Engagement: Why the Extremes?

Another great read from Denise Fenzi about true interaction in training to build relationship.

Denise Fenzi

I watch people train dogs for a living.

One thing I see is people silently staring at their dogs, handing over cookies for behaviors they like and withholding cookies for error.  The currency is cookies.

If you use food as your primary commodity for developing a relationship, then you might find your relationship feels very…hollow.  And if I ask you about your lack of sincere interaction, you might tell me that your dog is independent or doesn’t care about you so you don’t bother with it.  That’s certainly possible.  The other possibility is that how you are choosing to interact is creating that disengaged dynamic.

How about starting and ending each training session with some sincere form of interaction that your dog enjoys? It could be a belly rub.  It could be a game of chase.  It could just be happy talk and pleasant eye contact.  Connect.  Not with cookies…

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One Piece of Advice

Another gem from Denise Fenzi. “At the end of the day, there are no “right” training techniques or “right” ways to do things. There is only what works for you and your dog to create mutual happiness and whatever team you can create with each other. Find what works for both of you by asking those same questions over and over, because one thing that should be non-negotiable in your training with your dog is mutual joy. ” Read on-

Denise Fenzi

I was recently asked an interesting question.  “If you could give a beginner to dog sports one piece of advice, what would that be?”

I had to think about this for a bit, because interesting questions deserve well thought out answers.

So…here’s my one piece of advice:

Keep your dog in the game.

That must be your number one priority, regardless of your dog sport or what you might be working on.

As you start each training session you may want to ask yourself, “Am I having fun?  Is my dog having fun?” “Are we enjoying this sport that we are doing together?” Continue to ask yourself these questions throughout your training session, until it becomes second nature to check in on your mutual enthusiasm for the training process.  

All experienced trainers will tell you that working with an excited and engaged partner makes training incredibly easy, whereas working…

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First annual Treibball Play Day Event in Virginia-Aug. 15, 2015

In addition to our regular class session starting on May16th, we will also be hosting our first annual Treibball Play Day event on August 15th. This is the first treibball event of this kind in Virginia, with something for all levels! If you have been training on your own or taken classes anywhere else, here is your chance to meet other treibball enthisiasts and play some of the organized games. OR maybe you are new to the sport and want to get started-well here is your chance to do that too!

There will be a beginner workshop in the morning from 9:00-12:00, with intermediate to advanced activities in the afternoon from 1:00-5:30. The afternoon will include NATE and Wag IT Dog Ball games with other training challenges and troubleshooting. You can check out the links here for rules, and start practicing! Beginners from the morning workshop will be encouraged to stay and spend some more time learning about treibball by observing the afternoon activities and visiting with others.

Instructor and organizer for this event is NATE charter member and trainer, Char Turner, see bio here.

This will be held in the air conditioned building at Love on a Leash in Harrisonburg VA. Registration details are coming soon, but in the mean time if you have other questions please email Char: dogsontheball@gmail.com

We hope you can join us for a fun time of all things Treibball, learning and playing with our dogs!

Thoughts on Punishment

“Two in a row suggests a training problem; your dog does not know how to win. And since training problems are your responsibility…” YES!!! Loved this, spot on. Thank you Denise. Char Turner

Denise Fenzi

Punishment is used in training to change behavior.  It is a consequence the dog wishes to avoid.

Let’s use crooked sits as an example.  If your dog performs a crooked sit in heel position, you’ll want to make that behavior less likely next time. How might you use punishment?

You can with-hold (-) something that the dog wants like cookies, toys or praise when your dog sits crooked. You are using -P.

Or you can add (+) some sort of physical discomfort technique for the same purpose (collar correction or other physical manipulation).  Your dog won’t want you to do that in the future so straight sits become more likely (+P).  Or you can verbally harass the dog (mental force) to make him uncomfortable, so next time he will try to avoid that by sitting straight (also +P),

If it makes you feel better you can actually straighten the dog (maybe give a…

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