Monday, September 24, 2018

Puppy Survival Workshop

October 1st, 2nd and 3rd at 7pm.
October 15th, 16th and 17th at 7pm
and
November 5th, 6th and 7th at 7pm

A puppy is an alien!!! They have no clue that what they are doing is "wrong" or "bad", they only do what nature tells them is right based on eons of evolution. It's up to the human to steer them in the right direction of living calmly in a human constructed world.

This 3 day, 6 hour, workshop is for those who either have already gotten their puppy and are struggling or are thinking of getting a puppy in the near future and want to know what to expect and how to be prepared. Raising a puppy can be a wonderful experience. It can also be really frustrating. Raising a puppy is not exactly the joy you were expecting? If any of the following apply, you need this workshop.

• You haven't brought your puppy home yet but are already overwhelmed by advice and things to buy, shots and training and socialization
• This is the first puppy you have raised on your own, and you want to make sure you get it right
• You already have a puppy. You are slowly going crazy trying to stop the biting, the chewing, the peeing and the crying.
• You suddenly feel like you don't have enough information on how to raise a great puppy and need help
• You are wondering if adopting a puppy was a big mistake and you might have even considered an ad on Craig's List
• Why isn't this new dog just like my old dog?
• I feel guilty for hating the puppy half the time
• I had dogs growing up but apparently I am not prepared for this!

This workshop is for you, the human. We will take you through all the stages of your puppy's first 4 months with you, what to expect at each turn and how to handle it. We will focus on the critical first week, how to manage shots and socialization at the same time, what training does a puppy need, how to get enough sleep those first few days, and how not to have your floors ruined by pee or your hands, furniture and shoes chewed up by razor sharp puppy teeth.

In addition we will cover how to effectively communicate with your puppy, how to elicit those behaviors you want and not always be shouting NO!, how to prevent separation anxiety and how to introduce a collar and leash and what to do with them once they are on your puppy.

Day 1 is about getting a puppy and living through that first week with enough sleep and effective potty training methods. We will also cover how to get your puppy socialized without risking injury or illness during the critical first 6 weeks of having your puppy. (2 hours)

Day 2 is for all those sharp teeth and how to prevent them slashing your hands, arms, face, furniture, shoes, and baseboards. We will also cover what to do once your puppy starts landscaping, jumping up on people, begging at the dinner table and introducing "alone time" to prevent separation anxiety. (2 hours)

Day 3 is the day you can bring your puppy to the workshop and learn all about the leash and how to exercise your puppy effectively and joyfully. (2 hours)

The workshop is $75 for the 6 hours and well worth the reduction in stress both for you and for your puppy.

Sign up at http://playyourwayobedience.com/tickets.html

Friday, August 24, 2018

2018 Fall and Winter Schedule of Classes at Access To Service


Here is the schedule of classes for Play Your Way Obedience and Access To Service Corp for Sept 2018 through Feb 2019.  Following the schedule is a explanation of most of the classes.
Access To Service - Schedule of Classes Fall and Winter 2018/2019  
  Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
7:00 Parkour Parkour Parkour Parkour Parkour Parkour Parkour
8:00 Foundation Skills Hearing & Mobility  
10:30 Public Access Fitness  
3:00 Snake Avoidance Scent
4:30 CGC Empowerment  Puppy CGC
6:00 Puppy Service Dog Sports SD Tasks  
7:30    

Urban Agility Canine Parkour


Parkour = "Combining the core elements of running, jumping, and climbing with the discipline of the martial artist, the grace of the gymnast, and the virtuosity of the skateboarder, parkour—or free-running—is more than simply an elegant noncompetitive sport. It's an art form, a philosophy promoting fitness, imagination, community spirit, and ethical, healthy living. " Canine Parkour is the same.

Urban Agility (also known as Canine Parkour) is an outdoor sport using natures obstacles and park additions as a human and dog gym.

