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Welcome & Introduction

I am so excited about the Virtual Academy!

For those who cannot travel to me, this allows me to teach you, and in a way you can understand and put to use.

For my students who do get local lessons, this allows you to learn the Learning Theory that we don't have time to go cover in lessons, because there just isn't enough time.

For everyone, I will be able to track your progress and help you out if you get stuck.

If you can view the video at left with no problems, then you know that your internet connection will allow you to enjoy the Virtual Academy!


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
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.


Hi Brenda,
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.

Thanks again,
Pat Guido

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!!!

Paula Fike
Westie Rescue

Hi Brenda,

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 :-).


Adele Yunck
Ann Arbor, MI

Dear Brenda,

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

Hi Brenda,
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.

Diane Bartlett

Hi Brenda,

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!).

Best Regards,
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

Hi Brenda,
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

Hi Brenda,
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.

Marci Singer
Associate Director
Little Traverse Bay Humane Society
1300 West Conway Road
Harbor Springs, MI 49740

Hi Brenda,
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:)

Thanks again!

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.

Lynn Baitinger
& the Schnauzer Brats
Rochester, MI

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

I also wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your sit restraint exercise. I have always taught a sit restraint with massage to my students, but not with the chin rest technique you have taught me. I have 2 students with older adolescent dogs who have been struggling with the handling portion of the CGC test due to social mouthiness. Your technique has been wildly successful as it now clearly gives the dogs a focused job to do during the handling exercise while we condition the calm acceptance of touch with strangers. The owners are thrilled - and thanks to you I look almost brilliant :)

Keep up the great work!

We were just thinking about you and were feeling so grateful when a stray pit mix wandered onto our property (we found it cornered in the chicken coop by a crazed Sydney). We had the dog for 48 hours looking for the owner (which we found) ... and we kept the two dogs well separated, but since she was sweet we took the opportunity to give Syd some training sessions and she did SUPER! After about a half hour on leashes together we were going for walks around the property ... second session it took only about 10-15 minutes before Sydney was calm enough to walk side by side with the other dog and they were nicely ignoring each other ... we would have handled it totally differently without you!!


You were there for so many of us with problem dogs and opened your facility to all the dogs that no one wanted to deal with. I will always be grateful for all that you have taught me and all your help with Starr (well both of them) but mostly the BC Starr!! She just turned 12 yrs. old on June 1st. Now that she is going deaf.. the fear aggression has come back because she just doesn't know what is going on around her as well, but she still wants to work and dance with me when I am training with Fancy and we are at home where she feels safe.

She is also wonderful if I am demoing for kids as long as there are no other dogs. With all your help and me waiting for 2 years to working with you before I put her in the Freestyle ring... She went from her first show in April 2003 at the International in PA (earning her Beg. MF & HTM titles and placing first in her divisions) to Nov. 2005 earning both W-FDCh-MF/HTM & tying with Patie Ventre for WCFO North Am. National Champ and taking a lot of Special Awards at that show too.

Then in April 2006 International Conference, that we hosted at Midland's Valley Plaza, she took all the top awards at the show. I always credit a lot of our success together, to you and your work to help me with Starr and teaching me all about dogs with issues. I'm a better Trainer, Instructor and dog mom because of YOU! And you got Freestyle going at Dog Scout Camp too. I'm happy to carry on where you left off there since you schedule is so busy and will be adding some more Freestyle Badges to what you created to start things along for Freestyle with Dog Scouts.

Without you bringing the Fab 4 from Davisburg up to do a workshop in Freestyle... I might never have gotten into this sport that I love so much. The success I have experienced in the last few years is a direct result of the path to Heaven on Arf that I was so lucky to find my way down, back when Casey was a young dog. She will be 15 years old in Oct.

Your journey has now gone down a little bit different path and I am so very happy for you with all your Literary Success as a very gifted Author and your continued success to give Seminars & Teach all over the world. Also your renewed love with your Horses.

Well, sorry to write a book here. But I really do want you to know how much you have added to my life. I never dreamed, when I was a full time Sign Business Owner/Graphic Artist that I would some day be Judging, Teaching and Dancing With My Dogs.You were a guiding force and a Mentor to me for many years and you are a special person Brenda.

Gloria Voss

Bootstrap won two third places this weekend, one in Utility B with a 194 ( the judge has these lifts on his shoes...Boo was nervous, but quiet....) and one in Open B ...he won a 3 way run off with an OTCh dog among them, a Golden Retriever too.......for a third place with a 197 (and YES..he "ROLLED" and did not skuttle.....)He got 5 OTCh pts........his mother, 2 ½ yrs ago is the only other Malamute ever to earn even a single OTCh pt until yesterday......our heeling in the run off is a moment I dream about.........our spirits together........the "conversation" becoming song......thanks Brenda....we wouldn't have been there without you....and we plan to go back for more now ....Raissa


Brenda, Hello. Just a note to say I have seen a big difference in Jester (Black GSD you saw in Lansing). He is not coming to the agility start line quiet yet but he is more of a thinking man now. Last trial he received 2 firsts a second a third and a fourth. Very nice. I have not brought William back yet. He still needs to be deeply ingrained with work. He does appear to be a happier dog. That is more important than any competition to me.

Enjoy the weekend and Thanks for giving me some really incredible tools (that I originally called Voodoo, in a kind and loving way) But now I am a firm believer and was going to ask to live in your spare bedroom for several months.

Lisa F

I emailed quite a while ago, that I had read your book and was amazed at what I was recognizing in my dogs.

The Great Pyrenees with all of the problems had perfect "Dog Language" and the English Springer Spaniel that everyone loves on sight, had pretty terrible manners. It has been several months now, and my dogs are both doing really well.

Your book sits on my coffee table, and is the last book I read every night before I go to bed.

I have taught the big dog the commands: Leave It - Sit Now; so that when she is in a situation that is unfamiliar she knows what to do. If I say Leave It, she automatically comes and sits next to me.

Both dogs are 1 1/2 years old, and this week, we changed the big dog's name from Gracie to Snow Bear. I noticed that every time we called her by name, she did the mouthing, yawning slightly crouching position. I use my dogs names a lot. So I spent about a week, just saying every name I could think of (when she was relaxed and quiet) that might have been her name the first 5 months of her life on a Great Pyrenees/Sheep farm. The people we got her from had her for 2-3 months on a horse ranch. We don't farm or ranch, she is now a house dog, with a 1 acre yard to play in.

