Food Play – “Prey Hand”

In my new book with Deb Jones titled: Dog Sports Skills Book 3: Play!  we discuss a food play technique that uses food called “Prey hand game”.  Those of you who have taken seminars with me may recognize this as “Wiggle Wiggle”.  You can find...
WORKSHOP | Personal Play: Just you and your dog!

WORKSHOP | Personal Play: Just you and your dog!

Toys are awesome! Food is awesome! But very little can beat genuine and warm personal interactions for building a basic relationship with our dogs that relies on nothing more than friendship and fun! If you want to learn how to play with your dog – whether your...

Personal Play with a mouthy dog

Dogs that love to work and to play tug (bite!) can be a challenge in the world of personal play.  The might enjoy the contact but they find the delay between the start of training and an opportunity to win a favored toy to be frustrating. This is no problem.  I still...

Play?

I recently asked for blog post suggestions and several of my facebook friends suggested exploring the topic of ‘play’. Great topic!  Important!  Teachable!  But way too big to attempt in a blog post, so if you’re really interested in developing your...

Building Engagement Through Play!

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know I’m a huge advocate of playing with dogs regardless of your sport or personal interests. I also know that many people are a bit stuck.  Stuck on where to begin.  Stuck on how to progress. Good at one type of...

Food!

I know that 90% of you take food training for granted.  Food shows up and your dog gets happy.  For most people that is a good thing, since food is the easiest way to rapidly acquire a range of behaviors needed for a performance dog. I have one of the 10% that...

Play. And….shameless advertising.

On and off I’ve talked about play on this blog.  Maybe more on than off. I happen to find the topic completely fascinating – You and your dog; interacting in a manner that is interactive, rewarding and joyful.  Maybe using toys or food but often with...

Play – Give and Take

Today I began my student’s lesson with the following directive: “Heel with your dog for two minutes without using a food or toy reward.  You may talk, play, put hands on, and make the heeling as interesting as possible.  At the end of two minutes, you may...

Balance – food and toys

For every one person who asks me about building food drive, nine people will ask me about how to build toy drive.  Why is that? For starters, there is probably a strong genetic component.  A newborn puppy has the drive to eat or it dies.  That’s a...

Lyra 5.5 months – play as ????

Playing with a mouthy puppy is different than playing with an adult, and takes a fair amount of trial and error to figure out what works best. I don’t get upset with Lyra for biting when we play; I simply stop moving and wait for her to let go.  At this point,...

Juno – play as movement

Juno’s style of play is yet again different from Cisu or Raika; her style incorporates elements of each of the other dogs. Juno’s natural style of play with other dogs is chase; chase and be chased.  Since I choose not to chase dogs, Juno has to chase me....

Lyra 13.5 weeks – play to work to play

Lyra has made great progress in her play and work skills. She consistently returns her toys to me – all types of toys including tug toys and stuffie toys. She knows what play and training are, and she puts herself into drive when we head for the training field....

“One Day of Brito”

Recently I did eight days of unedited video with puppy Wink.  That unedited video compilation demonstrates how I choose to approach teaching play as an interactive and choice based game with relatively few rules.  You can see changes in her behavior over time. Today...

What is Relationship?

I recently had the privilege of working with a dog/handler team that had particularly good interpersonal play skills. Without using food or toys, this handler could engage her dog for several minutes at a time. Further, she could then ask the dog to work for her in...

Crooked fronts? Try this simple drill

Straight and close fronts for dog sports competitions can be a challenge for a variety of reasons. Some dogs sit too far back; they feel the pressure of our bodies and they want to avoid it, so they hang out just a bit further away than we want them.  Or maybe they...

Socialization in the world of COVID

With many of us staying home these days, many people have considered getting a puppy. Of course, the very first question that comes to mind is, “How will I socialize them?  Will they become shy or aggressive if they are unable to directly interact with strangers?” I...

Car Socialization

As a result of COVID, most of us with new puppies are finding creative ways to get our puppies out and about – seeing the world and having positive experiences – without actually seeing the world. Tricky, no? Anyway, I found an approach that is so superior...

Is Drive just biting?!

I have a new puppy; his name is Dice. He is a “high drive” puppy. What does that mean; “high drive”? Let’s talk about it! My definition of drive is “persists in the face of adversity.” And this puppy? He persists and persists...

Beyond the Basics – Chapter 10

I wrote a book called “Beyond the Basics.” The purpose of this book is not to give you specific steps to solve a problem as much as to offer a framework for how to think about problems – which is likely to lead to rather obvious solutions. I’ve...