The cognitive Canine

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latest blog post

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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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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