Anyway, finally, I tried Snow Bear, and she leaped off the floor and went into her "Happy Sheep" routine. When she is really happy she bounds around on all fours like a sheep. I guess it comes for living on a sheep ranch. Our previous Great Pyr did not do this.

So she is now Snow Bear, or some rendition of that name. My husband calls her Bear, when our kids and grandkids come to visit, they call her Snow, and I call her Snow Bear. She responds to all of them, and has finally started giving us the Great Pyr smile.

So, again, thanks so much for this wonderful book. It is helping tremendously in assisting a beautiful big dog change to a "happy" beautiful big dog. Oh, and the Springer Spaniel, Misty, has started giving me bows, and is much happier now that her doggie language skills are so much clearer.

Gail McCowan

Hey Brenda,

I just wanted to thank you for coming and doing the clinic here. It's been so great to hang out with you. You make my heart so happy!

One of the things I admire so much about you is your trusting nature. I was thinking about how much I liked talking about the follies, furies and mishaps with dogs and hearing your stories. You've improved the lives of 23 dogs and 23 people in the last three days and you've provided beautiful education for people. As always, I wished we lived closer.

Thanks so much and enjoy the trip home and the upcoming break from travel!

Love and hugs,
co-creator of PAT - a brave new therapy guaranteed to cure your ailing animal's abnormal mind

I try though in as many posts as I can make to stress the benefits of positive reinforcement. I also try and stress the importance of learning dog psychology. We also trained and sold Missouri Foxtrotter horses so we had to learn horse language. It is ongoing as you know but most important. You have to understand what they are trying to tell you or what they are most likely processing.

What impresses me most is your analogies and your amazing ability to put into words how to understand how a dog learns. It just boggles my mind. Being a good writer ( I am going back and checking this email as I write and know I am not doing so well LOL) is tough. I had a very tough teacher in school but he was a gift so I know good writing when I read it. You are a wonderful writer. Your grasp of psychology and psychology principles is wonderful. I had a ton of psychology classes in college and it was very difficult for me to read the principles and think them through. You do it so well. It is probably like second nature to you.

You are my favorite author on dogs and dog behavior.


Great to listen to you today at IAABC- literally a breath of no b.s. fresh air- THANK YOU. I've been working with dogs going on 10 years now and I'm always constantly reevaluating my interactions with animals. I came to this conference sort of stuck, really. I was feeling disappointed with all that info that is out there that focuses solely on the technique, with little regard to the relationship (or the animal). Thanks for your humor, your honesty and your integrity! Looking forward to a clinic soon!


Hi Brenda,

I wanted to thank you for an enlightening and enjoyable seminar this past weekend. I attended the Dexter seminar last fall and plan to attend the Toledo seminar this fall. Your insight, humor and presentation are appreciated and inspiring.

I feel the need to apologize for our fellow attendee that "went off" on you. It was very inappropriate and unjustified. You handled it with a great deal of professionalism and calm, must be from all those years of dealing with reactive dogs. I hope this won't discourage you from continuing to share your methods of enhancing our relationship to our animals.

Keep up the great work,

Brian Dunn

Your ability seminar was first rate. Your talks were really engaging and watching you work with the dogs was a treat. I learned so much. Thank you. I not only learned about Flag's front and hind brain, but also about my own!

We have been practicing eye contact - he's up to 30 sec. in the house. Now we need to take the show on the road. Also working on Be Still, and the other exercises you demonstrated. Wow! Now I know there are tons of gaps in my training skills. But also know where I can go to get help - you and Get Connected with Your Dog.

Your book is amazingly clear, well organized and packed with "good stuff". Well done. I started out underlining what I thought were significant points and then began to realize that I was underlining almost the whole page.

Paws Up,


I just wanted to thank you for your time and truly helpful input on our pack issues. The book and DVD are like Godiva chocolate to me.

Take Care,

Thanks again for all of your help. You are the first person who hasn't made me feel like it is all my fault. I've been wondering if it would have been good to hear this sooner. It would have made me more patient with him. With Glennie, I always knew he had problems and I was able to be patient and help him through it. But with Jake I always thought he had so much potential but wouldn't use it. I blamed him and it made me impatient with him. On the other hand, if someone had told me he was "autistic", I wonder if I would have given up. Yesterday I learned that he made the Front and Finish Novice obedience top ten Westie list.

The work you do makes such a difference, not just with the dogs but also for the people who live with these dogs.

Beth, SE Michigan Westie Rescue

I am so thrilled with Your new book—each time I read it—I learn something more!---(I've been reading it a lot---lately---I need all the help I can get!)
Talk to you on Sunday!

Much Luv,
Pat Wallis-Becker

I just wanted to let you know that the interview we did together was very well received during the telesummit. So I am going to publish it in the K9 Reporter, our online magazine.

Catherine Potin,
Founder and Publisher, Happy Dog Connections

I just wanted to let you know that the comments I received from our staff after your workshop were amazing. You were great at explaining methods really well and gave them specific procedures to follow as they train with the animals.

Thanks again for coming to Harbor Springs. All the feedback was wonderful.

Bev Ironside
Little Traverse Bay Humane Society

Brenda, you touched A LOT of people's lives this weekend. We are sharing on FB, so get on once in a while. I'm passing this along to you from Lindsay.

Talk soon,
Denise Rockwood Mazzola

It was a great feeling to assess Maggie with Brenda and feel like we both had a moment of "un-adoptability" followed by a moment of hope. Makes me feel sane! I'm happy to say that with some restrictions and instructions, Maggie did well at the shelter today and I'm hopeful we can place her responsibly.

Lindsay Hamrick, CPDT-KA
Chief Operating Officer
Animal Rescue League of NH &
Animal Rescue League of NH - North -

Thank you so much Brenda. We are using your puppy manual in training our service dog puppies impulse control and general calming. We really appreciate having your book guiding us with the major problem of having dogs with good skills but little impulse control. It is my hope that by concentrating on impulse control and commitment to the handler with our puppies,that our outcome will be what is want in a service dog. I'm sure that I'll have more questions as we go along,and I thank you for being so willing to answer them.

Pat Goldhamer
Puppy Education Committe,Paws 'tive Teams Service Dogs for San Diego,San Diego Ca

I got the book yesterday. Thank you so much for your efforts to get this to me-can't wait to dive in!

By the way, that leash walking technique you showed us is amazing! I have been using it regularly, with great results.

Thank you!!

