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The Engaged Dog
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This is Brenda's Sep 2021 Engaged Dog Coaching Call:



This is Brenda's Sep 2021 Engaged Dog Coaching Call:


Hello IACP Conference Participants!

Wish we could all be together in person. But so good to connect any way we can. I hope you enjoyed the conference as much as I did.

I am happy to host a Q&A Session, via Zoom, in which you can get you questions answered. Here is the invitation to join. 

You must pre-register to join, as a pre-caution against crazy zoom crashers...So click on the link below and a box will pop up so you can do your pre-registration.

Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Sep 3, 2021 09:00 PM America/Detroit

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Sex, Drugs, Rock ’n’ Roll & Service Dog Suitability Training

Dogs who are in an urban area are exposed to a lot of chronic stressors. Service dogs, in particular cannot exhibit predatory behavior, be distracted off their work or disturb their person’s balance. The dog must be extremely self-controlled. We know that a part of this is indeed DNA. We must choose the right dog for the job.

But once that choice is made, how do we create such a dog? Not a dog that is rote trained, but a dog who is a true thinking partner?

Is the way to this thinking dog totally positive reinforcement? Should we visit the other 3 quadrants at all? If we choose to do that, which quadrants? Should any punishers be involved?

I will talk about the way I create a dog who does include the handler, regardless of the venue or use of the dog - a thinking partner. I will discuss specific exercises that form the

I will discuss specific exercises that form the foundation for any work or performance venue you wish to do with your dog.

I have 3 different spheres of activity in which I address a dog’s foundation training and this includes what I humorously call the sex, drugs and rock and roll talk with the dog. This includes not just controlling the dogs behaviour, but also to be able to have a conversation with the dog about his or her emotional state.

The Live Recording of this is available from your IACP Conference connection!

Here are the videos in order of appearance in the presentation.

This is my Dressage mentor, and friend, Bettina, discussing how important the relationship between human and animal is. It was so kind of her to share this very personal moment with you. Grif is her Belgian Terveren and Islero is her Lusitano stallion. I realize that an Emotional Support Dog is different from a Service Dog, however, I felt this reflected the comfort and Emotional Support that all Service Dogs have on offer.      


 This is Liz David, a professional trainer working my Lusitano, Desiderio. In this video she is amazingly, asking for half steps to a single counter-canter depart stride, then back into half steps. This takes an incredible amount of training and finesse to accomplish. It shows the elegance and subtlety of R-. This is not done with hands, but using pressures in your back to communicate in a kind and sophisticated way.

My Lesson with Liz on Desi...also showing, on a much lower level : ) the very communicative "pressure on / pressure off nature of R-. Notice, neither of us pull on the reins or kick with the legs. Instead, according to our Teacher, Bettina, we are working to communicate on an advanced level, using the reflexes and native language of the species we are working with.

 My colleague, student and friend, Tara McLaughlin, with the incomparable Cindy Lou, a Standard Poodle. Tara uses the mechanics of the Be Still Protocol with precision and grace. Notice the signals the dog offers to communicate that she is not just receiving the communication and connection offered, but is accepting it, by using signals in her own native language that tell us she is releasing tension and relaxing another notch. 

In addition to standing still, the yawn, the lip lick (releasing tension in the jaws), the deep sigh, changes of breathing from shallower to deeper breathing, a cleansing breath, slow, deliberate blinking, all of these tell us the dog is releasing tension, relaxing and trusting our touch.

Notice how sensitive and quick, yet calmly, Tara communicates to Cindy Lou, "I liked that!" The release of pressure works as an Event Marker (think of using the release of pressure where you might "click" the behaviour.)

This is an excerpt from my Book/DVD Puppy Problems? No Problem!  This short clip is part of the Be Still with a puppy, from the DVD.

This is an excerpt from my Book/DVD Puppy Problems? No Problem!  This short clip is part of the Sit Restraint Tolerance with a puppy, from the DVD.

