Foundation skills don’t need to be drills

This video is a one-minute compilation pulled from a 15-minute training session.  The entire session looked pretty much like this. There’s a little bit of verbal processing (see my recent blog) but mostly this session is following obvious body cues to build...

A fast paced game to increase “listening”

This is the doggy version of Simon Says – on speed.  We are working on position changes. This exercise will help with cue discrimination for AKC open obedience, the out of motion exercises for IPO, position changes for Mondio or French ring, etc. Games are my...

Position changes without forward motion

I’m working on Dice’s position changes and have been for a few months now. Getting consistent position changes without forward motion can be a challenge, especially in Mondio ring where the dog will be placed quite far away from me and distractions will be...

Dice – 9 months of age

I have good intentions to write regularly about Dice’s progress and then life happens. Anyway, here’s an unedited clip of Dice working at nine months of age.  If you’re working cue discrimination or drop on recall you’ll get some ideas here to...

Start of Drop on Recall

The drop on recall requires 1) a solid understanding of your drop cue and 2) the ability to process that cue in motion. You can do this at several levels of detail, depending on the needs of your dog.  To see this exercise broken down into tiny bits, most appropriate...

Eight month update

Dice is a pleasure to train.  I haven’t kept up as well here on my blog as I would have liked, but I am training daily and having a lot of fun doing it! Here’s our morning session.  What strikes me above all is the importance of keeping him in the game. ...

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...