Your dog made an error. What do I do RIGHT NOW?!

You cued your dog to something and your dog did something else.  Or maybe your dog did absolutely nothing at all.  Now what? If you stand and wait quietly then you are teaching your dog that silence means they are wrong, or maybe you will teach your dog that whenever...

Five simple tricks for reducing trial stress

Actually these five simple tricks will also reduce stress in classes, so if your dog’s stress starts there then read on! First, Allow your dog to acclimate to the area.   The days of crating your dog and not letting them look around unless they are actively...

Pet Professionals Program is off and running!

Fenzi Dog Sports Academy started a new program called the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy – Pet Professionals Program (FDSA-PPP). Feel free to go check out the FDSA-PPP website here. Reviews so far have been wildly enthusiastic, so find out for yourself why that might be! So...

Technology and No Reward Markers (NRM’s)

Technology and no reward markers (NRM’s) I drive two cars. Each one has a GPS installed. Both cars are a huge improvement over having a spouse direct my driving. I mean, having my husband yell, “Left, left! Your other left!” after I have passed the...

Leadership revisited

I am going to make an impassioned plea for why you should take my leadership webinar tomorrow night, Thursday at 3pm PT. All of you! But I’ll settle for a portion 🙂 If you ask questions about what to do under a variety of circumstances that involve your dog...

Free coaching advice!

I was recently involved in a discussion on Facebook about coaching. Specifically, ways that we can coach people which are palatable, effective, and don’t hurt feelings unnecessarily.  A few folks wanted to share it but it was posted inside of a closed group, so...

Another book?!

Yes!  I cowrote this one, “Blogger Dog Buffy!” with my friend Brenda Weeks.  However, because it’s about Brenda and her service dog Buffy, and because I consider myself more of an assistant than the author of the book, I am going to direct you to her...

What was THAT cookie for?

If you are doing behavior work with your dog you need to consider why you give your dog treats – you may want to stop handing over food for no particular reason as a lifestyle choice. How much will your dog value special treats in the presence of some trigger...

Recording of “Ask Me Anything” Webinar

Last week I did a free “Ask Me Anything” webinar for anyone who wanted to show up! The questions covered include barking or noise during work, focus in heeling, pivots and pocket hand, teaching handler scent discrimination/articles, loose leash walking via...

Balance! Strive for balance!

If you have followed this blog over time you may have noticed themes that might feel contradictory. On one end of the scale I talk about emotions and relationships. Developing warm and playful interactions with your dog. Creating a relationship so that your learner...

Crispness and anxiety: Is there a relationship?

I’m on a roll with this crispness topic! I have talked about the importance of being crisp in training.  Crispness provides clarity to our dogs which in turn reduces frustration and allows our dogs to feel confident in their situation.   I want my dogs to know...

Free. New. Worth your while. Why not?

It is common for individuals to struggle in the space between basic manners for a dog and understanding the underlying science and more sophisticated training concepts required of both professional trainers and sport dog enthusiasts.   FDSA-PPP is trying to help with...

Twenty to One

I give food to my dogs for all sorts of reasons.   I use food to teach or maintain behaviors. I use food to address emotional issues. I give food because I have some, we are interacting in a pleasant way, and I like to share! I use a lot of food in training. So what...

The Inevitable

The best way I know of to prevent common nuisance behaviors around the house is to not let them happen. How do you do that? You stop them every time they happen. It is inevitable. And when your dog knows that it is inevitable, it doesn’t take very long before...

Be Crisp!

Good training is much more than teaching specific skills or developing your dog’s emotional comfort. You also need a plan for what you will do after you finish one exercise and before you start another, a plan for unsuccessful repetitions, and a plan for...

Handling training sabotage

You’re working on your dog’s polite greetings and your neighbor encourages your dog to jump enthusiastically on her chest.  You want your dog to wait politely at the door but your spouse allows them to rush out willy-nilly.  Your reactive dog is struggling...

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

In a nutshell, the Dunning-Kruger effect says that experts tend to overestimate the ability of others to do what they can do, and novices tend to overestimate their ability to do what they really can do. For dog trainers, this is bad news because it means that the...