This is an excerpt from my Book/DVD Puppy Problems? No Problem!  This short clip is part of the Down Restraint Tolerance with a puppy, from the DVD.

 This is an excerpt from my Book/DVD Puppy Problems? No Problem!  This short clip is part of the initial phase of the Teaching Concentration (Eye Contact) with a puppy, from the DVD.

 This is an excerpt from my online class The Engaged DogTM. This is one of the videos that discuss Impulse Control.

Here are some Bonus materials for you. Just cuz I love you that much... : )

I hope you enjoy them and realize how important it is to have a systematic and deliberate plan and accompanying protocols to teach your dog how to Be Ready to Learn and how to form a special language of communication with your dog.

This is from a clinic I did in Australia. It is me teaching a student Sit Restraint. This is an excerpt from my webinar: Why Restraint Tolerance?

This audio file discusses aspects of Be Still. This is from my webinar Seven Deadly Sins.

In this video, taken from a clinic I did in Australia, I work with a reactive Border Collie and her mum, to help the dog take her arousal down a notch before beginning some dog on dog approaches, using Be Still.

Also, in Australia, but at a different clinic, I work with a group of reactive dogs, to help the dogs relax in each others presence, using a Down Restraint.

Hello Scent Afficianados!

This page is for us to share and collaborate on. 

Emily Teaching 2 dogs, first lesson to teach indication.

We got to some Scent Discrimination as well.  gallery view not on. I didn't know....

Andrea works her cattle dog.

This is our first lesson, and Andrea has gotten started. I want to make sure the indication is strong.

Here is an Audio File for you. My dear friend wanted a run down on how I start Tracking.

So Tracking and SAR & Nosework all have much in common. Hope you enjoy this and get good stuff out of it.

Andrea's Lesson. Session 2 Indication, begin Scent Discrimination

gallery view on.

Emily's Lesson. Session 2 Indication, Begin Scent Discrimination.

Did not have gallery view on. Arrghh. Sorry I will improve.

Part 2

Emily's Session 3 with Charlie - gallery view on. I'm learning....

Emily's Session 3 with Cora. The Star. gallery view on.

Andrea & Panda Session 3 - Scent Discrimination

Emily Lesson on 5-19-2020. Scent & Beginning Heel Work for Competition.




Andrea's Lesson on 5/21/20

Great! Moving articles up, increasing number of articles to search

Emily & Charlie 5-26-2020

Scent & Beginning Heeling. Working Stationary & Left Pivot

Emily & Cora 5-26-2020

Scent, moving outside! Working Heel Stationary & Left Pivot

Em & Charlie 6-3

good basic scent 3 reps 
then front feet on target work in front

 Em & Charlie 6-3

3 articles, 2 unscented, intro intermittent schedule

 Em & Cora 6-3-2020 

desensitize to the dowel
then sensitize
then back up
then work in front and use dowel to straighten dog

Em & Cora 6-9-2020

Scent & Heeling - Abouts & dog not going to the hand for the treat.

Em & Charlie 6-9-2020

Scent & heeling

Em & Charlie 6/16

Em & Cora 6/16

Em & Cora 6/23

Em & Charlie 6/23

Em & Charlie 7/14

Scent & adding intermittent schedule

Em & Cora 7/14

Scent & adding intermittent schedule, Heel work with dowel

Q&A Call from April 4, 2020: 

Hey what fun we had on April 4. You are welcome to listen again and re-live the fun.


Q&A Call From April 11, 2020 

 Wow! We covered a lot of ground! Was lovely to have you on the call.


Q&A Call From April 18, 2020

As always, what a good time! Dog Nerds Unite!


Q&A Call April 24, 2020 

We talked about your body language while training, a lot on fearful dogs, Also this List from Joyce Charron who writes:

Wow. Getting ready for a zoom consult with Brenda, so I pull out my Brenda notebook and look over my notes over the past years and these gems popped out at me. Thanks Joyce, for giving us a great discussion jump off point!

