I am a trainer who has attended Brenda's seminars in Vancouver, Canada with Dogs Gone Right and TNT. I am very interested in taking the foundation course (and all the others to come), on-line. I am looking to improve and perfect the skills I have learned so far, and add to them. I have actively put the Foundation work into my Basic Obedience Classes and the results have been phenomenal. We get a lot of rescues and my classes are generally full of challenging cases, where people are needing "beyond obedience" classes.
Maureen Van Couver
I was at your Instructor workshop in the UK this week and I am still buzzing! You were so inspirational and I feel you gave me a golden key to a magical toolbox into helping dogs. I know that I have a long way to go, and a lot more to learn, but in just 2 days, I am seeing amazing results by using the collar restraint and massage. It is amazing! I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you!
Jane Lockley, UK
I hope things are going well for you up north there! Oh, I finally got around to taking the CPDT-KA exam, and passed easily - all of your emphasis on learning theory made that section a snap. Thanks again for everything.
Carol New York
The hot news from APDT was that your books were best-sellers at the 2013 APDT Conference. Thanks for creating excellent information for us to sell and trainers to learn from!
Charlene & Larry Woodward
Brenda, It was a blast and a pleasure learning with you this weekend. What's shifted for me is in an exciting way I'm experimenting, I'm digging in and I'm trying a lot more "stuff" with the dogs. Yesterday and today I've worked my Board & Train dogs and my own dogs in a completely new way. I have to say it feels like I'm training with some balls, but training from the heart. I can't tell you how freeing it is in some way. And the dogs effing get it.
I had this experience with a who knows shep/cattle dog or shep/pit, and she is soo damn sweet and when I actually worked her with switching games for fetching, she lit up as thought to say "finally some is freaking working me- yes!!!".
But I'm just going where the journey takes me, with more curiosity and confidence than ever.
Thank you for that!
Leigh Siegfried, Owner
ACDBC, CPDT-KA, OSCT, AKC-CGC Evaluator
Opportunity Barks Behavior & Training
I was just loaned the one book of yours that I do not already own-your puppy book. It is, like the rest of them, a wonderful, funny and enriching read.
My productivity level, however, has gone down the toilet as a result of not being able to tear myself away from this book. So, on behalf of my neglected and un-walked dogs, my un-vacuumed carpet, and unanswered emails, I beg you to stop producing such read-able tomes of knowledge! :)
Thanks for another great read...
Michaela Greif, CPDT-KA, LSW OpBarks Programs Coordinator
Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Service Dog Trainer, AKC-CGC Evaluator #83609
Opportunity Barks Dog Behavior & Training
How awesome to finally be in your seminar! I am using the tools! I practiced the exercises Saturday night and this morning (Monday). Tonight I went to Susan's obedience class where I have not gone all summer. When we first arrived, Bailey wanted to eye a couple of the other dogs. Each time, I turned his back to them and did back aways. He seemed to immediately forget the other dog each time and focus on me.
I used the Be Still when another dog came right into Bailey's face. We were a post and that dog was doing the figure 8. When it came at Bailey, I stepped back with Bailey and turned his back to the dog and began the rubbing. He stayed calm like he was, "OK, you can handle it, I'll just relax." Then we stepped back into the post position and there were no problems.
The healing was great. He has always tended to forge. I have been practicing turning into him 90 degrees and he now automatically backs away from my feet if he is in front of them, but he more and more often is healing where he should be.
So, thank you, thank you for all the information and tools. As you know, they work.
Inca and Copper are even quickly learning to play tug calmly without the neck biting and escalating obnoxiousness that makes me nervous. There is still practice to do on my part as I never had tools to help them learn to play nicer before, and they were good at playing rough. Now I do, and couldn't be happier. Thank you SO much for sharing your knowledge!
I believe this information has changed my world as much as the DOG'S class I took back in 2000, at Purdue.
Helping Copper in this way has already showed me that he is very teachable and our problems may have been just a lack of respect issue, AND he is a BOY!!! And to his credit, I may not have been teaching him in the ways he could understand.
I say "Thank You!!" again. Light bulbs were going off and you have given me tools to use with my other rescue westies that need the "support" as well. That is invaluable. There was some sort of a load lifted off my shoulders this weekend when I finally learned I had some where to go with these dogs, even if just the basic restraints and relaxation exercises for desensitization. That is huge.
I have received several "when is she coming back?" requests. I had a phone call this evening from a person who had a great time and wants to bring a dog next time.
Thanks again and it was a real pleasure to meet you and learn from all the work you have done, thanks so much for sharing!!!
I don't know if Diane has let you know, but her young dog (the one with the stay issues), Drifter, went HIT with a 199 1/2 at his very first trial in Novice. Evidently he kept his feet still and his hip on one side.
