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...

Dice is now 14 weeks old

Yesterday I did another FaceBook live with Dice.  I’ve been doing about five or more a week since I got him six weeks ago. That is going to start wrapping up now.  Going forwards it’s mostly “more of the same”, plus more work away from home,...

Want a fantastic recall?

This is a video of Dice at 12 weeks of age – That’s a recall! Here is how I got it: I started at 9 weeks of age.  At that age, most puppies are well aware that they need you and come back quickly and easily.  Start at 8 weeks if you can!  I only whistled...

Tired. So very tired

Puppies are a lot of work. I know that; this isn’t my first rodeo.  But the piece I had forgotten was the “wearing down” part.  Where you are consistent….so consistent!  The first day.  The second day. And then around Day three, you find...

Getting the release from a toy

Is your dog great about biting a toy but doesn’t let go?  This is Dice’s second lesson on the skill of releasing a toy – give it a shot! Follow me (Denise Fenzi) on Facebook if you want to see his daily training live, and ask questions if you wish....

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...

Welcome, Puppy Dice

I got a new puppy yesterday. With COVID turning the world upside down, it was quite a Dicey Proposition getting him here and now that is his name – Dicey Proposition of Sprite-Wildrose – call name Dice. Here’s a video of his first training session,...

Chicken or the Egg

Your dog is going ballistic – running all over the place like a chicken with it’s head cut off. You’re frustrated because you need to get this stopped; it’s impacting your life! At the same time, you know that your dog’s behavior is being...

Conversations with Raika

For 15 years I had the privilege of living with a very special dog. She passed away late last year and while I still miss her, I have enough distance from the loss to be able to smile most of the time when I think about her. In the last several years of her life I...

WHY?

Do you understand WHY you do what you do in training? Why it works? Have you tested your logic?   Do you understand WHY you shape one exercise and not another? WHY you might lure? WHY you keep cookies in your pocket before you reinforce? WHY you generalize behaviors?...

Building Name Recognition

Would you like to develop name recognition within your area of interest? I have a few ideas for you.  I’ll use dogs as an example but the basic idea will hold up in general. Start by identifying your target audience: Who might listen to you now?  Where do you...

Are you contributing to your dog’s reactivity?

Imagine this:   you are observing a human parent. Every time another child or adult approaches their child, the parent pulls their child back and yells at the other parent to get the approaching child away, or maybe they pick their own child up or run off. They react...

Leadership is not a dirty word

If you question what to do when your dog is feeling unsure or behaving badly in life or competition settings then you need the “Re-defining Leadership” webinar I’m teaching on Thursday at 6pm PT. I have taught this webinar a few times (see how...

How does one create flow?

My last blog was about keeping your feet moving and getting your exercises to flow together.  Here’s a short video taken for Instagram (has to be one minute! I failed!) – of flow in heeling.  What to look for: Feet are moving.  Everyone’s because...

Over threshold

What does it mean when we say a dog is “over threshold?” It means the dog is over the optimal level of arousal to learn or perform. As with all terminology, the exact meaning will vary according to the culture you are speaking within. A person in the...

Learning. Teaching. Doing.

I have a story (it gets to dogs in the end): My husband was a patient in a teaching hospital this past week. That means doctors at various stages of training spend time learning on him – with varying degrees of competence and success. One set of particularly...

Making Time

Life is busy right now.  That happens – life being busy.  It’s hard to keep up.  Priorities have to be made and then one goes from there. This blog?  I can put it aside.  This post?  Short and sweet! – Time….time is the issue. Once upon a time,...

Communication

Imagine this: You’re walking your leashed dog on a trail and you see a leashed dog approaching.  The owner tenses, pulls the dog to their side, and starts a string of random phrases aimed at their dog along the lines of “Leave it.  No.  Uh huh!” etc....

Creativity in Training

I’m a fan of adding as much creativity as possible to training – for all sports.   The official reason is that creative training automatically strengthens your dog’s skills; dogs who can fetch twenty different objects of different sizes and shapes...

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...

The half-click

What do you do when you predict a successful repetition in a shaping session and then, just as you are pushing down on the clicker, something happens? The anticipated behavior is not successfully completed? Uh oh.  Your brain told you not to do it but your finger...