This class is agility with a twist. The agility is done over, under and through some of the most challenging and environmentally distracting objects we can muster up. This is a safe confidence builder for any dog.  This fun and exciting class is a practical alternative to conventional agility and a great way to prep your competitive agility dog.  You won’t believe what your dog is capable of until you try!  All breeds and all ages welcome!

Everyone and every dog deserves to be fit and healthy without risk of injury. You can achieve your agility and obedience training goals and increase the bond with your dog at the same time. Go beyond the hamster wheels of typical agility or obedience training. Train your dog to climb stairs, ladders, and ropes; go up and down slides, walls and tables; be fearless and confident in the face of any obstacle.

Urban Agility is a fun way to exercise your dog using everyday objects, structural components and park furniture for agility and sport. Mental stimulation is so important for every dog, so you will learn how to use items you come across every day to make walks more fun for both you and your dog. You don’t need access to expensive agility equipment for you and your dog to have fun!

Think of urban agility as a gym membership for you and your dog. Tons of fun and a great bunch of people. it is a non-competitive physical activity in which you and your dog are expected to overcome obstacles by adapting movements to the environment in the most efficient way possible.

Traffic, people, other dogs, loud noises, dog parks, these are every day occurrences in the life of urban canines and should be a source of confidence and positive stimulation. This class engages dogs and their owners in a positive manner and gives them the tools to tackle these challenges head on. Obedience training and urban agility exercises are combined to create a class that is as exciting as it is productive.

This is a lifestyle change for both you and your dog. Urban Agility will equip you with the tools you need to achieve your training goals with your dog. Whether you are working with your dog for your and his health, or training for a big challenge, Urban Agility will help motivate and inspire you to continue.

Are you up for the challenge?

Foundation Skills


According to a new study, both domesticated dogs and one species of wild dog do a better job than human beings and chimpanzees of ignoring bad instructions and eliminating unnecessary steps when trying to solve a problem. It’s a difference that says a lot about the social order of all of the species.

Foundational skills are the fundamental, portable skills that are essential to conveying and receiving information that is critical to training and real world success. These skills are fundamental in that they serve as a basis—the foundation—for supporting additional behaviors/tasks and learning. They are portable because, rather than being task specific, they can be applied at some level across a wide variety of behaviors.

Dogs who develop these skills have enhanced understanding of and are more responsive to the human world. Navigating the often confusing and inconsistent rules that humans create, knowing how to adapt instinctive and evolutionary behaviors to living with humans compatibly and working as a team with other animals in the home and the humans are all examples of using foundational skills.

Foundational skills are also necessary to learn more task-specific knowledge and skills. This is true across sports, social encounters, service and even protection. For example, both service dogs and protection dogs must understand when waiting is more appropriate then moving. Agility dogs have much less chance of injury and their speed through the course is increased from knowledge of their body parts and how they move.

Dog training is a lifelong process, but some skills have more effectiveness than others in living life with humans. Helping your dog master these skills lays the foundation and prepares your dog for a lifetime of good behavior and companionship. Whether you just brought home a puppy, adopted a shelter dog, or want to ensure your older dog maintains his sociability throughout life, these are the absolute most important skills to teach your dog (and yourself).

Scent Detective Beginning Nose Work Skills


Scent is to dogs what sight and hearing is to humans. We need sight and hearing to feel secure about the world and the environments we find ourselves in.

Dogs use scent instead of sight and hearing to establish how they feel about any particular environment. Dogs use scent to determine any change in the environment. This is why dogs are so good at finding prey, bugs, bombs, drugs and even people.

Dogs use scent for associative identification and interpretation of the environment and individually what comprises that environment and how it might differ from memory. All information about scent is processed for neutral, safe or not safe, sort of a stress test. Due to lack of scent history, there will always be things that will appear to be unsafe to a dog. This is where allowing the dog to gather information using scent is vital.

Dogs remember ALL scents they encounter and because dogs are contextual (see the entire environment as one thing), they also associate their own emotions about that scent in that context. Any particular scent may have many contexts and emotions attached or just one. Not a whole lot different than humans - consider having to stare down the barrel of a gun. Everything in the environment at that moment is stored with the memory of that gun and later any part of that memory could create worry and concern, especially if another piece of that memory is added.