Sissey, Kinsey, Mira & Scout
Thanks for a wonderful time. We all learned a lot, and fortunately have the group to remind us if we should have a memory lapse. We especially appreciated the extra time you were willing to give us, and are already talking about the best time next spring/early summer to repeat our educational trip.
As Erica mentioned, Scout's new responsibility will be to 'suck it up, and just deal with it'. But I will temper that with more training so she better understands her job, thus giving her more confidence. But I will be careful to ensure that her jobs are fun, so we are both happy. And I will try to make my treat rewards more random, especially in her obedience training. She will probably still get treats for cuteness though, but hopefully not as often. :) Fortunately Cheri and I train Recess and Scout together every tuesday so we will have ample opportunity to work on rope desensitizing. Mostly, I think, your telling me that Scout needs to learn to deal with issues, has reduced my stress level (I was so worried that her stressing at the start line would make her not want to play agility anymore that I stressed, which probably increased her stress, which put us in a vicious circle). She actually earned a QQ on sunday with two beautiful runs, and yes, she was stressed on the start line, but I didn't worry. In fact saturday, I tried a long leadout with a recall through the weaves. Scout is a brilliant weaver, and has practiced the recall weaves at home, and owns the skill, but she couldn't do it at the trial, and gave me the wandering avoidance behavior beside the weaves. But I didn't worry about it---so she's not ready for that today, but maybe in a month? No problem.
Thanks again for your willingness to share your knowledge with our group. We had a great training vacation.
I borrowed Denise Tarby's copy of your Fundamentals DVD. The picture below it a new competition obedience puppy class (all handlers who have showed to the Utility level with prior dog(s)) that just started last week. I got 'em started on your Sit Restraint exercise right away :-).
Ann Arbor, MI
Thank you so much for a very entertaining weekend. Wow do I just love the way you work, The puppy biting fix was peachy, tried it today on a clients dog...amazing result. You make so much sense and listening to gossip out the front ( like you do!!) you really turned a few minds round.
Thank you for being so approachable..... a normal person.....with passion and drive and you had time for everyone who wanted to talk to you personally. From the bottom of my heart (without wanting to sound like I'm brown nosing!) Thank you Mrs amazing lady. Many Best Wishes.
PURE Dog Listeners Ltd
Tel: 07789 777 407 / 01722 782635
I hope you enjoyed sightseeing with Jez and had a safe and uneventful journey home. If you are ever in the UK and Jez is not around to offer you appropriate British hospitality please do not hesitate to give me a shout.
It was lovely meeting you and having the opportunity of working and learning with my dog Toro. I am not sure Toro has quite recovered yet from having his world turned upside down! And even if he has I am still recovering.
You were a joy to learn from and listen to and I am looking forward to your return to the UK next year. I will be making a bit more time to work with my boy and intend to have a more focused Toro by then!
I hope you don't mind but I have stolen some of your quotes as they were fantastic, to the point and funny. I will of course attribute them to where I first heard them.
Thanks though for the kind offer of future support should I need it.
Take care and best wishes.
Nick and Toro
Just met you at your U.K. seminar (ginger bloke with goatee), and I would like to thank you for both the information & entertainment. Especially for that rarest commodity nowadays in dog training, common sense. Hope to meet you again when (and if !!) you return.
Last week my young gordon setter Flair and I attended the Gordon Setter Club of America National Specialty in Chattanooga, TN. We were so
astonished to be awarded Winner's Bitch, Best of Winners and Best Bred by Exhibitor (for handler, breeder, co owner Sarah Armstrong).
Last spring, shortly after the unexpected death of my heart dog Tory, I attended the Brenda Aloff seminar with an almost out of control 8 month old Flair. She was pushy, hyper and we still hadn't bonded. We stuck with the work, and thanks to some of Brenda's exercises, Laura's advice and LOTS of hard work, we have bonded and I was so proud of my confident, well behaved show dog. Win or lose, it was so great to see her work her heart out in the breed ring.
After the specialty we took a short trip to Florida, and it was so fun to take to her outside patio bar/restaurant and have her be so well behaved while we ate and watched the live music. I received so many compliments on my beautiful well behaved dog. I had to blink back tears remembering where we came from last year.
Winning was icing on cake, but having a dog who has become much easier to live with and take out in world is what it is all about.
Just a short note to give you a big thank you. Gamer finished his championship with four majors last Sunday at the Saginaw shows, it was a long two years. But I know it would have taken a lot longer without your advice and guidance to help me help Gamer learn how to relax. He was still a butt head at times but with the stuff that you taught me and some stuff that I came up with he learned how to stand like a rock for the exam. He still does not like the breed ring, but I am not going to worry about it as he will not be back in it unless its in Canada or a very special occasion. We will now be working on his open/utility and tracking titles.
