I have an old dog

I have an old dog. When did she become old?  Maybe it started with the decline in her manners. Doesn’t she see me standing here as she pulls something out of the trash?!  Maybe, but it doesn’t matter because she knows I won’t enforce the rules and she can’t hear me...

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...

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...

Goodbye, Cisu

Cisu is dying. Now she is resting quietly with as much pain medication as she needs.  If she begins to suffer then I will help her go. Cisu is a dog and I am a human so I cannot tell her the things I want to say.  I can only lay on the floor next to her, hold her...

The Miracle Method

The “miracle method” is a popular method for trialing in a variety of sports.  I’ve seen it frequently in agility, obedience, IPO, etc. It begins when you enter a trial with a dog that has never successfully completed the required exercises for the...

The Book: Dog Sports Skills

Many of you probably know that I wrote a book with Deb Jones. The book started out as an obedience book, but as we started to write it just didn’t end up that way. So we started over, with the plan of writing three or more books.  The first one has happened.  It...

Preparing for Competition: Squishing!

As many of you know, I now teach classes on-line at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.  One of the courses I’m about to teach is a Ring Confidence Class.  In the process of preparing for this course, I realized just how many behaviors we can teach our dogs in order to allow...

What is a Motivator?

A motivator is something we want; most of us can answer that pretty easily.  In the world of competition dogs, however, I often see something that is really confusing to me.  I routinely encounter people who are using rewards that their dog does not want, in order to...

Zoom or Wide Angle?

I am going to tell you a story.   It’s a sad and embarrassing story, but I’m going to tell it anyway.  If you know me well you won’t be surprised by what I’m going to say, and those of you who don’t know me will wonder if it might be...

Spectacular

When my oldest son was two years old, I found him trying to insert a fork handle into an electrical outlet.  I explained why he could not do that, and asked him to return the fork to the kitchen.  He did.  He then returned with a spoon, which he proceeded to attempt...

Meet Fred

Hello Everyone.  Meet my special dog, Fred. Fred is not an ordinary dog.  Fred is a truly fantastic guy.  He is highly driven to work, motivated by just about everything (including imaginary food), never quits, never falls to temptation or distraction, and will work...

Fenzi Dog Sports Academy!

TODAY the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy officially goes on-line! The what??!! (see how I’m jumping up and down?  That’s because this is REALLY BIG for me!).   Ok, you can find it here:  http://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/ Fenzi Dog Sports Academy is a...

Common Knowledge

How old is your toolbox?   If it’s old, it probably has a lot of tools in it.  Indeed, you might find that it’s so full, you’ve switched to a truck  to carry your various props.  Some of your tools are surely tried and true.  You’ve met the...

Motivational Training. Until….

It’s easy to be a “motivational” trainer when everything is going right.  Feed cookies, play with toys and watch the behaviors accumulate.  It’s all good! What do you do when it’s not going so well?  When you have a problem and you are...

Holiday Celebrations and Dog Training

This story is a couple of years old now, but tis the season, so here it is again…. My son’s school has begun preparations for their their annual holiday pageant. Each year, dozens of smiling children sing a variety of holiday tunes for their adoring...

The Family Ferrari

My son wants a Ferrari for Christmas and  I’m thinking about getting it for him. I can afford it; my neighbor has a used one for sale.  Apparently it’s been “too much car” for him, so it sits in his garage. I will definitely give my son driving...

Doing Our Best

I recently had a conversation with a woman from a seminar.  She’s been in dogs for a long time now; an obedience competitor who dabbles in agility and other dog sports.  She wants to learn; attends a very large number of seminars, and thoughtfully sifts through...

The Art of Debate

The dog world is filled with argument; no topic is immune.  We dog people are able to argue about just about anything, and sometimes, our debates get downright stupid. I define a debate as stupid when vested participants feel disrespected, unheard, or angry.  Debates...

Friendship

Does your dog know that you love her? With humans, we use words to express our love, but more imporant, we use our actions.  We interact physically by hugging,  kissing and playing, especially with children.  We interact emotionally by offering support when times get...

Not Busy Enough!

Most people got the point of my post titled “too busy”; there is a difference between “too busy” and “don’t feel like doing it”.  One is an excuse and the other is an honest appraisal of your situation at that time. Then I...

Too Busy

I haven’t been getting Lyra out to generalize her behaviors.  Too busy these days. I have a lot going on with training, seminars, writing a book, raising kids, and random things that I need to do.  It’s not unusual for me to work from morning till night,...

Deprivation

Over the last ten to fifteen years, I’m seeing an increase in the use of deprivation as a training technique.  I first heard of it in the behavioral realm….”nothing in life is free” otherwise known as “NILIF”.   In a NILIF program the dog earns everything – the dog...