1. Stop trying to solve your HB problems w FB solutions

2. Effective control of Space

3. You don't have to like it, you just have to do it.

4. Being too nice gets you in trouble. With high drive dogs, nice looks like weak. With fearful dogs, when we retract when we see them upset, they soon learn to manipulate our space. This is about having a good clinical detachment and good mechanical skills.

5. Training a fearful dog and a bold dog are very similar.

5. Pressure motivates, release teaches.

Training the competition dog, and dog is sometimes disengaging with handler. What does the sniffing mean? And what to do.


May 2, 2020 Call

As always, fun, passionate, lots of great conversations and brainstorming.

Extensive conversation on Fold Back Down Protocol, including the biomechanics which guide my protocol. 28: stress accumulation/trigger stacking  43: breed ring gaiting, creating beh & building reinforcement history, Authority & projecting energy and emotional states, oscillating them as information, dog hassling other dog & get betweens, 1:20 having the same conversation with a dog over and over.


May 9, 2020 Call

Here is the call


Here is the video referenced in the call, it is towards the end


May 15 Call:

terrier temperaments
getting dog more food motivated instead of so toy motivated (Leslie Sweet)
nature vs nurture - good DNA combined with good handler connection & communication
susan bearden, satchmo & the vacuum and trainer growth 


May 23 Q&A

Create Zen behaviour surrounding meal time. LOL

On AKC Go Out: nose touch to stanchion and creating duration

Teaching heeling on both sides & as always, lots of other crazy stuff!


May 30 Q&A

What to do w shelter dogs that are really stressed? Be Still, and other things incl. counter conditioning and importance of touch. pressure on pressure off for feral dogs, dog sucks on human's thumbs (seriously?), grabbing the leash. 29.24, why there are no short answers. orginal purpose of breeds. Why P+ is bad, how to get around it, why Get Connected was developed. 4 quadrants of Learning theory, tracking issue solutions, retesting, yin yang and Head Turning technique for distractions.

June 06 Q&A

Recall, how to "walk down" a dog and the pre-requisites to that for Recalls

working rituals & how to get out of the car with your dog

Tools to battle distraction

You cannot get involved in the dog's emotional state when training - healthy clinical detachment



July 11 Q&A

July 25 Q&A

Corrections - based on Joyce c ? - Do corrections make a dog stronger? R+ and R- and punishment How to support your dog & socialization fear based behaviours aggression - reactivity

August 01 Q&A

Susan Bearden Guest. went over heel as LLW vs comp o first. discussed how diane & brenda do opp ref on young puppies, biomechanics of creating LLW and also how to think about LLW as an exercise. we start out allowing pups being potty trained to pull us…the virus begins there. lots on reinforcement schedules Six Sigma - an engineering paradigm We discussed the data collection method i use to determine whether or not to raise criteria: 3 CONSECUTIVE correct trials at current approximation…. arranging trials for data - really good stuff on this! Indications for scent works


webinars overview

Webinars: Information & Current Topics

I’m super busy and so are you. I am always trying to pack even more into an already bursting schedule. So I’m gonna make this super easy for you…

  • Enroll in any of my webinars
  • You'll get immediate access to learning, ready when you are!
  • Access time is 1 month
  • Webinars include a Q&A Call (live or recorded, depending on when you enroll) with me, Brenda!

To view current webinar topics, scroll down or click here!

Perhaps I’m not great with flashy titles or marketing…but I guarantee there is great training information in my webinars.

No Travel and at your Convenience! Ok, the call is scheduled, but I will record it and make it available to you, so you don’t have to miss a thing!No Travel and at your Convenience!

Ok, yes, the call is scheduled, but I will record it and make it available to you, so you don’t have to miss a thing!