Again thanks so much...take care and talk soon
Linda and the CH Gamer
I know you are probably just getting home, but wanted to go ahead and email you. I was wondering if you have other clinics scheduled this year and their locations? I'm also strongly considering coming up to work with you one on one with my 2 year old GSD (Honor) for a few days. It's a long drive for me (8 hours), but I think you are the right person to truly get us on the right track, if I can spend a few days working with you (I'm slow to change MY neural pathways!). You are one of very few people I've met who has the knowledge and experience in dog behavior in general and in multiple peformance venues as well. I plan to compete in several events with Honor - AKC obedience, agility, herding, tracking and schutzhund. Not all at once of course! And first and foremost I want a well behaved companion that I can take anywhere.
Because I plan to compete in multiple venues, I have to consider all venues while training for each, so that I do not create training problems for myself, or confusion for my dog. And I don't know many people who do schutzhund, herding, and AKC obedience and agility (and do it well) to turn to for answers. I also heard loud and clear the part of your lecture regarding dogs working too long at high arousal, and associating their handlers with that state of high arousal. I can see where this could easily happen within the schutzhund sport - any pointers you can give to avoid this would be much appreciated. My dog's overall well-being and our relationship is my first priority. Honor generally works calmly and in drive. I want to be sure it stays that way.
I enjoyed the seminar. I am continually trying to be a better trainer, with the goal of having exceptionally obedient companions based on a relationship built on trust and respect. The information in your Get Connected book is invaluable (I have no doubt the other books are as well - I just haven't read them yet!).
U-CDX CH Blak Jak Phalcon Flying High UD RAE AX AXJ CDX-C CGC (Belgian Tervuren)
CH Blak Jak's Ain't Misbehavin CD BN CD-C ("Tora"-Akita)
Rite of Honor vom Kraftwerk (GSD)
In Loving Memory of
U-CDX Ilsa vom Kaiserhaus UDX VER RAE2 NAJ OJP IT BH TC CGC (GSD)
Gunner CD TD RN CGC (GSD)
I hope all is going well with you. I just wanted to give you a quick update on two things.
First of all, we were at an UKC obedience trail this past weekend. Jazz showed like she was a golden retriever or border collie on fire!!!!! (that's a GOOD thing). She earned her second utility leg. (she would have three, but I gave a second sit command which you cannot do in UKC. In AKC you can and just lose 3 points). I am getting focus, attention and thought on HER part. It's fun showing a good dog!!!!! We still have plenty to work on, though. Laura has plans to get us thru it!!!
Second, one of my grooming customers is a MONSTER in a shi-tzu's body. It bites, poops, pees and is very scared. It is probably one of the top two WORST dogs that I groom. Luckily, the owners do some things that I tell them do to help with the dogs insecurities. Anyway, the last time I was there, the dog seemed a bit more relaxed. And then I thought to myself, "I wonder how the "be still" cue will work with this crazy animal." So I put down the clippers and scissors and did the be still cue. I got a lip lick and I saw the dog take a deep breath. There is more to this story, but that's the gist of it. I was under the impression that the "be still" cue was for our "highly trained" (!!!) dogs!! Laura said no!!!
Pretty soon you'll be out of a job if you keep giving away all your dog secrets!!! LOL
Sue, Jazz and Rodger
I also wanted to personally thank you for your insight with Baxter and Brewster, both of whom have mastered the "down stay." It is amazing to especially see Brewster relax at the other end of the leash and I know this will be an invaluable skill set for his forever home. We are grateful to you for coming to help us help the animals in our care.
Little Traverse Bay Humane Society
1300 West Conway Road
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Just wanted to thank you again for a fantastic weekend. I learned a lot , mostly how much I don't know:) And everyone else was thrilled to have you here for the weekend. Thank you for helping us save some money in the ways you did. That was much appreciated. I was able to give Agility Angels $200 in the long run. Not a huge amount, but better than breaking even :)
If I had to sum up in one word your style of training, teaching, perhaps even living.... one thing that struck me .... was the word "deliberate". It seems that is how you teach and train and even speak. With much thought and reason behind most things. To me, that was a sweet lesson to put in my own journal under "life lessons". It challenges me to go "deep" into things - not just a surface knowledge and not just doing something because that is what a text may have said. But working with it, tweaking it, challenging it, seeing if it holds water - It means that there is a richness and depth to interactions - whether animal or human. It was a great experience of working with a master - someone who has this sort of depth of knowledge, experience and research. You can't get that in a 6 month course of anything - whether that is massage, yoga, dog training or living:)
I especially loved the "horse talk" and videos. Oh yeah and the references to muscle memory and how biomechanics helps with the training and communication. It is helpful to have some anatomy knowledge even with dogs!
