk about enrichment in the dog world all the time. How important is it, really? It turns out that it's very important! In fact, the very definition of enrichment states that it improves animal welfare and wellbeing. Today I am going to focus on the topic of cognitive enrichment, which Clark defines as "an appropriate cognitive challenge [that] results in measurable beneficial changes to well-being" (Clark, 2011).

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  2151 Hits
2151 Hits

E225: Jessica Hekman, PhD - "Where will the good dogs come from?"

The state of the rescue world and the breeding fancy have changed significantly in the last 50 years... Dr. Hekman and I chat about what those changes are, and what they mean for pet and sports dogs in the future.  

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  1634 Hits
1634 Hits

Ripples and Bubbles: FDSA Training Camp Welcome Lecture 2016

This post is a transcript of Denise's camp talk from 2016 that inspired the "ripples and bubbles" in the current FDSA logo.

DENISE FENZI: The theme of this year's conference is "Ripples and Bubbles" and since some people in here are probably relatively new to FDSA, I'd like to take a moment to talk about what that means. And for those who know all about ripples, I'd like to talk about ways to expand our circle of people who might be interested in some of our ideas.

At FDSA, we often talk about ripples.

Ripples are about your ability to create change, a tiny bit at a time. So how might one go about doing that?

The basic idea of "ripple theory" is that each positive action or decision you make has the potential to influence other's actions or decisions. And when those little spheres of influence go out into the world, they can become a very significant force, just one tiny ripple at a time. Significant change often start with the tiniest of things — just a ripple.

For example, when you go somewhere and you model excellence in training or emotional connection with your dog, others will see that. When you do what is right for your dog even when it hurts you personally, like pulling out of a show when it becomes obvious that your dog is miserable – others see that too. And kindness to people matters just as much! When you take an extra minute to help someone, anyone else who chooses to watch that interaction also recognizes your kindness.

As the example I just used demonstrates, when we talk about ripples we are often talking about modeling change. Showing others how you train your dog and interact with people, in an effort to influence their behavior. But I'd like to spend a few minutes talking about how you can expand your ability to ripple – to influence others – simply by considering how you choose to make other people feel, in addition to the ripples created by the behaviors which you model.

In a nutshell, if you can positively affect a person's happy emotions, then that also gives you the possibility of influencing that person's beliefs. And if that is true, then every single person in this room possesses the capacity for positive change at a very fundamental level.

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  1207 Hits
1207 Hits

E224: Nancy Tucker - Redefining Your Walks with Your Dog

Nancy shares how she's redefining the way we all think of our walks with our dogs... and why it matters 

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  1537 Hits
1537 Hits

The Science of Multiple Markers (and the concepts associated with them)

Why use multiple markers?

For our dog to select the appropriate behavior for a given cue or context, their brain needs to have established associations among sensory stimuli, selected behaviors, and rewards. In training scenarios, typically the rewards are treats, toys, personal play, or a behavior the dog enjoys, and we associate these with the specific behavior/s we desire.

One part of the brain plays an important role in learning such stimulus-action-reward (antecedent-behavior-consequence) associations. However, another part of the brain is focused on reward-prediction error.

So, what is reward prediction error (RPE)?

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  2644 Hits
2644 Hits

E223: Kathy Sdao - "Living a LIMA Life"

In this episode Kathy and I talk about the "LIMA Being" project, and the key to a really good cue.  

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  2432 Hits
2432 Hits

Could Play Post-Training Help Improve What Your Dog Learned?

We put a lot of sweat and tears (hopefully no blood!) into training our dogs. So, we want to make sure they retain as much learning as possible between sessions. 

Both sleep and positive emotional states have been shown to enhance mental performance and memory in dogs when they occur immediately after learning a new task. Research also shows that emotional arousal can enhance memory. 

We often think of this occurring in conjunction with negative events—such as September 11th. But can it happen with strong positive emotions as well?

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  1691 Hits
1691 Hits

E222: Julie Symons - "Getting into Nosework"

Julie and I chat about some of the key questions nosework newbies need to know, and what it takes to prep for competition — plus, how and where to look for novel search environments! 

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  1265 Hits
1265 Hits

Master the Moving Stand in Obedience and Rally!

There are several ways you can teach your dog a moving stand. One way that tends to work well is using a front foot target.

I start by warming up the dog on the front foot target. In order to use this training method, your dog will need to have value for going to and staying on the target.

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  1587 Hits
1587 Hits

E221: Nancy Gagliardi Little - "What it takes to learn agility"

Learning agility and having the skills to be able to learn agility well are two separate things! In this cast, Nancy and I talk about the critical but often overlooked skills dogs need to be able to learn and compete in agility. 

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  1394 Hits
1394 Hits

Does your dog have a bum knee?

Bum Knees – no matter how you slice it – anyone involved in dogs either directly knows or has owned a dog that has had a 'bum' knee. The bum knee may be due to cranial cruciate injuries or the dreaded 'ACL', patella luxation, or a growth-related issue. Some dogs are prone to knee injuries – they may be straight in the rear, be a small breed, or a large breed with a predisposition for knee problems.

Any time there is a problem with the knee, or any joint, the process of inflammation and pain begins. This will subsequently lead to loss of strength and motion. The loss of strength and motion leads to more inflammation and pain. This cycle will lead to osteoarthritis. 

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  1061 Hits
1061 Hits

E220: Amy Johnson - "Ready to Shoot the Dog?"

Amy and I talk about what it takes to get great photos of our canine companions — we cover tips for photographer and subject alike! 

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  1131 Hits
1131 Hits

Understanding Fear in Dogs

The emotion of fear, and the associated fear response, are both completely normal components of any healthy animal. All dogs will show a fear response at some point in their life. It is particularly common to see fear responses in puppies and young dogs, as they learn about novel objects and situations.

A true fear response is a response focused on one or more specific and present stimuli. 

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  4515 Hits
4515 Hits

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