Rewarding tips: what, how and where!

Finishing the exercise on the right note is important! What is motivation, and how do rewards help create it? The what, how and where of rewarding are a huge part of shaping the skill you’re teaching. What is motivating to your dog? Do the tips or practices you hear from others actually work on your dog in that situation – or are you just feeding them a treat they do not want? How does the way you reward take your training forwards, and how can you use reward choice, manner and placement to shape your skill? In this blog: What Read more…

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Handler with dogs

A season off agility

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that this year has been a weird one. I’ve done agility for almost my entire life and the prospect of having a season off is never something that I have considered. But here we are and as a practical kind of person I am focusing on making the best of it.   Normally my entire season is focused around national competitions: qualifying for Crufts for the next year and making the national team, to compete somewhere abroad. Something that I realised quite early on this spring is that just because those things aren’t Read more…

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Shaping – what is that all about?

Shaping can be very useful in training our dogs: it lets the dogs think for themselves, and make an active  choice to perform. Their hunting instinct is activated, making learning through shaping  fun for even breeds less eager to please! For example terriers or hunting dogs like beagles are happier  to work independently from their handlers. Shaping lets the dog make the call. One definition of shaping is the reinforcement of incremental, cumulative steps that that make up our desired behaviour. This technique can be used in combination with luring and is also related to capturing a behaviour.  As dogs Read more…

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Why do dogs growl on leash?

What makes dogs growl on leash? This seems to be the most common of dog-related problems, with no conclusive answers. Do we actually understand our dog, and are we truly able to look at it from the dog’s perspective? Without the necessary backround information it’s hard to be a good owner in this situation very meaningful and awkward to the dog. In this blog I will talk about the basis of leash aggression and give practical ways of improving the situation. Dogs are social creatures A dog wants to connect with other dogs. This is already clear by how important Read more…

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