Sunday, October 26, 2008


Training a dog can not be done if the dog is over threshold. Threshold levels are different for every dog. Once the dog is over threshold it needs to be removed from the stimulus. Giving a leash correction while the dog is over threshold can add aggression or fear towards the stimulus. If the dog stops barking, can you say for certain that he is below threshold?
The key is to keep a dog below threshold and slowly adding the stimulus and rewarding the dog for staying below threshold. Dog handlers, trainer, owners must learn to read their dogs and reward the correct behavior.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Seminars and Expo and Camps, Oh My!!

It has been a busy year. I attended my 3rd Clicker Expo, several seminars and Stacy's Camp.

Clicker Expo was great. It is a 3 day event with speakers that come from as far as Europe.
I have enjoyed every one of them and wish for them to last forever. I have decided to skip the 2009 Clicker Expo and will look forward to going again in 2010.

In February a friend and I traveled to Colorado to attend a Silvia Trkman seminar with Ryker. She is magnificent. Following her training philosophy for several years and seeing the results not only in my own dogs, but also my students is very rewarding. The dogs learn how to think for themselves. Her puppy classes are fun and produce thinking dogs. She showed me how to teach some of her more difficult tricks and her running contact method. She liked Ryker's work ethics and loved his flea trick. The highlight of the event was seeing her run an Agility course with her little La. I am looking forward on attending her next seminar in the U. S.

Leslie McDevitt has the same attitude. Positive and very understanding to the individual dog's needs. Leslie, however, is more about the dogs state of mind. How to keep an over-reactive dog calm (below threshold) is one of her specialties. The dogs should never be over threshold when using her methods. If the dog is going over threshold the handler has asked for to much, to fast, to soon. A dog learns to re-orient to the handler for more fun or food. I was able to attend her seminar with Ryddick and learned that we have accomplished a lot and that I need to start trusting him more.
I am using CU methods in all the classes I teach with great results.
Going out to dinner with Leslie, Bill and a friend was very rewarding. Leslie even encouraged us to give a workshop and give CU classes.

C-Spot Win Camp was great Agility Camp. It was held over 3 full days in Laramie, WY. I singed up for Contact and Weave Poles with Rachel Sanders. Rachel wrote an article in Cleanrun magazine about her contact training method. She also showed us some Weave Pole trouble shooting methods.
Another part of the Camp was working with Rhonda Carter, Karen Holik, Gerry Brown, Stephanie Spyr, Dana Pike and Stacy Peardot-Goudy. Looking forward on visiting again in 2009.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Leslie And Bill McDevitt.......

........visited my home, the goats and the fowl.
They both enjoyed the goats and Bill took some really cute pictures. They played a bit of fetch with the dogs and we talked a little. Leslie was impressed with how much my friend and I have worked with our dogs. Getting them ready for live, training and even trialing. We have been in tune with our dogs and their needs and it hasn't been about getting them ready for trialing and exploiting them. There is no need to rush. We have nothing to prove. Leslie encouraged me to continue with classes and even do a workshop. That was pretty awesome. All my hard work is paying off.
Thanks Leslie and Bill for coming to Utah.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Control Unleashed #3 (private lessons)

Today Raygen and I were helping another team with being the surprise dog for a lesson. Raygen was great. He is calm and seems to know the other dog needs a bit of space on does not want to be visited. He did not show any interest in saying hi.
I also watched 3 other dogs and their lessons. Two of whom I knew. Leslie was spot on with making observations about the dogs.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Control Unleashed Day #2

Today we did some advanced CU exercises with the dogs that have been doing CU for a while. Some dogs where in the beginning stages of CU and were not able to do more them some beginning mat work or LAT. There was one dog that was to concerned about everything and was not able to relax at all.
My friend and I went out to dinner with Leslie and Bill. She told us that she was impressed with how we have helped our dogs to cope with live, training and trialing. Tomorrow I will help with a private lesson and audit three others.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Control Unleashed Update

Today was a great day at the seminar.
The working dogs got to do some"box work". There were ten dogs and all have different issues. This was geared to the basics of the CU program.
Nothing was expected of the dogs, just to see how they would react. Leslie would show how the owners could get them engaged using the Premack Principle, "Toss the Treat" game, GMAB game and suggested targeting to get dogs to stay engaged and be more operant. She really enjoyed Ryddick and took the treat and played with him.
Tomorrow we will be doing more advanced work.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Control Unleashed Seminar

Only a few more days until the CU Seminar. I love the book. Leslie has brought together some techniques from different resources and made it into a "program" that is easy to follow and it works. My favorite is the T-Touch. I have used it on my horses many years ago and it also helped Rylie with her knee and hip problems. Ryddick enjoys the different touches very much, too.I am really hoping this seminar will make an impact on people. There are far to many dogs that get treated using harsh methods. Not just chokes and prongs, but a correction can be very devastating to a dog that needs patience even a mild one. There seems to be a sense of hurry and impatience in this dog community. People ask themselves: What can the dog do for me? when it should be: What can I do for this dog? Actually very sad. I have started the 4th CU class last Tuesday and it has been a suggess. At the last Pocatello trial four CU dogs have earned new legs and three have earned new titles in Agility.I can't wait to meet Leslie.