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Planning Ahead: Reducing Reinforcement for the Ring

Planning Ahead: Reducing Reinforcement for the Ring

The process of reducing reinforcement in preparation for entering an obedience or rally ring is something it’s easy to overlook and rush. Most dogs act very differently when their handler has treats versus when the handler does not have treats, yet many people go straight from training with treats in their pockets to leaving treats on their crate and going into the ring.

A Simple Process for Generalizing Behaviors

If your dog can give you a reliable cute sit in the kitchen, but can’t do it in the backyard, you might need to work on generalizing behaviors!   Generalization means the dog can apply a concept in many different situations.  When you teach a dog a new behavior,...

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Just What are Reinforcement Cues Anyway?

Knowing exactly what reinforcement cues are and how they work will result in faster learning and less frustration. The clearer we can be with our dogs about what and how we're rewarding, the better it is for everyone!  If you're looking to clean up your training, read...

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Articles Written by Nicole for other websites

The 3 D’s and Why They Matter in Dog Training

Got Stay? Walking Around Your Dog

Spins in Heel Position for Rally Masters

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More Blog Posts

Pivot Bowl Next Step: Movement!

You've spent some time teaching your dog the value of the pivot bowl and your dog understands how to stay on it.  (If you missed this blog on introducing the pivot bowl, be sure to check it out!)  Next, we'll focus on movement!   Teaching Movement on the Pivot...

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Canine Enrichment: Keep Your Dog’s Brain Happy!

Enrichment - such an important topic!  But what exactly is enrichment? Enrichment can mean a lot of things, but basically it refers to different ways to satisfy some of the needs of your dog.  By stimulating the dog mentally and physically, your dog will be less...

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Manage Your Puppy for a Happy Household

Did you recently get a new puppy, or are you planning on one soon?  Puppies are so much fun, but they are also a LOT of work.  Sometimes you wonder if you’ve brought a little velociraptor into your home as you survey the damage and destruction your innocent little...

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A Journey to a Dream Come True

Life Long Passion I fell in love with training dogs back when I was a teenager working with my large German shepherd.  Actually, the passion was ignited well before that, when I was a small kid growing up in Rochester.  Our neighborhood had lots of dogs, and I, having...

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Transitioning Your Dog to Off Leash Work

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have our dogs on leash when we train.  Right from the beginning our dogs would learn to stay by our sides and pay attention to us.  I consider myself very fortunate that I have a facility in which I can train off leash.  If you never use...

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Teach Your Dog to Find Heel Position From Anywhere!

Teaching dogs to find heel position is important for so many reasons.  It will help your heeling, setups, and finishes.  It’s important that your dog has a lot of value for being in heel position and that he or she can find heel position from many different angles....

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Teaching Lateral Fronts for Better Understanding!

The Rally Master class has lots of fun signs, including the sidestep front signs!  I like to teach my dogs to move laterally (sideways) in both heel and front as I feel it gives the dogs a better understanding of the heel and front positions.  Once a dog understands...

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Props for Fronts!

Why would you want to use props to teach front?  Because, used PROPerly, using props for fronts can make your life a lot easier!  Keep reading to find out why I love using props so much!   Easier to Fade   In my opinion, it’s easier to fade a prop than it is...

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Teaching the Moving Sit at Distance

If you play rally, obedience, or TEAM, your dog will need to understand how to do a moving sit, when the dog stops motion and sits facing you.  There are two components to this exercise: a sit out of motion and the ability to sit in place at a distance without...

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Go! Teaching a Send to a Target

There are several obedience and rally behaviors which require a send to a target.  In rally you’ll teach your dog to send to a cone, and in obedience you’ll be teaching the dog to run straight across the ring away from you.  Generally this behavior is taught to a ring...

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Gates: A Useful Tool for Fronts and Finishes

Wire training gates can be a very useful tool for teaching and maintaining many obedience, rally, and agility behaviors.  In this blog, we’ll discuss how I use gates to train fronts and finishes.   What are Training Gates? First, what are training gates and where...

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How To Create a Relaxed Down Stay: Reduce Reinforcement!

Do you want to know the secret to a relaxed down stay?  The ones where the dog just lays down and snoozes while you carry on with your activities?  Let me tell you…   Reduce reinforcement.  Get rid of the treat.  No more cookies during the stay! If the dog knows...

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How Stations Can Save Your Sanity – Part Two!

Part Two: Adding Duration to the Station   Your dog loves the station and will happily race across the room and hop on.  What’s next?   It’s time to add some duration!  After all, the behavior is pretty useless if the dog won’t stay on the station!   If...

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