Scent is the number one way that dogs are associating with and orienting to the environment. There is no way to exclude scent or the dogs amazing ability to detect scent in any aspect of our relationship with dogs. You must always take into account that the dog will be detecting scents and determining how they relate to their environment. Most times we will not be able to detect the scents that they do. Be sensitive to this and you will really start to be on your dog's team.

Fitness Fundamentals


Fitness is a dog's ability to perform physical activities both static and dynamic.  These activities generally require endurance, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination as well as a general awareness of the environment those activities are being performed within.

Fitness usually denotes engagement in a combination of regular exercise and inherited talent and ability. Fitness is also a measure of a dog's ability to carry out those tasks he is assigned whether in the sporting, working, service or companion arenas. That measure is one of vigor, fatigue and energy. Fitness generally measures one's capacity for directed movement.

Fitness is often divided into following types:

Flexibility: This usually means joint movement, it's range and fluidity. Some flexibility has a lot to do with body composition however, the more excess weight a dog might have will reduce the range of motion.

Endurance: Endurance is usually measured by aerobic capacity.  This means how long a dog can run or chase or do quick movement exercises.  However, in the last decade, humans have been reminded that mental challenge is just as exhausting as aerobic exercise.  So endurance covers more then just aerobics.  Endurance is the amount of time vs effort in any activity.

Strength: Weight training is a form of exercise for developing the strength and size of skeletal muscles which can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being.

Agility: Agility is the ability to change the body's direction quickly and efficiently. Agility requires a sense of balance, the knowledge of body parts and how they move, coordinating movements between the dog and its environment, speed, and strength.

Balance: This includes body awareness, environmental awareness and proprioception in order to maintain the natural positions of the canine body without dizziness, loss of equilibrium or injury.

Speed: Speed is a measure of how fast the dog moves in the activity being done. Speed is measured by how much time it takes to go from rest to the end of the activity. That activity could be as simple as a stand to a sit. To get speed, the dog needs to be able to hear the cue, understand the cue and the action the cue signals and instantly react upon hearing it.

Task-oriented activity: There are many tasks and groups of tasks that we can ask of our dogs. A sport, any sport, is just a specific set of tasks and movements that have the purpose of going from A to B.

There are five things that I feel are the keys to fitness with any dog, no matter what their role in your life is.


Engagement. Engagement basically means that your dog is actively involved in the activity you and s/he are doing together. Once the dog is actively participating, there is a point where the dog is actually pushing the handler. This intended outcome is what is desired during every interaction. Engagement cannot be achieved without a sound dog. Fitness is an important part of creating an engaged dog. Anything that is unsound will cause internal distractions and thus, no engagement.

Aerobic Activity. Some dogs love to run, others don't. Some dogs thrive on long straight walks and others need to stop at every tree and hydrant, chase a butterfly and roll in the grass. All of this for a dog, is aerobic activity. Anything that gets the dog moving, breathing, engaging with the environment and you can be considered aerobic. The heart pumps a bit harder, the lungs grab more air, the muscles work harder and endorphins abound.

Rhythm and Flow. Structure gives rhythm to our dogs lives. That structure also covers the composition and structure of your dog's body. When parts are out of alignment, there can be little flow to movement. All the exercises we do in the Fitness classes bring structure, rhythm and flow to our dogs.

Problem Solving. Canids are great problem solvers. A fact that is missing in most training endeavors. They really can figure out what you want them to do and be willing to do it on cue. There is really no need for moving the dogs body via your hands, a leash or some other tool. Even luring isn't necessary once your understand that dogs can think, can process the environment and due what seems necessary. But like engagement, the ability to problem solve is dependent on not having the distractions of an unfit or ill body.

