How to Feel More Confident in Private Lessons

Dog trainers often come to me for help with their private lessons. Commonly, a dog trainer will say,  “I have this client coming in in a few days, Their dog is (name the behavior problem of choice), I know the owner needs more foundation, but I’m not totally sure what to do next.” Have youContinue reading “How to Feel More Confident in Private Lessons”

How to Stop Dog Owners from Sabotaging Their Progress.

One of our biggest challenges as dog trainers is keeping our clients from standing in their own way. There are a hundred variations of how this can manifest, and in this post, I will be discussing two recent situations that were brought to me by trainers that I coach. The cases are different, but bothContinue reading “How to Stop Dog Owners from Sabotaging Their Progress.”

How to 10X Your Board & Train Success Rate

Here’s the scenario: You had a dog in your board and train for 4 weeks. Today’s the day for the go-home lesson with the family. The dog has been spot-on, hitting every command for you, and you are feeling great. Then the time comes for you to have the owner give it a try. They say, “Come!”……..nothing, “Place”……crickets….

Counter Conditioning, Causal Relevance, and the Implications for Humane Dog Training

In 1972, Michael Domjam and Nancy Wilson tested an interesting hypothesis:  When creating a conditioned association between two events, do the types of events matter? To help illustrate this question more clearly, let’s take an example: You go out for dinner at a new restaurant. You eat a large meal consisting of salmon, and don’tContinue reading “Counter Conditioning, Causal Relevance, and the Implications for Humane Dog Training”

Cognitive Dissonance

I wish I could be a reward-only trainer. I don’t enjoy correcting dogs or putting any “pressure” on them. I love dogs. That’s why I chose this career. Unfortunately, because I specialize in helping dog owners to achieve success in real world situations, some amount of pressure/correction/punishment is often necessary. The reality is that evenContinue reading “Cognitive Dissonance”

Functional Obedience and the Development of Character.

“…Thorough obedience training does more than assure a dog’s response to his master’s command; capacities for learning and emotional stability could be increased and integrated as permanent qualities of character.” -William Koehler, 1962 For many years, I chose to leave the behavior of sit-stay out of my basic obedience programs, and give preference to teachingContinue reading “Functional Obedience and the Development of Character.”

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