When we are working with performance or working dogs, it matters if the dog can do the job with accuracy. When we are in the performance ring, how often do you NQ because your training was inadequate? How do you know if that is the reason?
How often do you NQ because your dog works perfectly in most situations, but at the show. Aaarghhh. Distractions. Someone’s dog barked and my dog looked, just when I was giving the signal on the Signals Exercise. My dog does great heeling at home, but when the judge is back there … or those exhibitors, whose character we won’t mention here … who play with their dog outside the ring to see if they can distract my dog … and it works. Or any of the millions of reasons the environment steals the dogs attention ... You just cannot proof for all that. So what do to?
What do you do to “put your dog off you?” It is my experience that handlers are often unintentionally driving their dog to the distractions. “What?” you exclaim! Yup, it happens all the time. How do you forge a connection so strong, that your dog is so committed that the environment does not interfere? What can you do to create a dog who, when the distractions and the environment get more chaotic, the dog hooks onto you even more intensely?
Let’s talk about that …
And as always for my online training classes, everyone can access the first lesson for FREE.
Composed of film from our past 7 Deadly Sins clinics at my facility, lessons done by workshop participants, video that details the protocols to teach your dog to be distraction proof, the Brenda way, informative audio files to listen to and a Q&A call so you can ask me the questions you are longing to have answers to.
This really is so much more information than I would have time to give to you in a weekend clinic. So, until we can meet in person safely and legally ; ) we have this workshop.
What is distraction? And why does my dog fall for it so much?
The training components that make up a dog who resists distraction.
What are working rituals and why should I care?
The 4 quadrants of Learning Theory: Is it ethical and humane to use anything but R+? Well, I certainly think it is and the subtleties of P- and R- are detailed here. Making informed choices about your dog training and having a workable, ethical philosophy is so important. You need efficacy and you need to feel good about your training decisions.
Corrections. I get so many questions about how to correct this and that. Corrections are not just about timing, but also have a discrete definition in my book: they direct the dog back to the original desired behaviour. How to make decisions about corrections.
Learn what I check on in my Foundation Behaviour Set before getting down to the serious business of working on distractions in earnest.
Designing challenges that are fair to the dog, science-based and that create conversations between you and your dog that will enhance attention and resist distraction.
Desensitization. Thresholds. How to get the most from Desensitization, which is the key to serious work with Distraction. Watch many dogs as I work them to teach handlers and dogs how to connect in a quality way.
The secrets of Desensitization for Efficacy. Yes, horse trainers know that the quality of your work is all important. This is not about exposure and praying your dog can pay attention. There is something about leaving terra firma, climbing up onto the back of an 1000+ pound, very powerful flight animal, who is extremely reflexive about the environment - and add my age to that formula LOL - that makes one want to do better than exposure and prayer. Remember, God helps those who help themselves…I ask my students all the time, “If that dog weighed 1100 pounds and you had to get on it…would you trust your training to keep you safe?" Most people’s eyes widen and they laugh: a laugh tinged with a bit of hysteria.Use the techniques I use to climb on that powerful, reflexive flight animal and still be able to trust my training. : ) Cuz I like living. Yeah. It’s called understanding desensitization. Intimately.
My Get Connected body of work is original in dogs. It is a system I put together after training thousands of dogs, most of them problematic. I could see that dogs had many questions about how we humans go about things, and that some training just did not make sense to the dog. We explore my Get Connected philosophy a bit, and work with Be Still and Yin Yang, two powerful exercises that I have seen literally transform training.
How the heck do I get this dog off the food? As performance trainers, we love using treats. For so many reasons! But that thing we love can interfere with our work and end goals, especially if we do not use it wisely. Learn how to use it wisely. I give you a list of protocols that will help you to understand the use of treats better and ways to train that will help you Get Off The Food to be ring ready.
Who is your dog? As an individual? What is your dog like to train? Training different characters - the shy dog, the bold dog, the anxious dog - all require us, as trainers to figure out how to appeal to and be most efficient and kind in our work. One size does not fit all.
Brenda Aloff is an internationally recognized speaker, clinician and author.
Brenda published her first book in 2001 and has since added more books & DVDs, online courses and a certification program to teach Entry Level Classes. Canine Body Language earned a Maxwell award for Excellence in Dog Writing.
Bringing over 25 years of practical and “in the trenches” experience to the table, Brenda works primarily with problem dogs. She also counsels working dog and competition dog owners to improve dog performance, error reduction and how to enhance their relationships.
Brenda has taught thousands of group classes, from puppy to advanced competition to re-socialization classes for reactive dogs. She has worked with SAR teams and police officers at clinics and in private lessons, with scenting and working dogs.
A large percentage of her practice consists of dogs that are referred when other training techniques have been exhausted or failed. A high percentage of clientele consists of dogs with reactivity and/or aggression problems. Referrals come from other professional trainers as well as veterinarians.
Living with dogs is not always easy! Brenda knows the “problem dog” group well, having lived with several bad actors and delinquents herself. This allows her to bring an intimate knowledge of how to deal with dogs and what can be done to prevent problems from developing. Having worked & LIVED WITH a huge variety of rescue and problematic animals promotes her very unique way of dealing with clients. “I KNOW what the owners are going through. What owners of difficult dogs need is not sympathy, they need empathy and understanding and protocols that work!”
Bringing her knowledge of cross-training species to her dog training makes her approach unique and effective and above all humane and loving. Accustomed to outsmarting rather than forcing equines was a habit long before Brenda began training dogs professionally.
Brenda has kept sheep (including lambing). She is currently riding her 2 Morgans and 1 Lusitano and studying Classical Dressage in the French Tradition.
Much repeated phrases to students are: “Shut up! Stand Still. Let your dog THINK!” (said in a very loving way) “If that dog weighed 1000 pounds, you would be handling this situation much more carefully!”