Training

The Habit of Excellence

I admire excellence in any field, whether the excellence is shown in amazing cakes or handpainted silk jackets, in being able to fix almost anything mechanical (thank you, dear husband, for possessing that particular excellence!), in creating music that sings in my heart long after the final notes have faded from my ears. I have been privileged to watch many trainers who could create an agreement between themselves and a dog that was rich with nuance and harmony.

Permission, Not Permissive

Hyperactive!

Out of control!

Impulse issues!

Reactive!

Lacking self control!

These labels and many more are readily applied to so many dogs. Yet the handler often isn't even considered to be part of the dynamic that contributes to the dog's behavior. 

Relationship Centered Training (RCT) always considers the relationship and how dog and human interact to create behavior. Not surprisingly, the human end of the leash sometimes contributes to unwanted behavior without intending to do so.

Even Though…

Even Though. . .

All of us can appreciate what might excite a dog, even to the point of tuning out his handler. It could be another dog, people approaching, food, toys, wildlife, a cat or squirrel, anticipation of a happy event like a walk or being in class. We understand that the world is full of many things our dogs may find far more interesting at times than a conversation with us.

Connection & Control

If you're hanging on to your dog's body, it's because you've lost his mind!

Control is not always about connection, but connection is what makes control possible.

Connection is about two minds working together. If the connection is not there between you and your dog, you will be unable to direct him, help him or really train him.

Understanding Thresholds: It's More than Under- or Over-

It is often heard and cheerfully given advice: "Keep him under threshold!" Yep. Can do. I think. Maybe. Um, how do I know? 

While most of us recognize the dog who has been pushed past a threshold and into reaction, it is harder to know exactly where the sweet spot is, the place where learning and thinking occur, where choices are possible, and where behavior changes (good ones!) can happen.