Barrie Finger, CDBC, CPDT-ka
Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer

I just wanted to tell you last night I came home and had had it with all the puppy biting and grabbing my legs and shoes. So I implemeneted some of the things we learned at your seminar this last weekend.

Seriously, I had to trust your info before I would do anything to my dog. I mean I have to live with them for a very long time. Well within a few seconds of releasing him from his last restrained down, and some jaw massage. (I divided 30 by the amount of hours in our day then figured out how many restrained sits and downs I needed to do before bedtime) I did not have any puppy biting and nipping the rest of the evening. He sat quietly. I put his leash (he is really good about that before this) took out to potty and I had nothing but good behavior. This morning he thought about grabbing my toes, put his mouth on them and removed it after a 1 second. He just seem less frustrated also. All I can say is Thanks for helping me make my puppy pleasant.

Kerrie Hoover

Brenda Aloff is one of the few 'common sense' trainers I've ever had the privilege of meeting. Brenda came to Melbourne, Australia in February 2009 to conduct some working seminars for dog trainers and enthusiasts alike, and to witness her apt to read, handle and understand dogs was amazing. Her ability to actually 'walk the talk' is a testament to her skills and knowledge and we all relished the opportunity of learning new handling techniques, as well as better understanding the theory of dog behaviour and psychology. As a trainer, I land many aggressive dogs as clients and I am currently managing my own dog-aggressive dog as well, therefore for me, listening and watching Brenda work with these dogs with such ease and quick wit was inspirational. Her common sense approach is extremely refreshing and the results speak for themselves. I look forward to Brenda's upcoming contribution to the dog training world with anticipation as I know many others are. I highly recommend any person seriously wanting to learn more about dogs, take the time to explore Brenda's work. You'll thank yourself for doing so.

Trish Harris
Four Paws K9 Training
Melbourne, Australia

I have had the wonderful experience of taking several of Brenda's workshops and of having her assist me with my very reactive Aussie. Brenda has an incredible knowledge of and ability to use (and explain) learning theory. When this is added to her practical experience and no-nonsense attitude, she is able to accurately assess and intervene with even the most difficult dogs. I think that what makes Brenda different, and so amazing, is the fact that she has an entire skill-set of ways to interact with canines. She is able to look at a situation and then decide how best to work with the dog for his or her benefit. I have gained a tremendous amount from the skills she has given me – it has made me a better handler of my own dogs and a much better trainer

Kay Scott, LCSW, CASAC

In my over 20 years of dog training and handling experience, including training performance dogs, police and search and rescue dogs as well as dogs "with issues", Brenda is by far one of the most knowledgeable trainers that I have ever worked with. A gifted author speaker and trainer, Brenda has the unique ability to combine theory with practice.

She not only understands the theory of how dogs learn and why they behave like they do but she also has the practical skills necessary to use that knowledge. Many people know the jargon and the theory and still others have well developed training techniques. However Brenda brings the two together in a way that is clear, effective and humane to both the dog and its handler. That she is able to do this in a caring humorous and entertaining way is an added bonus. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have her as a training resource as well as a friend and her teachings are an integral part of everything that I do with both client dogs as well as my own working dogs.

Lucy Newton
Police Sergeant & Handler of Police Patrol/Narcotics/Cadaver Detection Dogs
Member of New England K9 Search & Rescue & North American Police Work Dog Association
Canine Instructor at the Vermont Police Academy

Our K-9 Search and Rescue team was introduced to Brenda a few years ago. Generally skeptical about many training philosophies, we were immediately impressed with her intuitive sense about dogs and their inner workings and we have been consulting with her ever since

As a missing persons response team we depend heavily on the reliability of our K-9 partner, so many of us drive 2 hours every couple of weeks to stand in front of her with our dog and ask "What do you think?". Within seconds she has identified and corrected the human element and provided clarity to the poor dog. Whether we have a particular training issue or just want to solidify a skill, we leave each time with a new appreciation for the dog, their efforts to understand what it is we want and their willingness to jump through our "hoops"

Through our time with Brenda, we have a greater understanding of our cross species communication and all the mixed signals we send and the result is a deeper and truly enriching relationship with our working partners.

Pat Lamson
Training Coordinator, K-9 ONE Search and Rescue

 Brenda Aloff vivifies the training experience. She is the rare trainer who understands the reasons for a dog's behavior, without ever letting reasons become excuses. I own working hound dogs. Brenda understood immediately how hound dogs think and what motivates them. She used that knowledge to teach them, instead of allowing me to use their characteristics as an excuse for not exhibiting high standards of behavior. Brenda understands what motivates dogs beyond a feeding schedule and uses her vast knowledge and experience to help them become great dogs. Her no-nonsense approach is fun and efficient. She appeals to people who are serious about being responsible dog owners and handlers. Brenda is not one more trainer who read a book about a method and attempts to deliver her version of the method. Brenda wrote the book!

Nancy Weber Taylor, MA
National Speaker & Consultant and Houndsman

I have had such a positive experience working with Brenda. The information she provided became the base from which, together, we created my training tactics, training goals and programs.

Brenda's insight and recommendations were definitely actionable, and not so conceptually complex that we have had trouble putting it into practice. Brenda was extremely professional, delivered great information quickly, and was worth every penny. My relationship with my dog has flourished.

I have worked Brenda for a number of years and the caliber of her work and her willingness to do whatever it takes to get the results required is why we keep going back to her.

Victoria Craig

The finest dog trainers combine skill, flexibility, an understanding of both dog and owner psychology and a down to earth approach. Brenda is one of those special people who can accurately evaluate each dog as an individual and apply whatever technique is best suited to accomplishing its owner's needs. Drawing on years of experience owning and training various species, Brenda's ability to tailor the training to the trainee is unsurpassed and, accompanied by her compassion, humor and savvy observational skills, she's a dynamic force in the dog training world as an instructor, speaker and writer.

Barb from Wonderdogs

Boy, did I have a good time and would have loved more of a chance to chat. I am, for the moment, inspired to fix all my dogs' problems. Thanks. And then tomorrow i will fix all the horses' problems. See how well i learned how quickly fixes happen?

Deborah Barone

We are happy to answer your questions!

Ph: (989)631-8217
Email Us:
Due to our schedule and high volume of calls, calls may not be answered for a few days. Email is a faster form of communication.

Mailing and Street Address

Heaven on Arf, LLC
1711 Karat Road
Midland, MI 48640

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"Run with our pack" by signing up for our newsletter! We don't send many emails, and we don't sell our mailing list to anyone. We will keep you informed about new events and new products to help you meet your dog training goals.

