E305: Shade Whitesel - Raising A Pushy Puppy

There's raising a puppy... and then there is raising a pushy, drivey sports dog puppy. In this episode Shade and I talk about her experience raising bitey breeds and what she recommends for raising these puppies in a way that brings out their best selves for life and sports. 

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  1178 Hits
1178 Hits

Props for Precise Fronts!

Why would you want to use props to teach front? Because, used PROPerly, they can make your life a lot easier! Keep reading to find out why I love using props to teach fronts!

In my opinion, it's easier to fade a prop than it is to fade extraneous body movements and cues. Trying to show your dog where "front" is with treats and your hands isn't easy!

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  1917 Hits
1917 Hits

E304: Petra Ford - Confidence for the Obedience Dog

Being able to successfully compete in obedience requires a dog who has a confident understanding of each skill and exercise. In this episode Petra and I do a deep dive, talking through what, why and how to build confidence for training and the ring! 

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  1586 Hits
1586 Hits

E303: Deb Jones, PhD - Grief, Focus, and Negative Reinforcement

Deb and I chat about her latest book, currently running workshop, and upcoming webinar... and yes, it really is possible to build better focus in just 7 days.

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  1476 Hits
1476 Hits

E302: Diamond in the Ruff: Loving and Living with Sensitive Dogs

Living with and loving a sensitive dog comes with pros and cons, lessons and blessings. This week Hélène Lawler, Barbara Lloyd, Amy Cook, PhD, and Dresden Graff joined me to talk all about sensitive dogs.  

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  1651 Hits
1651 Hits

E301: Chris Zink, DVM - "What Your Dog's Gait Can Tell You"

Why is trotting the most important gait to teach your dog? Dr. Chris Zink and I talk about why understanding gaiting is critical for the dog sports handler. 

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  2057 Hits
2057 Hits

6 Dog Training Vests: An FDSA Student's Honest Review

 I am always looking for a good vest for dog training. Ideally, I love it when I can find a vest that can hold all my things without needing to rely on additional clothing pockets, backpacks, treat pouches, fanny packs, etc. I also personally have great danes, so most of my gear (lotus ball, toys, volume of treats) is super-sized.

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  15405 Hits
15405 Hits

E300: Mari Valgma - Teaching Your Dog to Move"

Sometimes dogs totally grasp our criteria - they just can't do the thing we're asking at speed. Mari and I talk about how she works with dogs to teach them to use their bodies more skillfully... and therefore more quickly in sports like agility! 

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  2964 Hits
2964 Hits

6 “Magic” Dog Training Tricks

Recently I posted this question in the FDSA Alumni Facebook group – "What training tip or approach gave you that magic touch or simply surprised you with how easy it was to implement and see results?" 

Rarely are there training hacks or magic wands in dog training, but sometimes there is something THAT simple that gets results. Based on the responses to my post, here are the top 6 most popular "magic" training tricks!

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  2590 Hits
2590 Hits

E299: Julie Daniels - Every Baby's a Genius

 Can you create an optimistic dog? How DO you get to know a new puppy? What are the first steps to teaching quiet crating? Julie Daniels and I discuss all that and more in this episode.

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  1354 Hits
1354 Hits

Core Foundations for Canine Handler Fitness: Where to Start If It All Feels too Hard

Where do you start when the most basic core exercises you're exposed to are too tricky?

Like dog training, revisit foundations!! Foundations are critical when people are looking to build strength. When the foundations aren't fluent, the more advanced exercises can remain inaccessible, and/ or can cause discomfort.

What I'm going to share with you today are the foundation steps my clients go through, our non negotiable criteria and exercises you can do that are generally well tolerated by most bodies. In a most sincere effort to make this accessible, there are as many standing exercises as possible.

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  2408 Hits
2408 Hits

E298: Nicole Wiebusch and Petra Ford - "Proofing for Performance"

Nicole Wiebusch and Petra Ford joined me to talk about what goes into training fluency that will hold up under the pressures of competition. 

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  1204 Hits
1204 Hits

Five Ways Truffle Hunting Helps Reactive Dogs & Their Owners

When I decided to begin truffle hunting, I never imagined how much our lives would change.