Live Life: Dogs should be allowed to be dogs, to live life according to their evolutionary functions and propensities. Obviously we don't want them digging up the garden, chewing on the furniture or reliving their ancestors daily activity of scavenging in the nice smelly garbage. But dogs should be allowed to use their noses, roll in "stuff", play with other dogs, socialize with other species, and chase and eat bugs.

Puppy Learning Games


There are many way to train or condition a puppy.  Science tells us about learning theories, reinforcers, punishers, schedules, timing, criteria and a host of different ways to use equipment in the training process.

There are dozens of leashes, collars, harnesses and other devices touted as the new magic wand.  We even have one of our own - Canine Game Theory.  However, Game Theory and it's uses in education has been around for at least 100 years.  Task training and reward based training has been around for 1000's of years and is how shepherds train their sheep puppies, carters train their mountain puppies and guardian breeds are taught self-control and discrimination. 

Is your puppy digging, chewing, or destroying things? How about refusing to come to you, bolting out the door, or jumping up on you and your guests?

If you answered yes to any of these, your puppy has a training problem not a behavior problem. These problems can usually be fixed simply by consistently training your puppy every day. Digging, chewing, and destroying things usually occur because the puppy is bored. However, they can also be signs of separation anxiety.

Training problems occur because the puppy simply doesn't know how to act in a human excepted way to any given situation. Therefore, the puppy acts out like it would with other puppies in a pack. Jumping up is caused because the puppy is trying to lick our lips. The only way for him to reach our lips is to jump. Believe it or not, this is actually a good thing in the puppy world, because it signifies that the puppy is accepting the guest on his property. When your puppy does this to you, he's trying to tell you, "Welcome back! Did you catch a good meal for us? Give me some!" In other words, he thinks you went out hunting, killed and ate some prey, and he wants you to throw some of it up for him to eat!

Empowerment and Engagement


Empowerment training is about showing our dogs that the environment is something they can affect and control.  Most training is about instilling control onto our dogs instead of showing them how to have self-control and understanding.

In this class you will be establishing a history of reinforcement for choice, understanding, decisions and willingness to operate on the environment and the objects in it.

According to James O'Heare, in order to empower a dog you must teach him industriousness, persistence and creativity. 

Industriousness means that the dog is willing to work; industriousness is also the willingness and ability to engage with not only the human involved but the environment itself.  Industriousness also means to work hard and steadily, mostly ignoring distractions or finding that the work itself is more rewarding. This is the basic behind engagement with the human handler and without it, engagement is improbable.

Persistence is basically not giving up if the goal is attainable.  Persistence is that quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by others. Persistence contains with it the ability to continue even though the motivators have disappeared.  The goal and the rewards inherent in reaching the goal are important enough that there is no need for continued motivation.

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. Creativity for our dogs can best be expressed as problem solving.  Namely, how your dog responds to problems and new situations. Response to problems usually takes on one of three ways: reaction, surrender, invent. React and your dog is basically shutting down and letting motor patterns take over. Your dog is literally turning off the range of possibilities and perception s/he would normally have. Surrendering to defeat is also a shut down. Surrendering disempowers your dog from her capacity to solve problems.

Creativity is nurtured by freedom and stifled by the continuous commands, labeling of behavior, the necessity for human direction, and pressure to conform to an ideal that has little to do with the reality that is a dog and that restrict most dogs lives whether they are working, sporting or just pet dogs.  In the real world few questions have one right answer; few problems have one right solution; that's why creativity is crucial to helping our dogs live in our world with our rules. 

Like any other training, first we will ensure that your dog's basic needs are being met.  Those needs are the physical ones of food, water, medical attention if necessary, exercise, play and mental challenge. During this phase of empowerment training there should be no punishment, no intimidation, no pain or discomfort and as little fear inducing experiences as possible.  Whether your dog is a senior, an adult or a puppy, this phase is what socialization should have been and will reintroduce the dog to viewing all environments as pleasurable.