Directions to the Heaven on Arf Training Center

View MapQuest Map

Map to Heaven on Arf, LLCFrom the Flint Area

I-75 North to US 10 West (toward Midland). You will go past the Auburn exits. Take the exit that says FREELAND. You will no sooner be off this exit ramp, and you will see a sign for SALZBURG ROAD. Take this exit. At the end of this exit ramp you will find a Stop Sign. Turn Right. You are now on Salzburg. The first sign of life will be a 4-way Stop. At the 4-way stop, Turn left onto WALDO. You will cross Saginaw Road (a Traffic Light) and go over a bridge. Once over the bridge WALDO becomes GORDONVILLE ROAD. You will come to a Traffic Light on the corner of Gordonville & Poseyville. Remain on Gordonville & go 2 miles and turn left on BADOUR ROAD. (There is a Country Grocery on this corner on your right.) Once on Badour the road goes a short mile and turns very sharply to the right (road becomes Bradford), another short mile and the road turns very sharply to the left (road becomes Duncan). Begin looking for our driveway – it is the first one on the left. It is a long paved drive, called KARAT ROAD.

From the Saginaw Area

You can bring FREELAND ROAD toward Midland. At the 4-way Stop, Turn right on POSEYVILLE ROAD. At the Traffic light turn left (west) on to GORDONVILLE. Go 2 miles and turn left on BADOUR ROAD. (There is a Country Grocery on this corner on your right.) Once on Badour the road goes a short mile and turns very sharply to the right, another short mile and the road turns very sharply to the left —the road becomes Duncan Road. Begin looking for our driveway – it is the first one on the left and is known as KARAT ROAD. It is a long paved drive. The Training Center is the first building on your left.

From the Lansing Area

Bring M-46 East, towards Midland. Turn left on MERIDIAN ROAD. Greta's Restaurant sits on that corner. Go several miles. Just past Freeland Road, turn right on E. BROOKS ROAD. (you can only turn right on E. Brooks, it dead-ends into Meridian) Once on E. Brooks, you will go through 2 stop signs, one at 5 Mile Road and one at S. Homer Road. The next road to the LEFT is DUNCAN ROAD. You can only go left on Duncan, a right turn will put you in the forest. Looking to your right, you will see a wooded area, then you will come to a small cluster of houses, then a big farm field, then you will see a yellow caution sign for a "sharp turn." Our driveway is just past that sign to your right. It is a long, paved drive called KARAT ROAD and the Training Center is the first building on your left.

From Midland

Take POSEYVILLE Road out of town heading south you will cross the bridge, downtown Midland will be to your right. Turn Right or west on GORDONVILLE Road. On that corner is a Traffic Light and a Chemical Bank. Once on Gordonville go approximately two miles and turn left or south on BADOUR Road. On that corner is Mike's Country Grocery on your right. Once on Badour the road goes a short mile and turns very sharply to the right(road becomes Bradford), another short mile and the road turns very sharply to the left (road becomes Duncan). Begin looking for our driveway – it is the first one on the left. It is a long paved drive called KARAT ROAD. If you are uncertain about where Poseyville is, refer to North of Midland bringing US10 Xway directions.

From the Sanford and Coleman Area

You will bring Meridian Road South, you will go through Gordonville and cross the Pine River. The next road on your left is Dopp, keep going. Coming up soon is Brooks Road, you will turn left. At that point Brooks only goes to the left. Once on Brooks You will cross 2 stop signs, one at 5 mile and 1 at South Homer. The next road to the right is Kane Road (that's just a landmark). Right after Kane the next road on your left is Duncan Road.. You can only turn left onto Duncan. You are now less than one mile from my driveway. You will go through a little cluster of houses, looking to your right there is a big farm field, then a yellow caution sign warning of a sharp curve ahead. Our driveway (Karat Road) is just past that sign. So turn right just past the caution sign and right into the driveway. The Training Center is the first building on your left.

From North of Midland bringing the US10 East Expressway

US10 East to the Eastman Road Exit. Turn South onto EASTMAN Road. You will pass a large intersection at Saginaw Road, remain on Eastman. You will pass Dow Library and the Dow Gardens. The road will curve left and become a one-way. You will go through three more traffic lights. Looking to your right you will see a 2 signs, one for Chippewa Nature Center and one for Poseyville Road. Turn at the next traffic light onto CRONKRIGHT street. Get in the left hand lane immediately, go through the next traffic light and go over the bridge. CRONKRIGHT now becomes POSEYVILLE Road. Take Poseyville to GORDONVILLE Road. Turn right or west onto Gordonville. There is a traffic light at this intersection. Once on Gordonville go approximately two miles and turn left or south on BADOUR Road. On that corner is Mike's Country Grocery on your right. Once on Badour the road goes a short mile and turns very sharply to the right(road becomes Bradford), another short mile and the road turns very sharply to the left (road becomes Duncan). Begin looking for our driveway – it is the first one on the left. It is a long paved drive called KARAT ROAD. The Training Center is the first building on your left.

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We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way via the Paypal or Ejunkie Shopping Cart.

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If you request to be on the mailing list for the newsletter "Run With Our Pack", we may contact you via email to tell you about specials in our products line, new services or books, information about the virtual classroom or with new editions of our newsletter. You may request to be removed from our emailing list at any time by clicking on "unsubscribe" at the bottom of each newsletter or by contacting us at .

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately.

Read what others are saying about Brenda's books and DVDs:

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We are so excited to work with you!If you are having problems with your dog, or you just want to understand your dog better, sometimes a group class is not the best answer. With over 20 years experience, I have developed proven protocols. They work! You have to add the elbow grease, but we can point you in the right direction. You don't have to feel frustrated any longer.

If you have dog behaviour questions, whether for daily living with your dog, performance issues, K9 working dog issues or service dog issues, I have worked with them all.  I can provide phone consultations, video consultations, or whatever you think will help you best if you cannot travel to me.

Because of my travel schedule, if I am not readily available and if you need help quickly, one of my training assistants best suited to your area of need will be assigned to your case.

We are looking forward to meeting with you and your dog. Let's get started!  for pricing information and to book your private consultation, please email us .

Relax - We Are Here To Help You  :-)



Dog Trainers at Heaven on Arf Training FacilityWe want to see you and your dog having fun and improving your relationship with training. Because training really does make all the difference. It can take your dog from being a nuisance to a model citizen. And if your dog is already perfect (and of course your dog is, right?) then he or she will go from perfect to extraordinary!