I became fascinated with truffles after tasting them on a trip to Italy. I joked that I was going to teach our dogs to find truffles. One day, in a random internet search, I discovered that truffles grow where I live, here in the Pacific Northwest. I was certain this path was the right fit for us, and I never looked back. I learned everything I could about truffles and scent detection. The adventure began.

During that time, Callie, my Border Collie, was injured in an agility accident and was on restricted activity for several months. We needed an activity to keep her happy while complying with her restrictions. Truffle hunting is a scent detection activity where a handler and dog work in partnership to locate underground gourmet fungi called truffles. It was perfect! Little did I know that learning to truffle hunt would not only satisfy her mentally and emotionally during her recovery but also change our relationship. 

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  1897 Hits
1897 Hits

E297: Julie Flanery - "Shape Up Your Shaping"

Julie Flanery and I talk about what shaping is, and how to use it effectively and efficiently... including putting behaviors under stimulus control!

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  1121 Hits
1121 Hits

The 3 D's and Why They Matter in Dog Training

Have you heard of the 3 D's of dog training? It's a pretty popular term that many trainers use. The 3 D's refer to Distraction, Duration, and Distance. These are one way to categorize the difficulties or challenges in dog training.

Distraction refers to both the environment and things in the environment that are distracting. Generalization (moving to a new environment to help your dog learn the behavior more thoroughly in all settings) is a form of distraction.

Duration is how long the dog is performing the behavior. It can also refer to the number of reps of a behavior, or even how many behaviors are chained together at one time.

Distance can mean a couple of different things. Distance between the dog and the handler is one part. The other is distance from a distraction(s). The farther the dog is away from a distraction, the easier it will be for the dog to perform behaviors.

If you think of Distraction, Duration, and Distance as challenges, it's easy to remember that you should only increase one at a time. However in practice, people often try to increase the challenges too quickly, or increase two or even all of them at the same time. In order for your dog to be successful, you want to be sure that two out of three are as close to baseline as possible.

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  1334 Hits
1334 Hits

Got Stay? Walking Around Your Dog

Many dogs struggle with the handler walking around the dog during a stay exercise. The key to success for stays is to break it down! Stay training consists of slowly and carefully increasing difficulty to ensure success.

When you first start stays, you want to make sure you are really splitting, meaning you are breaking down the behavior into tiny little pieces. At first I don't move my feet at all. I make sure I get some duration on the behavior before I start moving. When I do start moving I just start with weight shifts, rocking back and forth on each foot.

Then I'll take a tiny step. 

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  1533 Hits
1533 Hits

E296: Working with a Dog Sports Coach

Denise Fenzi, Nancy Gagliardi Little and Megan Foster join me to talk about working with a dog sports coach — the differences between a coach and a trainer, the advantages to having a coach, and how to get some of the benefits even if you can't find one. 

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  1617 Hits
1617 Hits

Effective coaching for dog sports

Whether we are providing advice in our role as a professional instructor, a volunteer instructor, or a supportive friend, knowing how to give training and competition advice in the most beneficial way is critically important.

To be effective and well-received, training and competition advice needs to be delivered at a time when the handler is unemotional, focused, and receptive to learning. Most competitors will be able to effectively process new information during a routine training session, but for others new information is best delivered at times separate from active training sessions or competitive events. Often the biggest "aha" moments occur for competitors when they are:

  • Listening to an instructor present a topic in a lecture-style setting (e.g. webinar, seminar, class).
  • Discussing training in an informal way with another trainer (e.g. when chatting before a class, or when on a break between periods of active training; or when meeting up for coffee, lunch, etc.)

The reason beneficial learning occurs at these times is because in these settings the individual is receptive; the person has the mental and emotional capacity to take on new information, process what they are hearing, and consider how it may relate to their current training sessions or competition performance. 

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  2108 Hits
2108 Hits

E295: Laura Donaldson - "Stop and Smell the Pee Mail"

Laura and I talk about how sniffing can help dogs heal from trauma and how it's critical for all of our dogs — because it's one of their key senses!

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  1445 Hits
1445 Hits

E294: Dealing with Cabin Fever

Heather Lawson, Julie Symons, and Ashley Escobar join me to talk about how they handle it when their dogs are stuck indoors for an extended time... and what they train when limited to a small(er) training space. 

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  1257 Hits
1257 Hits

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