Reducing Reinforcement

Reducing reinforcement – another HUGE topic!  If you’d like to learn more about it, take a look at the facebook live I did yesterday. And on a unrelated note, Fenzi Dog Sports Academy’s 5th annual dog sports training camp will be held in Lebanon,...

The Forest? The trees? How about…both!

You’re trying to solve a problem.  Where does one start? If the problem is common, save yourself some trouble and use known and effective common solutions. For most problems, there are approaches that will work for the 90 percent.  The more of these you pick up...

Eight days of Wink

Have you seen this video? It’s about 2 1/2 hours of unedited training with a puppy who was visiting me last year.  There is a ton to be gleaned from this so if you have some free time go ahead and take a look. I explain in the Youtube description what I cover in...

A “good enough” dog person

I read an article today called The Good Enough Parent is the Best Parent. Feel free to take a look.  The gist of the article is that perfection is a bit of a curse. The author, Dr. Peter Gray, writes (quoting another…gets complicated here…) ...

Reducing Possession for Tug Toys

You read about dogs who don’t play tug and you shake your head. Dogs that don’t play tug? That makes no sense because your dog has never seen a tug toy he didn’t love.  As a matter of fact, he loves them so much that he doesn’t bring them back...

Training Taffy?! Facebook live

I admit it. I’m a little obsessive about dog training treats.   Not so much what goes into them, as in figuring out how to make the perfect one. And I just might have it. Training Taffy. Check out the following Facebook live: Improvements since I did the...

I’m scared. I need you right now.

You’re walking on the beach with a trusted friend.  In the distance, you notice something coming towards you. You’re not sure what it is, but you can feel your adrenaline rising. As it comes closer, you realize that it has six legs, is furry, and has just...

Facebook Live: High Drive dogs

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about high drive dogs called ” why did he chew off his tail and break his teeth?”  I was asked several follow-up questions on Facebook, and I agreed to do a Facebook live (which you will find here) to discuss some of the...

Fear: Just a little bit closer….

You’re not too fond of spiders, especially the big, hairy ones!   Not to the point of phobia or panic, but they make you uncomfortable, and you do not want to see them in your house. And yet there it is, on your bedroom wall.  What do you do next? A typical...

“Choice” in training for dog sports

If “choice” and “consent” are the future, what might that look like when applied to dog training for dog sports? The following videos show Brito choosing his motivators, choosing his work and Denise combining them in various forms for...

The future of progressive dog training

In the not so distant past, most of us considered pressure to be physical, in particular in relation to our dogs but also in relation to our children.  Dog won’t sit on cue?  Push the dog’s rear end down and pull up on the collar.  Dog doesn’t come...

Barking

I recently offered a quiz about “all things Fenzi and FDSA style training” on the FDSA Facebook business page.   I tested general dog knowledge along with training tips that are rather specific to me.  I’d like to talk about one of the questions and...

The Power of Habit, Part 2

In my last blog I discussed the role of habit in our dog’s lives.  I focused on habits in relation to house rules and not to performance dog training and that was on purpose.  Now I’m going to switch gears a little because I often want my dog consciously...

Problem Solving: Straight positions at heel

One of the exercises in Level 2 of the on-line TEAM obedience program requires that the dog demonstrate position changes (sit, down and stand)  in correct heel position.  While most dog-handler teams eventually master the position themselves, many teams struggle to...

Is movement or stillness the solution?

I’m a huge fan of allowing a dog to take in an area before you begin to train. This is particularly true if your dog tends toward a more nervous temperament or if they are easily overwhelmed by the world. So how, exactly, do you allow your dog to take in the...

Habit by Enforcement or Management

In my last blog I talked about developing habits in your dog at a very early age so that eventually, specific bad behaviors don’t even occur to your dog. Let’s look at an example. I spent the past week with a friend and her 10-month-old Spaniel at a mutual friend’s...

The Power of Habit, Part 1

Each day I wake up, go into the kitchen to feed the dogs, head to my computer where I clear my email and do a few routine tasks, take a shower, etc. The first hour or two of my day I think very little because my behaviors are largely driven by habit. Habits make life...

A Correction: To make sorry or make right?

In general, the verb “correct”  means to make something right after an error is identified. Most of us perceive it as a learning opportunity but with some emotional baggage attached.   For example, if your teacher corrects you repeatedly in a short period...

Structure your learner for success

Before you teach, you need to create a plan that will allow for a successful teaching situation. When your learner is engaged and happy and wants to be with you, training is easy. It only takes a few minutes to communicate new ideas effectively if the learner is...

Is Leadership taken or given?

Some super interesting questions emerged after I wrote my last blog on “What is Leadership.” Let’s start with this one: Does the leader take control or does the follower give control?  I see this as a chicken or egg situation, so let’s take a...