Dice is eight months old

I’m having a blast training this dog!  He’s full-on teenager right now and not the easiest to manage but he’s a hard worker and a whole lot of fun! Plus he’s handsome.  Here, you can see for yourself:  

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...

Progress via complexity

I often talk about adding “complexity” to training.  When I say complexity, I mean adding something, anything, that is a little bit different or new than what you did the last time you worked with your dog. In heeling that could be going a few steps...

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...

Mental Frameworks for training

When you’re working with a dog, you can start your approach with different mental frameworks, and any of them is likely to get you where you want to go. You can focus on the observable behavior, the emotions that underly that observable behavior, or the arousal...

Book resources for your pet dog

There is nothing like the excitement of adding a four-legged friend to your family. The anticipation of waiting for a new puppy from a breeder, or the first meet and greet with an adult dog from a local rescue are sure to bring joy to the entire family. You envision...

Cooperation and Control

Cooperation and Control Imagine This. A small child walks over and holds out his toy car for you to admire. You reach out, pick it up, and…. You put it in your pocket. How cooperative do you think that child is going to be with you in the future? We do things like...

Clarity within learning

Let’s consider the idea of Clarity within the teaching process itself – once learning has begun. If you think about it for a moment, true clarity, the dog being clear on what is required, is impossible with a trainee. If the dog knew what you wanted you...

My favorite heeling game

This is the most basic heeling game that I work with my own dogs, and I work it a lot. For life. Every move is followed by its opposite. So….hard control to the inside (left pivot) is followed by a fast spin the opposite way (effectively a right or about turn)....

What Do I Like?

Dice is 18 weeks old.  My primary focus is finding ways to expose him to the world while keeping him out of mischief – not a simple matter with a high drive puppy who isn’t content to just watch the world go by.  He wants to engage with something; if he...

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...