Webinars! We LOVE Webinars!webinar dogs



Current Webinar Topics

Click on any image to learn more.

reinforcement magic webinar2
webinar respect trust love
webinar essential exercises ed

Brenda Aloff's Virtual Academy is available to teach dog trainers (professional and dog enthusiasts) to improve their dog training expertise, awareness, and results.

1. Courses:

Brenda Aloff's Virtual Academy Courses are in-depth courses, cost is $497 and up.

  • The Engaged Dog course is a six-month course including 100+ hours of videos, audio clips, hands-on exercises and written materials.  Read the FULL description for The Engaged Dog Course.
  • The FUNdamentals™ Instructor Certification Course (dog trainer certification) is for dog trainers with at least 2 years of experience training dogs. It takes about a year to complete this course. Read the FULL description for FUNdamentals Instructor Certification Course.
  • Puppy Chronicles, Part 1.  Are you curious about the development of your puppy? Want to know what helps to make a good start for performance dogs? Breeder? Choosing a new performance partner? This course is for you!

2. Short Courses and Virtual Workshops:

Brenda Aloff's Short Courses and Virtual Workshops are designed to dive deep into a more focused topic. You have access to your short course for 2 months and they include recorded Q&A Calls with Brenda. Cost ranges from FREE to $197.

The Engaged Dog
Courses with Brenda Aloff
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Your Starter Kit with Brenda Aloff

I am so glad to see you here! My teaching philosophy is based on empowering students and teaching them how to make good training decisions.

My students not only improve their performance in their particular venue, whether that is SAR work, Competition Obedience, Agility, Tracking - you name it - but they also find that the relationship they have with their dog is more comfortable and loving.

Please enjoy the learning tools I've included in the Starter Kit.  

~Brenda Aloff

Four Skills to Develop as a Dog Trainer
Learn from Brenda AloffRead:
Become aware of the FOUR important areas that you can assess and develop in yourself to best train your dog.
Brenda provides two podcasts to increase your knowledge base:

Reactive Training

Three Kinds of Walking

Here are some training videos to get you started.


This video is about Canine Body Language. Brenda wrote a book about this and it is a favorite topic of hers. She always says: "The better you are able to read your dog and understand the native language of your dog, the more you connect and the better the training."


Part 2


At a Workshop, Brenda coaches students on what she consider the basics: Impulse Control and helping your dog understand this via using a Back Away exercise.


This is a recording of a live call after some students watched the "Essential Exercises for the Engaged Dog" FREE webinar.


This is an excerpt from the Puppy Chronicles Course. We discuss everything about puppies through 12 weeks of age. We discuss Sensitive Development Stages and why you should care about them. And training that can be done in the whelping nest and beyond. Lots of science, but also lots of watching puppies and interpreting body language and how they discover their native language and develop personalities.


This is another excerpt from the Puppy Chronicles Course. In this video Brenda compares two protocols from her Puppy Evaluation. She is choosing a performance puppy from this litter for a client of hers for Competition Obedience. This is just two of the protocols from the Evaluation.


This is an interview I did for Stephanie Price for her Evolving Dog Summit. She is a fabulous interviewer and we had a lovely time. Please join us.

Brenda offers many online learning opportunities.  See the full list of courses here. She also has many informative books and DVDs.

Please choose specific areas of interest:

Your Starter Kit Contains:

  • Document: Four Skill Sets to Develop (PDF file)
  • Podcasts (.mp3 files):
    • Reactive Training
    • Kinds of Walking
    • Interview from the Evolving Dog Trainer Summit
  • Training Videos:
    • A "light" Lecture on my teaching paradigm "Hind Brain / Front Brain
    • Smorgasboard of Canine Body Language
    • A 7 Deadly Sins Clinic video working Back Aways and Impulse Control
    • A Coaching Call from the Engaged Dog Class. We have wonderful exchanges and discussions.
    • Puppy Development Stages
    • A comparison of 2 of the tests from a Litter Evaluation.
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