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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2 thoughts on “Engagement: Why the Extremes?

  1. Char,

    We had an amazing day at the NW trial in NC yesterday. Sarika earned her 3rd NW3 title with a Pronounced designation so now she is an Elite dog! At 10 1/2, with a heart murmur, and two weeks after surgery for a burst cyst. And with a neurotic handler!!!

    Thank you so much for helping me with my mindset about training and dog sports!



    • Wow! What a Happy New Year for you and Sarika! I am very happy for you, you have made made such a sincere effort and you have earned every reward. Huge Congratulations to Team Sarika, you are a perfect match😀

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