The cognitive Canine

The Blog

Photo Credit: Swiftrun Photography

latest blog post

The Four Steps

I talk about this thing, this thing I call "The Four Steps" to behavioral wellness. These steps, as I see them, are exercise, enrichment, nutrition, and communication. My thinking is that if these four areas, these key components of mental health, are addressed in our...

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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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Priority One

The word priority has not always been pluralized. Think about that a second. Ok, good. Now, realize that initially a priority was a singular thing; one item that was held to the highest regard. Not a list, not a hierarchy, just one thing. And then ask yourself, what...

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He’s Friendly!

Ok, so this is a thing. People allow their exuberant, socially over-the-top dogs to approach your leashed/reactive/elderly dog in a public space. Chaos ensues. You leave pissed, they leave equally angry, and hopefully none of the dogs are hurt. Could this be better? I...

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Gearing Up

Right now I am preparing Idgie for what is likely to be her last Cynosport. Bittersweet for me, this event has been a favorite of mine for years, and there is no better partner to run there than Idgie. It will be our 6th together, and our third height class to run in...

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Too Much, Too Soon

I teach an online class called Worked Up for Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, and I teach a two-day workshop of the same name as well, all over the world. This course is all about dogs spin/bark/bite or just plain can't think in a working environment. They are...

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Rescue Trouble

Much of the time this blog is centered on doing the next right thing, and I hope this one gets there in the end. But today I am, frankly, pissed off. I am fed the hell up with "rescue" groups making this world a whole lot worse for dogs and the people who love them....

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