Phase two is reintroducing already known behaviors like sit and down.  In many cases this requires different cues and hugely different methods of teaching.  As in the beginning phase there should be only positive experiences, lots of reinforcement, consistency, and making sure that the dog does not become overwhelmed with new behaviors or hours of training.  Doing no more than 5 minute training sessions is hugely important in this phase.  Each known behavior should be worked on for several days before asking for a different behavior.  This is to ensure that your dog is comfortable learning new things and old things in new ways and starts understanding that s/he has a voice in this endeavor.

Phase 3 is about persistence which according to James O'Heare is to inoculate the dog against and rehabilitate depressed responding and learn to tolerate and overcome frustration.  Depressed responding is sometimes referred to as learned helplessness.  Depressed response happens because of an inability to choose or being overwhelmed with choice.  When one loses the power to choose they become subjugated to the control of others. Losing the power to choose, one becomes the slave of that which stops them from making choices of their own volition.

Phase 4 is about industry.  Because industriousness includes the work being as rewarding to the dog as any additional rewards we might offer, this phase teaches the dog that work is play and play is work. The dog must choose to work with us continuously and despite outside distractions.  Having learned about choice in previous phases, choice is the most important concept of this phase.  You will be giving your dog many situations where choice is necessary to achieve reinforcement and allowing your dog to solve the problems in these situations his way.

Snake and Toad Avoidance Without Shock


Living in Pima County comes with a slight risk that your dog may encounter a rattlesnake. About 20 percent to 25 percent of rattlesnake bites are nonvenomous bites, which means that the snake doesn't release venom. The reason for this is that rattlesnakes don't see dogs as a meal, merely as a predator. Venom is not fast-acting enough for the snake to strike and save his own skin, so to speak, so the release of any amount of venom is simply a deterrent to give the snake enough time to get away. Full releases of venom are normally saved for prey animals the snake will eat.

·         About 30 percent of rattlesnake bites cause local pain and swelling in the bite area with no general symptoms, and most dogs are likely to survive this type of bite.

·         Approximately 40 percent of bites are considered severe, but luckily have a fatality rate of only about 5 percent for dogs. The survival rate will depend on how fast the antivenin is administered, the health of the dog, its size and where it was bitten.

·         Approximately (no actual statistics - only those reported) 15,000 bites happen with dogs and cats in the US yearly out of 78.2 million dogs and 86.4 million cats. Of those bites, 80% happen at home. That means less than nine 10ths of one percent of dogs and cats actually get bit by a venomous snake every year.

Each year, several companies come through town offering to "break" your dog from approaching rattlesnakes. The premise of "snake breaking" is to use a shock collar to punish the dog when he or she approaches snakes that are muzzled or de-fanged or milked of their venom. The theory is that the dog will associate the sight, sound and smell of a rattlesnake together with a very painful shock. These companies and trainers use YOUR fear to convince you the only way to snake proof your dog is to shock it. They fail to inform you that the statistics prove otherwise.

Game based avoidance training

There is another method of prevention that does not involved costly vaccinations, anti-venom or unproven painful methods which use shock collars. It's very similar to the methods used to teach your dog to come back to you even if chasing a squirrel or rabbit. Self-control, distraction training, scent training and actually consulting your dog’s understanding of what to do when seeing, hearing or smelling a snake. Shock aversion training assumes your dog will run away because of the association with pain - but that doesn't always happen. What we teach the dog is to move away from snakes, to be aware of the environment, and often this training will teach a dog to ask permission first before heading off after lizards, squirrels, cats or rabbits.

Come join us in a three week class where we meet twice a week to teach not only snake aversion, but self-control, impulse control and how to ignore distractions.

Service Dogs


With the chaotic times we live in, many people are having difficulties both emotionally and mentally. When a person finds themselves in this situation, they may feel overwhelmed and even hopeless. When this happens, some doctors and mental health professionals are recommending the use of service dogs. However, the term "service dog" is becoming a "catch-all" term. Real service dogs are trained to perform a specific task for the physically or mentally challenged individual. This also includes psychiatric service dogs for folks that suffer from PTSD or bipolar disorder.

