The cognitive Canine

The Blog

Photo Credit: Swiftrun Photography

latest blog post

The Power of YES

I pulled into the parking lot for my weekly competitive obedience class. I went around to the back of my car, opened it up, and saw my dog settle further into the back of his crate. I knew he didn't want to go in. I reached for him, snapped on his leash, and he hauled...

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Much Ado About Sniffing

I once wrote in-depth about what functions sniffing serves and why it's such a vital part of dogdom and one to be respected. You can find that HERE. Please read it first. So why am I here, writing about it again? A friend's facebook thread asking "what can we do about...

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agility stress dreams and other hard things

Have you ever had an agility stress dream? Maybe you're at [insert major big event here] and you missed your walk through? Or you're walking the course at [major big event] and you just can't get it figure out, and the clock is running down. Or your crating area is...

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Microskills: Toys

In this microskills post I'm going to cover some really basic toy skills that we, if we are going to use toys to train, really need. It is really sexy right now to use multiple markers for toys and while I do find this concept really helpful, I do feel that trying to...

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Reinforcer Microskills: Foodstuff

More Microskills today! If you didn’t read my first post in this series, you can check it out here. The next set of Microskills that I find really vital is that of reinforcer skills. We don’t often think about investing a lot of time into training the reinforcement...

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Microskills

I have been talking with clients a lot lately about a concept I am calling “miscroskills.” Microskills are the tiny elements that make up most of our future behaviors–they are the skills that make it easy for our dog to learn anything else. I would divide microskills into three categories: behaviors, reinforcers, and life. Here are the behavior microskills I find the most valuable, in no particular order…

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Shaping, a Puppy Elementary Post

This post originally appeared as a part of Puppy Elementary and was password-protected. For more posts like this, join now!    Ahhh, that elusive skill! Shaping by successive approximation aka "shaping" or "free shaping" is really just training in my book. I don't...

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Worked Up Camp 2018 Wrap-Up

Well, we did it. Somehow my little idea grew into a great big event with 30 people, my amazing assistant coach, and a gorgeous location not terribly far from home. What happens when 20 working spots are occupied by compassionate trainer-handlers and their supremely...

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When Things Go Wrong

In progressive teaching and training circles it is taught that rather than worry about what to do if things go wrong, we should worry about what we are going to do to be certain things go right.  This is how I operate. This is how I train. Yet, things can and do go...

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