Instructors at Heaven On Arf, LLC all share the same philosophy for continuity in your dog's training. This means as you go from class to class or instructor to instructor, we are all doing things the same way. This is important to us, as we know that consistency in training techniques makes for better communication between you and us and this same continuity makes it very agreeable to your dog's learning.

Registering For Classes

  • Classes fill very quickly and we can only reserve a spot for those who have sent in their registration fee.
  • We limit the size of the class so that appropriate attention and assistance can be given to each student.  
  • We accept Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express (call us to provide this information). Or, you can pay by check (mail it with your registration form). Make checks payable to HOA, LLC
  • Mail your Registration Form to: Heaven on Arf, LLC, 1711 Karat Rd, Midland MI 48640. Include your check or call us with your credit card information.
  • If you have questions, call the office at (989)631-8217 or email .  You will likely get a quicker response if you email us!
  • See directions to the Training Center

Download our Registration Form

If your dog has been reactive or displayed aggression toward other dogs or humans, please email us a note explaining the circumstances. If we can not determine if it is normal "puppy or doggy behaviour," we can schedule a private session for evaluation and for assistance with that behaviour. If you would like to audit a class, please email .

Enjoy the Reading Room
A Repository of Common Sense & Uncommon Knowledge.

Please enjoy this library of articles and videos by Brenda to help you learn more about how your dog thinks - maybe how you think - and to aid you in your work and play with your dog.

Some of the articles wax philosophical, but for the most part they are about realistically living with your dog and the nuts and bolts of training. Enjoy!


rambo-on-computerIf pictures are worth a thousand words then videos must be worth a million words! We learn best by observing and watching, therefore videos are a valuable asset to any training program.

Below, you will find a variety of helpful training videos. Please come back often, as I'll be adding more videos over time. 


Jackpotting Demonstrated

This is Laura and Indy from Australia.

This is a clip of some coaching I did with her when I did a series of clinics Down Under.


Switching Game

Here Kim and Tigger practice the first approximations of a Switching Game.

Switching Game is that switch between high arousal and low arousal.


Friendly Dog Approach

Polite dogs arc on their approach to another dog.

At a clinic, two of the participants practice this with their dogs.


Impulse Control

Impulse Control is a requisite part of your dog’s education. In this video, I work with a rescued adult Cairn Terrier and a Standard Poodle puppy. I use "Get Between",  "Back Aways", and some other techniques. Each dog is worked about 10 minutes. When you use a good protocol and pay attention, it is amazing how the dogs work at the communication system you are developing between the two of you.


Comfort Hug Demonstrated

Using wraps of various sorts can help to stabilize and calm a dog, if the wrap is conditioned properly.

Here, we practice backaways, while the dog wears a Comfort Hug.


brenda-zasuI am Brenda Aloff. I have been training dogs professionally for over 20 years. I specialize in problem dogs. I have 5 published books and a DVD. I also teach at clinics and workshops around the globe.

I became interested in animal behaviour because I had a very difficult dog. I went to several trainers and behaviorists in order to understand her behavior. It was not all that helpful. So I started reading everything I could find and discovered Karen Pryor's book, Don't Shoot The Dog. This was one of the first dog training methods that made sense to me, coming from my horse training background.

Soon local veterinarians were referring dogs to me for training and clients wanted to leave their dogs with me. So, I started a boarding kennel and was providing private consults and doing a lot of rescue work at this time, as well. After about 9 years, I wanted a job in which I did not have to work 24/7 year-around and neglect my family on holidays. Mostly, I was doing so much training it was difficult to keep up with both training and the kennel. I decided to close the boarding kennel and built the Heaven on Arf Training Center and started providing training and behavioral work exclusively.

I love watching dogs and owners create a more understanding and closer relationship. After all these years, I still get a shiver of delight when I see a dog "get" the message I am trying to communicate, or when the dog has that "Ah ha!" moment. I get all warm and fuzzy when my human student has the thrill and increase in self confidence that results when using excellent mechanical skills combined with the right timing and technique. These are some of my favorite things!

At home I currently have a Smooth Fox Terrier, Zasu and a Mini-Poodle rescue, Trixie. I should be thinking about a new puppy coming up, but after years of too many dogs (no matter how much I adored each and every rescue dog, it was still too darn many), I find myself not wanting to "share" this relationship. I have given myself permission to just have two!

brenda-breannaWhen I am not working dogs I am riding horses. This has been a life-long passion of mine, and I cannot wait every day to spend time on ground work or mounted work with the horses. About 8 years ago I got very involved with Dressage and love it! I find myself more intensely horse crazy even than when I was a child (which was already bordering on OCD behaviour).

The most important thing I wish people knew about their companion animals is a knowledge of dog ethology. Ethology is the study of animal behaviour, especially under natural conditions. Understanding how dogs would naturally operate opens new horizons in understanding your pet. Not having an understanding of the species or breed specific traits causes so much grief that is absolutely preventable. Most dogs lose their homes because the dog just did not behave in a way that the person was expecting. So people need to have a dose of reality BEFORE they even choose a dog. However, because I think the majority of dog purchases are an emotional decision, I think this trend will not soon change.

Once people have the dog, I wish they could read the dog's body language better, because, again, problems that are entirely preventable could be curtailed or avoided altogether. When you have even a general idea of what the dog is communicating, you have lots of opportunities to give feedback to the dog about his behaviour.

Once these two topics are understood, training and living with your dog is an absolute easy, breezy time! And then the closeness of the relationship people were dreaming about when they got the dog can develop, and wa la! No more homeless dogs! Only happy, fulfilled dogs and people.

I think, without a doubt, the most important things we should teach our companion animals is a way to relax themselves and good impulse control. The two walk hand-in-hand because you can use the same exercises to teach both concepts to the dog. Restraints are a definite part of this process, because domestic dogs are going to be handled and restrained for their whole life. Since this is not a thing that most dogs are naturally willing to put up with, it is so important to build a trust in people, that restraining and handling are not dangerous. This makes veterinary visits and strangers walking up to be "safe" activities and the dog can remain relaxed and calm and be able to be the friendly dog that is inside of them, just waiting to blossom! We place dogs in so many situations that they do not have skills to cope with. If dogs understand the concept that people are odd, but basically harmless, creatures, then the dog does not feel confused and defensive when people make clumsy attempts at communication. Not all people who come into contact with our dogs are "dog savvy" and restraints can go a long ways towards preparing dogs to cope with the humans they will meet during their lifetime. It is also important that dogs have good impulse control and a lack of anxiety on approaches and during greeting ceremonies - this allows the dog to think clearly and make good decisions even when people make poor decisions.