The tasks performed by a service dog for the physically disabled, a dog for medically disabled and one for those with a mental illness are different but in some cases are very similar.  Below are common tasks learning by most service dogs.

  • Retrieving dropped items
  • Opening doors
  • Leading the person
  • Being the person's ears to hear alarms, doorbells, ringing phones, etc.
  • Contacting a person if the individual is in an emergency situation
  • Physically aiding the patient if having a seizure or other health issue
  • Alerting the individual to drops in blood sugars or of an oncoming seizure and other conditions.
  • Help guide a person home after a dissociative episode
  • Find a person or a place (like an exit) if the handler is having a panic attack and cannot call out for help.
  • Do a room-to-room safety search for a person who suffers from PTSD and hypervigilance syndrome.
  • Signal for certain sounds like smoke alarms (this is for the person that may be heavily medicated)
  • Bring help in case the person is in hiding due to fright
  • Fetch medication in an emergency

 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Foundation Skills (not obedience)


According to a new study, both domesticated dogs and one species of wild dog do a better job than human beings and chimpanzees of ignoring bad instructions and eliminating unnecessary steps when trying to solve a problem. It’s a difference that says a lot about the social order of all of the species.

Dogs are more efficient learners than you think. In this seminar you will learn how dogs think, how to train them knowing this and what skills they actually need to live actively and easily in our human world.

Foundational skills are the fundamental, portable skills that are essential to conveying and receiving information that is critical to training and real world success. These skills are fundamental in that they serve as a basis—the foundation—for supporting additional behaviors/tasks and learning. They are portable because, rather than being task specific, they can be applied at some level across a wide variety of behaviors.


Dogs who develop these skills have enhanced understanding of and are more responsive to the human world. Navigating the often confusing and inconsistent rules that humans create, knowing how to adapt instinctive and evolutionary behaviors to living with humans compatibly and working as a team with other animals in the home and the humans are all examples of using foundational skills.

Foundational skills are also necessary to learn more task-specific knowledge and skills. This is true across sports, social encounters, service and even protection. For example, both service dogs and protection dogs must understand when waiting is more appropriate then moving. Agility dogs have much less chance of injury and their speed through the course is increased from knowledge of their body parts and how they move.


Dog training is a lifelong process, but some skills have more effectiveness than others in living life with humans. Helping your dog master these skills lays the foundation and prepares your dog for a lifetime of good behavior and companionship. Whether you just brought home a puppy, adopted a shelter dog, or want to ensure your older dog maintains his sociability throughout life, these are the absolute most important skills to teach your dog (and yourself).



The Skills

1. Self Control
2. Impulse Control
3. Similarities and Differences (those are all tables/chairs and those are not)
4. The Basics as applied to living in a human world
5. Loose Leash Walking
6. Come Here
7. Targeting (touch that and go right there)
8. Distance doesn’t matter, the human still rules
9. Door chores (don't dash out that door)
10. Handling Distractions (preventing reactivity and environmental fear)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Give Your Dog A REAL Job

Hi, I have been training dogs for a long time and in the last 10 years I've been training medical alert dogs for seizures, diabetes, lupus, Parkinsons, and many other issues.  I have a chance to get certified as a trainer of Cancer Detection Dogs - a field that may have started 16 years ago when the first dog indicated to cancer to now with a real technology that trains dogs to detect cancel.

The certification class is in November 2016 and costs $4500 just for the class itself.  The class is being delivered in California and I live in Arizona so would also need funds for living during the time of the class.

I have friends and relatives that have cancer, have died from cancer and I would really love to be able to advance the field with nearly 100% early detection of cancer using those dogs I dearly love.  You as a donor to this endeavor would also be able to take credit for advancing this field into the incredible field it will soon be.

Thank you all so much in advance !
Hi, I have been training dogs for a long time and in the last 10 years I've been training medical alert dogs for epilepsy, diabetes, lupus, Parkinson’s, and many other issues.  I also train dogs to assist with PTSD, TBI, MST, mobility/stability, assistance including helping with the laundry, and other forms of assistance dogs.



