I have been instructing people with their dogs for about twelve years. I really wasn’t very good at it at first. It took a long time for me to learn how to be an effective and kind teacher, and those skills continue to require polishing. Anytime we want to be good at something we need … More Of Learning and Gremlins
Have you ever wanted to use something as a reinforcer and found that you couldn’t; that this item just wasn’t reinforcing to your learner? Perhaps you were in an agility class full of tugging border collies and you felt like a failure because your sheltie didn’t want to tug. Or maybe you were in an … More Learner’s Choice: Effective Reinforcement
When you read this my dogs and I will be on the road, on our final stretch home from Cynosport World Games in Scottsdale, Arizona. This week was weird. My person was at home, and the strangest most emotional (terrifying) election I’ve ever experienced happened on the eve of the first day of the week-long … More Intentional Impact
Commonly in dog agility training (and training for a lot of other dog sports) it is recommended that we train our dogs in a high state of arousal. We use toys to incite this state and we work hard to keep our dogs in an adrenalized state while we train so that this state carries over … More Training High?
This past weekend I did an AKC agility trial. Not a highly unusual event for me and my dogs, though it was the first one I have done in several months, as I spend my summers hiking and playing USDAA. Naturally, some folks I don’t see often wondered about Felix. He is legally old enough … More Spending Time
We live in a culture of symptom-chasing. Our medical professionals are highly skilled symptom-evaders*, our medicine cabinets are packed with symptom-easers, and mental health is discussed even less often than mental illness, which is saying a lot. It makes sense; it’s easier to highlight what is wrong, to make a bullet list of things we’d … More Chasing Symptoms and Bypassing Cures
If I told you there’s a very important concept that you may not have been taught about, one that is essential to both your dog’s care and your own personal wellbeing, and actually the wellbeing of everyone around you, would you hear me out? I hope so. Here it goes. The concept is consent. Defined … More Matters of Consent