When teaching at clinics I really love a mix of academics and sensibility – I want the academic explanation and I want it in plain English. And I like to see those concepts with a live animal or shown on video. It improves the learning experience.

brenda-italyTo behaviour consultants and trainers – my suggestion to you is to remain curious. Keep exploring new concepts because everything you learn might be able to help an animal to live a better, more enriched life. Look for this help in places that might be at first seem unlikely. Be ready to learn and resist rigidity in your thinking. Be kind to the human half of the equation, because that is not always so easy to do. Be exacting and deliberate with your explanations to both the dogs and the people. Confusion is hideously demotivating. Share your knowledge generously, but don't be too disappointed when people are just are not ready to take your advice. Maybe you have to begin with just planting the seed and being content that if it is planted, it might have a chance to grow.

I love helping people read their dogs better and learn to make better judgements in their dog training. My experience across dog breeds and with cross-training (training different species) adds a richness to my own training, because animals are our best teachers!

Whether you are a professional dog handlers or a dog owner, your own curiosity is your best friend (after your dog, of course) in your quest to improve the relationship with your dog and your dog's performance - no matter what the sport or job he has. My goal in training others is to help you in your own professions and hobbies. Whether you are a professional dog handler or a dog owner, there is much you can learn to improve your relationship with your dog and your dog's performance - no matter what the sport or job he has.  Please check out the Reading Room, a place where I'll post articles and training videos.  You can review and buy my books and DVDs and check my schedule to see if I will be in your area this year.  Also, to provide a better, more in-depth learning experience, I've developed a six-month online course, the Foundation Dog Training Skills Boot Camp, to help you with many skills and learning to help you meet your own training goals.

Always, you have access to training with Brenda via her Virtual Academy, where you can learn with Brenda Aloff from the comfort of your home over a six month period. 

2020 Events

March 7-8, 2020 (with private lessons offered on March 6)
Get Connected with Your Dog
Good Mojo University - Milford, New Hampshire
Steve Desilets, Good Mojo University Manager

Phone: 603-249-8977 ext. #6

Patrice Leipman
Phone: 540-336-1600

April 18-19, 2020
Understanding Canine Body Language
(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

This Clinic is going Virtual.

Will supply the Link as soon as it is ready. Should be up by end of June 2020.

April 24, 2020
Motor Cities Fox Terrier Club Specialty & Terrier Club of Michigan
Annual Smooth & Wire Fox Terrier Specialty Show & Sweepstakes
Event # 2020101 @ Dow Event Center, Saginaw MI
On Friday, April, 24 I will be judging Sweepstakes
I cannot express how honored I feel to invited by Motor Cities to judge Sweeps!  ; )
Contact Sylvia Murray, Specialty Chair for information

May 2-3, 2020
Get Connected for Performance & Working Dogs
Northfield Dog Training, 3676 W. Ellsworth Rd. Ann Arbor MI 48103
There will be unlimited auditing spots available. A light lunch will be provided. For more information you may go to or visit and click on the events page for a registration.
Terry Jacobus at 

This Clinic will be Rescheduled. Date TBD.


May 23-24 (with Private Lessons offered May 25)
Westinn Kennels
Kevin West

This Clinic will be Rescheduled. Date TBD.


June 20-21, 2020
Scent Work I
(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

June 27-28, 2020

All Dog Adventures
Richmond, VA
This Clinic is going Virtual.

If you have paid for this clinic you can enroll, and I have a code for you. Please contact BRENDA:  for info or with ?s.

July 1-8, 2020
8 Day Immersion Clinic
Prerequisite: Get Connected I, II and III
(Sorry, this clinic is filled - you are welcome to contact us for the waiting list - if we have enough interest we will add another 8-day Immersion Clinic August 1-8)
(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

July 17-19, 2020 (July 17, 3-6pm is Lecture)
Get Connected I
(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

August 20 & 21, 2020  Thursday & Friday
The Seven Deadly Sins, Training with Distractions I
(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

August 22-23, 2020
The Seven Deadly Sins, Training with Distractions II

Prerequisite: Distraction I course
(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

September 18 (3-6pm), 19-20, 2020
Get Connected II
(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

September 21-22, 2020
Get Contected III
pre-requisite is Get Connected I & Get Connected II
(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

October 3-4, 2020
The Engaged Puppy
Choosing & Preparing Your Performance Puppy

(view flyer & registration form here)
Heaven on Arf
Midland, MI

Oct 17-18, 2020 (with Private Lessons offered on Oct 19)
Raising the Performance Puppy
Top Dog Obedience School
New Jersey
Linda Brennan at

If you have a topic you would like to have me teach, let me know. I’m always looking for ideas to keep you all happy!


You can purchase Brenda Aloff's books and DVDs directly here.  All are listed below.
When if you order here, Brenda will autograph your book and DVD before shipment! 

Aggression in Dogs: Practical Management, Prevention & Behaviour Modification

Help with Aggression in Dogs

Price: $49.95


Aggression in Dogs: Practical Management, Prevention & Behaviour Modification

Learn more about dog aggression and dog behaviour and how to address reactive or aggressive behaviour, with over 400 pages of text, drawings, and photographs. As the book says, aggression has a wide range of manifestations. 

This book does not just discuss aggression. It provides protocols to use for behaviour modification. Starting with prevention, the reader learns about common mistakes owners make to promote aggression in their dog, and how to avoid these mistakes.

In the behaviour modification section, learn about how to build trust with the dog, using positive reinforcement. Brenda Aloff shows how to achieve this level of trust with hundreds of exercises to promote appropriate behaviour and modify inappropriate behaviour. In the practical management section, the reader is prepared for a lifelong regimen of keeping his dog safe.

The exercises in this book will be a salvation for problem dogs and a guide for prevention for others. Anyone involved with dogs will find a wealth of information about dog behaviour in these pages and practical do-able solutions for problems.


