AKC Utility Trial Prep

AKC Utility Trial Training Prep
Last week I got a request from a member asking to shoot some video of my training my dog(s).  I’ve had this asked before, so I assume it is of interest to you guys…
Goofy and I are getting ready to go to a competition this weekend.  We’ll be showing in Utility and Open exercises at the trial.  I shot this video during one of our training sessions.  I left in the work of perfecting each technique just so you can see that even a dog that …Read More

Choke Chain Explained

Choke Chain Explained
My go-to collar has always been a choke chain / slip collar.  I believe it is the most basic way to control and communicate with a dog.  I recommend this type of collar for almost every dog.  The exception to this rule is dogs with cervical issues or very old dogs.
There are some dangers involved with using choke chains and I address them in the first part of this video.  This is the video that is available on social media for free.  The second and much longer part …Read More

DOWN with Help

Teaching DOWN with Help
This is a special lesson!
My work at the shelters helps me to better understand complex behaviors that the average trainers never get to see.  It’s through this work that I’ve build my methodology and helped more and more dogs.
In this lesson I took a “green dog” (a dog with little to no training) and began trying to lure the DOWN command.  He just couldn’t get it.  I added some physical help that helped him understand what we wanted.
The issue is that many trainers will try to just …Read More

My Feeding Routine

My Feeding Routine
This lesson give you a peek into my feeding ritual with my dogs.  How your dog sees the feeding time in your home is how your dog sees you. This is often one of the most overlooked aspects of dog ownership.  Everything in your dog’s eyes relates to his survival and that is a direct reflection of how his food is given to him.  Some people just let the dog eat whenever they want as in free feeding, others just throw the food down. I believe in structure …Read More

Play Tug with Your Dog

Fun with Tug
Tug is not only a fun game to play with your dog, but it also benefits your relationship with your dog tremendously. If your dog will play tug with you, you will have a bond with that dog like none other.
I will state on the outset that not EVERY dog will play tug. If your dog won’t, forcing them will not work. In this lesson I want to show you some ways to teach your dog the game and learn the skills to make it fun.
Most working dogs …Read More

Walk Backwards – problem solving

There are many places where having a dog know a “BACK” command can be very important, particularly in obedience. I’ve done a video on teaching your dog the skill, but several people have the same hurdle when teaching it – the dog lies down instead of walking backwards. So, this video will address some of the issues to either prevent that from happening or fix it!

It’s important to be patient when teaching new skills to dogs, in particular ones that are not natural for a dog such as the WALK …Read More

LONG Retrieves

issues and solutions in the field

Getting a dog to bring something back is a fun exercise for both you and your dog. It is also a strong bonding exercise that can cement the relationship between man and dog.

It’s one thing to teach your dog to bring something back in your house or in your yard, but when you’re talking about outside in an open field or park, it’s a whole different story.

In this week’s lesson I address many points that can fall apart when you get into …Read More

Fading Rewards

Luring & Rewarding vs. Bribing

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for dog trainers and different levels is the ability to fade the rewards and gain compliance from their dogs.

Once the treat or toy is gone, the dog stops performing and the whole training game falls apart.

Well, in this week’s lesson I address this complex issue by delving into the mind of the dog and explaining the difference between Luring & Rewarding vs. Bribing. For a dog to be well trained, he must do what we ask him to do without …Read More

Marker Words

Using them to Properly Reward and CORRECT

Communicating with your dog is a simple thing, but if it’s not understood, it can lead to great confusion.

Using marker words will make the process simple because this allows you a clear communication with your dog. You will use positive markers as well as negative markers.

Using a marker shows the dog that the behavior he or she did is what you wanted (or also not what you wanted in a negative situation). You will have a clearer communication with your dog by taking out …Read More

Leave It

Training at the Shelter

Everyone always talks about the difficulty teaching dogs.  Well, some of the toughest dogs to teach are at the shelter, and this week I’m bringing the shelter to you.  

I always say the 3 Most Important Things to teach every dog are:

Leave itRecallSTAY

LEAVE IT can save a dog’s life.

I teach the leave it differently than I’ve seen many other trainers teach it and there is a reason.  I believe that if you say LEAVE IT, it should mean LEAVE IT! Other trainer will eventually let the dog have …Read More