The concept of Choice

Note: I wrote this blog post within a few days of starting my blog in 2011. I don’t recall why I never published it, regardless, I found it here in my drafts folder today. Because I think it’s interesting to observe how thoughts about training (and writing...

No. Don’t do that.

If you were standing in the kitchen with your two-year-old and you noticed that they were about to climb on top of your kitchen table, what would you do? You would probably say something along the lines of “uh uh” and remove them as they climbed up the...

Reinforcement Choices in Heeling

Today I wanted to see what I had with Brito’s heeling. Here’s an unedited video: After you teach the pieces of lovely heeling, You have to string them together. At that point, I use my choice of reinforcement (food or toys) and the positioning of those...

Podcast

Do you like podcasts? I was interviewed by my friend Ryan Cartlidge recently for his Animal Training Academy Podcast.  If’ you’re interested, take a listen!  We covered a lot of territory, so it’s hard to say what all we covered, but we did talk...

What happens if?

I recently wrote a blog about the importance of asking “Why”. If you don’t know why something might work, don’t try it! Now I want to refine that discussion. While I need to know why something might work before I try it, I do not need to know...

the BEST way to train

If I am shaping a retrieve and my dog moves her mouth one inch from the dumbbell to half an inch, then I am closer to my goal.  I will mark and reward. But consider this. Rather than watching the dog’s mouth in relation to the dumbbell, someone else might be...

Do you NEED Engagement Training?

Engagement training is the very specific training process where responsibility for starting and pushing for work is transferred from the human to the dog.  That is different than having an “engaged dog, which could happen with no specific training at all. Do you...

Why?

In a recent seminar, someone commented that they needed to play with their dog in new environments even if the dog wasn’t asking to play.  If the dog refused then she would have to crate the dog.  That belief doesn’t happen to mesh with my philosophy so I...

Facebook Live Blog on Socialization

Following up on my webinar from last night, here are more thoughts on socialization, taken from a facebook live I did about a month or two ago. I hope someone finds it useful! Thanks to all of you who joined me; I had a great time!...

Thank you

Have you thanked your instructor lately?  Your training buddies? Your support system? Your trial volunteers?  Your advocates?  Your spouse? I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by people who are positive and appreciative of the things that I do, therefore I get...

“Have to”

I heard it again today. A team entered the Open obedience Ring and the dog was clearly disengaged so the handler pulled the dog for the weekend.  Probably a good choice! Another trainer’s response? If the dog knew she “had to” work then that...

The weed people

When I was a kid, my mom used to rage about people who had weeds growing in their gardens.  Those weeds go to seed and those seeds get blown around the neighborhood, leaving my mom’s pristine garden a hapless victim. Weeds in her garden were the result of...

Philosophy or behavior?

You had a bad training day. You got angry. You yanked at your dog, jerked them around a little bit and generally behaved badly. Ugly stuff. What happens now? One answer is to blame the dog. The dog deserved it. The dog is stubborn and hard. There is no other way to...

Cue Discrimination

For the new AKC Cue Discrimination Exercise, your goal will be to teach your dog to listen to a specific position cue like sit, down or stand without creeping towards you. How might you accomplish that? First I would suggest separating out the challenges. 1, Listening...

Do words matter?

Do words affect our thoughts, feelings, and responsive actions? If I “cue” you to sit in a chair, what is your reaction? What is the language that suggests a cue? What relationship might we build from there? If I “direct” you to sit in a chair,...

FDSA Podcasts. Free!

I like playing with dogs.  I also like writing. I do not like reinventing the wheel so rather than writing about play, I’m going to encourage you to listen to a conversation on that topic. Yesterday I was interviewed for a 30-minute podcast for FDSA on the topic...

Free classes at FDSA

My guess is that most people who follow this blog know that I own an online school. It’s called Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, and we are currently registering for the February Term. We average about 40 classes each term, and cover pretty much everything from...

Molecular Redistribution

Here on my blog I generally talk about dog training, but on Facebook, I cover a good deal more territory. The following conversation is one of a regular series of conversations that I have with my 13-year-old dog, Raika.  Some of our conversations are funny and some...