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Transitioning Your Dog to Off Leash Work

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...

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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Rally: Teach Yourself or Take a Class?

Master the Moving Down!

Boring Fronts? Use These Games to Mix it Up!

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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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How Stations Can Save Your Sanity – Part One!

Part One: Building the Behavior   Do you ever wish that your dog would just leave you alone?  Wouldn’t it be nice to eat supper in peace?  Or would you like to train one dog and keep the other out of your hair?  Maybe you need to think through a training problem...

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10 Tips to be a Successful Dog Trainer

Being a dog trainer is fun, rewarding, and sometimes not very easy!  I started training my first dog in 1995 and started training other people and their dogs in 2008.  There are certain things that I am constantly reminding both my students and myself, so I decided to...

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Break It Down and Build It Up: Splitting Behaviors

One thing most, if not all, trainers are guilty of is lumping behaviors or adding too much criteria at one time.  To us, it doesn’t seem that complicated, but to a dog, each piece of every behavior needs to be taught before putting it all together. 

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Are You Ready? Opting in to Work

I start each and every training session by asking my dog if he is ready to work.  Different trainers refer to this process by different names, such as ready to work, start button behaviors, or engagement, but all this really means is that the dog is opting in to...

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Pay Attention! Teaching Your Dog Eye Contact

If I could pick one behavior that is most important to teach your dog, it would be eye contact.  More importantly, it would be offered eye contact, in other words, you don’t cue it, but rather the dog does it on his own.   Eye Contact Starts Work   I use...

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Hurry Up! Training Dogs that Lag

Lagging during heeling is a common problem with dogs.  There are multiple reasons that dogs lag, but it usually comes down to one issue: the dog does not truly understand heel.  A dog that understands heel will stay in heel position regardless of how the handler is...

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What is the Two-Cookie Game and How Can it Help You?

The Two-Cookie Game is a great way to teach your dog several important lessons.  First, the dog will learn that he should reorient to you after a distraction.  Second, the dog will be less likely to disconnect after the first reward if he knows another may be coming. ...

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Get a Great Tuck Sit With a Sticky Nose Touch!

Does your dog rock back into a sit during halts, ending up behind you?  This can be a frustrating problem!  Not only do you lose points, your dog is also behind when you heel forward! What if I told you there was a great way to break this habit?  The answer??  Sticky...

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I Don’t Have Time to Train! How to Balance Dogs and Life

There are only so many hours in the day, and there is always something to do!  How do I find time to do it all?  Well...the short answer is, I don’t!  But I do the best I can! As I sit down to write this, my 6 year old foster daughter runs into the room.  “Mom, I’m...

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