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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1959 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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  2262 Hits
2262 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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  3031 Hits
3031 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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  1877 Hits
1877 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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  2487 Hits
2487 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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2065 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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  1858 Hits
1858 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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  1662 Hits
1662 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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  2215 Hits
2215 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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1674 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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3245 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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1142 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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  2363 Hits
2363 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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  1134 Hits
1134 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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2349 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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1337 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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1319 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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1239 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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1990 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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  1573 Hits
1573 Hits

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