Paperback: 418 pages
Publisher: Dogwise Publishing; 1st edition (October 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1929242204
ISBN-13: 978-1929242207


Reader Reviews (Read More)

"This book is terrific for owners of any dog. We actually rescued an dog-aggressive dog and actually went to Brenda Aloff for a few sessions. Her advice and exercises helped turn a stressed out little monster into my little princess. My dog isn't magically cured, but by using this book, we've taught her to look to her humans for guidance in stressful situations, instead of just attacking as she would in the past. She knows the rules and was taught them in a completely positive reinforcement manner. I highly recommend this book". ~ A gal with a dog

Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog

Canine Body Language Photographic Guide

Price: $39.95


Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide

maxwellMedallionThis book received the DWAA Maxwell Medallion Award in 2006 as the Best General Reference Book!

Your dog is talking. Are you listening? More important, are you WATCHING? Dogs are attempting to communicate with humans as well as other dogs all the time. Learn how to interpret their native language the language of body movement, facial expression and proximity to things and other beings.

Canine Body Language is an exhaustive photographic documentation of dogs in their day-to-day activities: Dogs alone, dogs together, dogs in the water, dogs having fun, dogs that are stressed and dogs in relation to human beings. In addition to the incredible photographs, author Brenda Aloff gives the reader detailed descriptions of what is happening in each photograph so that you can build your canine vocabulary.

Never look at dogs in the same way again!

  • Learn how to analyze what you see when observing dogs to prevent problems or improve behaviour.
  • Follow the helpful photographic sequences and text to learn how to identify the subtle changes in canine body posture that tells you what a dog is thinking.
  • Develop a profound appreciation for the intelligence and adaptability of dogs.

Great for professional dog trainers! Use it to teach students important behavioural cues.


Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Dogwise Publishing; 1St Edition edition (November 1, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1929242352
ISBN-13: 978-1929242351


Reader Reviews (Read More)

"It is a book that every new dog owner should have a copy of. One can learn so much by watching the dogs expressions and this book tells you what each one means, A lot of trainers could really use this book, and there would likely be a lot less dogs in the shelters if the owners had studied this book when they first got their pup. It is the way your dog talks to you, all you have to do is listen and learn what each expression means. Loved the book." ~Joanne Chanyi

Get Connected with Your Dog: Emphasizing the Relationship While Training Your Dog

Get Connected with Your Dog by Brenda Aloff

Price: $49.95


Get Connected with Your Dog: Emphasizing the Relationship While Training Your Dog

Are you connected with your dog?

Getting connected with your dog is the key to building a relationship in which learning can flourish and the needs of both the dog and the owner are met. Relationships are built on communication, so having a common language that both sides can understand is of paramount importance. Luckily, dogs are masters of body language and you can learn to utilize movement and other kinds of body language to help build an effective communications loop with your dog.

Once you know how to communicate with your dog, that knowledge -combined with positive training techniques - can make you a much more effective trainer. And your dog will become a willing partner, one who trusts you and is willing to work with you to learn behaviours. Over time, your dog will flip the Magic Switch and begin to use the thinking part of his brain (the Frontbrain) more often than just the reactive part of his brain (the Hindbrain). And you will have achieved a huge step forward in your ability to train and interact with your canine companions!

Learn how to:

  • Use subtle body language your dog can understand to direct or redirect your dog's movements.
  • Be consistent and coherent in your interactions with your dogs.
  • Mark and reinforce behaviours you want to encourage.
  • Use exercises shown in the accompanying DVD to build you skill and confidence as a trainer.


Paperback: 395 pages
Publisher: Dogwise Publishing; 1st edition (February 20, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1929242530
ISBN-13: 978-1929242535


Reader Reviews (Read More)

"For the past 12,000 years of human history, domesticated dogs have been man's constant companion, helper, and occasional food source. Dogs come in an immensely diverse profusion of breeds, sizes, and dispositions. A professional dog trainer specializing in canine problem behaviour, Brenda Aloff has produced Get Connected With Your Dog: Emphasizing The Relationship While Training Your Dog, a book/dvd combination training manual that will teach dog owners how to use the subtle language of the body to direct (or redirect) their dog's movements; how to be both consistent and coherent in their interactions with their dogs; and how to identify, mark, reinforce those behaviours to be encouraged from those behaviours to be extinguished. The accompanying 90-minute DVD provides exercises and illustrative examples for building skill and confidence as a trainer. Enhanced with 286 black-and-white photos and an extensive index, Get Connected With Your Dog is an ideal, step-by-step training manual for first-time dog owners as well as aspiring and aspiring dog trainers. A comprehensive, detailed, practical, experienced based, and thoroughly 'user friendly' manual from beginning to end, Get Connected With Your Dog is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, veterinary school, and community library reference collections and supplemental reading lists." ~James A. Cox

Puppy Problems? No Problem! A Survival Guide for Finding & Training Your New Dog

Puppy Problems Solved - by Brenda Aloff

Price: $39.95


Puppy Problems? No Problem! A Survival Guide for Finding & Training Your New Dog

Brenda Aloff, author of the Maxwell Medallion Award winner Canine Body Language and Get Connected with Your Dog, now brings you a book that will make your dog owning experience with your new puppy or rescue dog everything you dreamed it would be!

This book goes beyond any of the other puppy books out there and brings you Brenda's 20 years of experience working with problem dogs as a professional pet behaviour consultant. This gives Brenda a unique view of what owners should have done to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. She says, "Many of the sad situations that occur do not have to be. Education on the person's part combined with humane and effective technique can make dog ownership the joy you imagined it would be!" Training your dog should be a shared and fun experience that enhances the relationship you have with your dog. This book will lead you through each "problem" and in an easy to understand step-by-step program will show you how to make big differences in your dog's behaviour.

This book comes with a DVD that shows you exactly how to carry out the protocols in this book. The Table of Contents is filled with all of those common, but irritating issues that come up in daily life with a new puppy or dog and solutions for each one. The DVD is super and even children can watch the training steps and then follow the steps to gain success with your family pet. (Of course, children will need parental supervision, as well.)


Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Dogwise Publishing (September 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1617810517
ISBN-13: 978-1617810510


Reader Reviews (Read More)

"I have trained with Brenda in all capacities for over eight years. My dogs and I have been the happy recipients of her training methods and have sent many people to her for help. Although the title of this book says "puppy", this book is by no means just about training puppies. Brenda's methods are for dogs of all ages and teach the handler to be more proactive and to be able to handle everyday problems and questions about their dogs. I highly recommend all Brenda's books, but the methods she uses in this book will help all dogs." ~Eddie Maxwell

Positive Reinforcement: Training Dogs in the Real World

Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

(available at

Positive Reinforcement Training: Training Dogs in the Real World

Operant conditioning is a specific type of learning whereby behaviours are altered or changed primarily by manipulating the consequences that follow them. Author Brenda Aloff uses the theory of operant conditioning and applies it to dog training in this informative book.