I have done a couple of things with Gracie(my feaful one) these last 2 days that definitely worked. All the books I read and my trainer had me keep her under threshold and I've been protecting her all these years. But now I am challenging her a bit more and know that even what we've done over the last 3 years has helped heal her and build trust, and now might be a good time to step it up:)
Those of you who have been to a Brenda Aloff seminar or who have read her Get Connected book have seen her Be Still Cue switch. It is a technique that involves a specific way of rubbing the dog that teaches it to relax and switch from a reactive or hyper or fearful mental state (hindbrain) to a calmer more thinking state (frontbrain). It is very simple to do, and if you practice it often, you can get the dog conditioned to respond to it very quickly with just a stroke or two. When you get it to that point, it becomes something that can be very useful in the competition obedience ring. Since you are allowed to pet your dog between exercises, you can use a quick Be Still Cue then. Just don't touch the dog's collar when you do.
Today, both Sue and Kathy, who earned Utility A legs, used it in the ring, and I think it was a definite factor that contributed to their success. In each case, the dog was showing signs of stress (stress yawning) and/or hyperactivity, and so both Sue and Kathy used it at those key points to get their dogs tuned back in and mentally ready for the next exercise. There was one point in particular when Sue's dog, Rodger, got pretty squirrely just before the moving stand exercise, which is a hard thing for him, and Sue got him set up and immediately did a few quick strokes. He settled down and was able to complete the exercise.
If I have not yet shown you the Be Still Cue, and you are interested in it, remind me next time I see you. If you know about it but haven't practiced it much or lately, get busy. It has to be well conditioned in order for the dog to be able to respond to it fast enough to be useful in the ring.
Thank you Brenda for such a valuable little tool!
Laura Romanik and the Radiant Shelties
From an Agility On Line Group:
I feel compelled to speak up regarding my respect and admiration for Brenda Aloff. I have been working with her for years and she is amazing. She is one of those people with an incredible ability to think outside the box; and who keenly observes minute details. She can help your personal and working relationship with your dog regardless if they stress up, stress down, need confidence, or are a manner less crazy animal (like one of mine) who needs a fair, stronger leader (like I needed to be, but am naturally a push over, and wanted to be firmer without real harshness). Just saying, if you have a need, or have a desire to work on any behavior or relationship issues with your dog(s), see Brenda if you can.
One word of warning, however, Brenda will tell you how it is, so if you are not ready to hear the truth, or truly not ready to improve on something, wait until you have the desire to hear about your relationship, learn what your dog needs from you, and wait until you are really ready to work on it. It is not always all rainbow and roses, she adapts her methods to the individual dog for sure. But, if you have a dog who runs your relationship, or a fearful dog who is not trusting you to protect them in public, don't expect to hear all gushing positive comments, etc. People who know me, know that I would never allow extreme negative methods with my dogs, but this is not all click and treat. For example, if you think it is unreasonable to ask your dog to stand calmly close to you just because you ask them to and because they trust you to keep them safe, (e.g. without click and treats), then this would not be for you. I, personally, at times, have only been in a position to take on one issue at a time, and Brenda understands that. That is way I keep going back to her, each time I have made some progress, and am ready to take on the next step.
I don't get anything from Brenda for this endorsement, and I still am paying full rate for my working spot, and private lessons. I just believe that she can help some many people improve their working relationships with their dogs, and therefore, also help them reach their dog-related goals. She has also done a ton of work with dog aggression. So, I felt like I need to add my "review." Granted, however, I am just one person, and I am not Brenda. So check her publications, ask others opinions, etc. I just don't think enough people in the agility community are aware of this wonderful resource
Hi All - I've just read Kristine Stewart's endorsement of the Brenda Aloff seminar coming to HHDS in November. I too, must add my admiration for this woman and her excellent insight into dogs and their thinking. Brenda and I go way back to my first obedience dog, Shannon - and Brenda with her Smooth Fox Terrier. Our terriers were usually the odd ones at obedience class. We really had to make our own way as traditional training methods used back then weren't always successful with our guys. Brenda does not mince words, her style is real; but she really knows dogs!
This seminar will open your eyes to out of the box thinking, and I guarantee it will be the most unique seminar you've ever been to.
& the Schnauzer Brats
Brenda, our journey continues. Thanks to you her behavior continues to improve and we are having so much fun!!!!
Jan and Pippin
I attended two of your seminars in CT, the most recent one was at Paws and Effect. I've found your techniques enormously helpful both with my own dogs and clients dogs. I ended up doing a ton of "Be Still Cue" muzzled then off muzzle with my Rottie Flash that you met and a lot of stand for exam while being touched with weird objects and his attitude about being touched has completely changed. He actually looks soft and relaxed. People who've known him for years can't believe he's such a mush. Thanks!
Anne Macaulay, Ph.D.
On Good Behavior LLC