Written by an experienced dog trainer in language that the novice can easily understand, this step-by-step guide to reliable obedience and effective training method is based on the belief that the best way to teach your dog appropriate behaviour is to use positive reinforcement instead of punishment.


Paperback: 207 pages
Publisher: TFH Publications (May 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0793805252
ISBN-13: 978-0793805259


Reader Review

"Fixed action patterns, negative punishers, unpredictable avoidance responses, bridges, and reward marks... OH MY!!! Do these terms make you dizzy? Do you want to train your dog using the most gentle and effective way, but phrases like successive approximation make you lose interest?

Brenda Aloff has finally done it ... In this wonderfully written and funny book, she explains all of the terms and methods for training your dog the fun and easy way. One-by-one she shows you the proven techniques for shaping your dog's behaviour into that of a well-behaved canine companion. This book also has a lot to offer the more-advanced dog trainer, and even obedience/agility instructors!

As the owner/handler of Fox Terriers, a notoriously difficult breed, Aloff makes it clear that all dogs are trainable if you know how to communicate with them clearly. She is also careful to emphasize that when training your dog it's "the journey that counts" and that the desired behaviour is of no consequence if you have ruined your relationship with your dog in the process!

I especially enjoyed this book because although she stresses using a reward mark, or a "clicker," she also discusses training WITHOUT one! I have a noise-sensitive dog who is actually scared to death of clickers, so this was of great use to me. I am able to apply her methods, even though I'm not using a clicker.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in dog training... if your goals are professional, a hobby, or just for fun. This is a great book!". ~ A. Johnson

Brenda Aloff's Fundamentals: Foundation Training for Every Dog DVD
Foundation Training for Dogs - DVD
Price: $34.95


Brenda Aloff's Fundamentals: Foundation Training for Every Dog DVD

Promote a great relationship with your dog, establish consistent behaviours for easy, reliable handling and lay the foundation for more advanced training with this great DVD. Whether you're working with a young puppy or an older dog, this is the perfect tool for the professional trainer or the motivated owner.

Topics include:

  • Eye Contact
  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Leave It
  • Down

Foundation Behaviours for Every Dog shows you the actual training of two nine-week-old puppies. One is cooperative, while one is mouthy, over-active, and reactive - just like dogs you've known, right? Brenda explains and clearly demonstrates techniques that will train your dog to be a safe and reliable companion using gentle, positive methods. What do you do when the puppy just will not attend to business? How do you cope with the constant biting that is so common in puppies when you are trying to teach them something? This DVD shows you REAL training in REAL time. Plus, with the DVDs handy menu system, you can choose specific chapters and views to look at or you can go through all the training exercises chronologically.


Publisher: Dogwise; DVD edition (July 30, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 192924228X
ISBN-13: 978-1929242283


Reader Reviews (Read More)

"Excellent, everyone should watch and work the tips and skills taught in this video when getting a new dog and/or puppy. I took the Fundamentals class with my dog and still learned more tips in this video--where you can go back and watch it over and over." ~critsit

Brenda Aloff's books and DVDs are also available at

Brenda Aloff with TrixieIt is easy to find information about teaching a dog to sit or lie down or come when called. Brenda Aloff goes beyond this to show you a coherent plan that will evolve into a sounder and deeper relationship with your dog.

Brenda's clinics emphasize relationship based exercises, as well as some learning theory topics; body language and how to use the dog's own body language during the training process and as feedback to the handler. These exercises become a venue for trust and respect between dog and handler. They are designed to negotiate with the dog in his own language about instinctive behaviors (impulse control and the opposition reflex).

The teaching emphasis is on watching "intention behaviors" – using them to predict what will happen next and as the dog's feedback in the training conversation. Learn how to manipulate "air space" and use the dog's body language as effective feedback. Understanding the dog's own language thereby enhances communication with people.

View my current Clinic & Workshop event schedule here.

I love to do clinics even though I may not love the travel ; ) But when I am working with all of the fantastic dogs and people I meet while working ... well there is just nothing like it! I enjoy the problem-solving and find it very gratifying to help those who attend.   If you wish to host a clinic, please contact me directly at . I can't wait to meet you! ~Brenda Aloff

What clinic hosts say about Brenda's clinics:

Brenda approaches the subject of dog behavior with compassion, understanding, wisdom and humor. She is down to earth with both her explanations and her teaching. Her seminars are very well spoken of and have met rave reviews by her colleagues, her students and we suspect by the many dogs whose lives have been improved and even spared by what their owners have learned. Come experience the Brenda Aloff connection.
- Queen City Dog Training Club

Brenda's extensive background in dog behaviour will give you a very perceptive look into what really makes your dog "tick". Learn how breed and temperament affect the competition training process and acquire techniques you can use to improve both engagement and performance. Brenda's workshops are action packed. She has an incredible sense of humor and will keep you laughing the entire weekend.

Brenda will teach a methodology based on positive and motivational techniques. As a previous attendee of one of Brenda's seminars I took a lot of notes of exercises to work on with my own dogs. I was magnetized by concepts covered in Brenda's presentation. i was able to add new techniques to my training repertoire with outstanding results.
- Janice Gunn of TNT Training in Van Couver, British Columbia

We Are All About Emphasizing the Relationship While Training Your Dog. 

Our services are focused on teaching you how to get the best performance and behaviour from your dog. 

Brenda Aloff

  • Brenda Aloff's Virtual Dog Training Academy offers online training.  In The Engaged Dog course, you will explore how to connect with and engage your dog and the science this are based on - in depth. Even experienced dog trainers often have holes in these Foundation Dog Training Skills and this course will help! Brenda also offers a certification course, FUNdamentals, to certify you to teach each entry level dog training class using Brenda's training system.
  • Brenda conducts clinics and workshops around the world - view her current schedule.  
  • The Reading Room contains free articles and videos by Brenda Aloff.
  • Private consults/behaviour consults are availalble if you want one-on-one help.
  • Brenda has authored excellent books and DVDs on dog training topics.
  • Local Training is available at Brenda's Heaven on Arf Training Center.

Brenda Aloff has helped thousands of students (literally!) find effective ways to modify their dog's behaviour and their own! She has taught students in the US and Canada and conducted clinics in Europe and Australia.

She lives her work with dogs and loves to share that knowledge. Brenda's teaching is based on empowering students and teaching them how to make good training decisions.

Her students not only improve the 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.