I have a chance to get certified as a trainer of Cancer Detection Dogs - a field that may have started 16 years ago when the first dog indicated to cancer to now with a real technology that trains dogs to detect cancel. The certification class is in November 2016 and costs $4500 just for the class itself.  The class is being delivered in California and I live in Arizona so would also need funds for living during the time of the class.

I have friends and relatives that have cancer, have died from cancer and I would really love to be able to advance the field with nearly 100% early detection of cancer using those dogs I dearly love.  I would love to have many join me in this endeavor in advancing this incredible field of scent work for dogs. Also as part of this certification class I will be learning how to train for early detection of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Both diseases are manageable with medication if caught early enough which is hit or miss with the current methods of detection.

As a special introductory method of raising the funds for this certification course, I would like to offer you a special program in scent detection. This class would be modeled on the work I do with medical alert dogs.  As an example of what I expect from a scent dog, the final test for scent detection work (diabetes, seizures, Lupus, etc.) is to blind fold the dog outside on a breezy day.  The owner (target) of the alert walks away from the dog and walks around the 40’ X 40’ space with the scent articles.  The scent is presented 12 times and the dog must alert on at least 10 of them.

The programs are:

Nosework I – Odor targeting, recognition and detection basics

Nosework II – Odor targeting, recognition and detection advanced

Nosework III -  Odor detection in the service and medical world

Nosework Games and Troubleshooting – games to help with detection as well as introducing other ways to use that fabulous canine nose.

These programs can either be done as a group class or privately.  Group is $250 for 6 weeks and Private sessions are $600 for 6 sessions.  Group classes will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings at 9am.  Group classes are small at no more than 5 dogs.  Private lessons will be done on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 6pm.  My dogs will be part of these programs. My current service dog will be the demo dog for Nosework Games and Troubleshooting.  The service dog in training will be featured in Nosework I and II and the retired service dog will be teaching Nosework III.

All dogs that do the three Nosework programs will be considered first to become Cancer Detection Dogs.  If you would like to join us, please email Jamie at coach @ playyourwayobedience.com for more information and/or forms for the programs.

If you would just like to donate to the cause and bring early Cancer Detection to Tucson, please feel free to donate at https://www.gofundme.com/cancerdetectiondog.

Thank you all so very much in advance !

Hi, I have been training dogs for a long time and in the last 10 years I've been training medical alert dogs for seizures, diabetes, lupus, Parkinsons, and many other issues.  I have a chance to get certified as a trainer of Cancer Detection Dogs - a field that may have started 16 years ago when the first dog indicated to cancer to now with a real technology that trains dogs to detect cancel.

The certification class is in November 2016 and costs $4500 just for the class itself.  The class is being delivered in California and I live in Arizona so would also need funds for living during the time of the class.

I have friends and relatives that have cancer, have died from cancer and I would really love to be able to advance the field with nearly 100% early detection of cancer using those dogs I dearly love.  You as a donor to this endeavor would also be able to take credit for advancing this field into the incredible field it will soon be.

Thank you all so much in advance !


Hi, I have been training dogs for a long time and in the last 10 years I've been training medical alert dogs for seizures, diabetes, lupus, Parkinsons, and many other issues.  I have a chance to get certified as a trainer of Cancer Detection Dogs - a field that may have started 16 years ago when the first dog indicated to cancer to now with a real technology that trains dogs to detect cancel.

The certification class is in November 2016 and costs $4500 just for the class itself.  The class is being delivered in California and I live in Arizona so would also need funds for living during the time of the class.

I have friends and relatives that have cancer, have died from cancer and I would really love to be able to advance the field with nearly 100% early detection of cancer using those dogs I dearly love.  You as a donor to this endeavor would also be able to take credit for advancing this field into the incredible field it will soon be.

Thank you all so much in advance !

Thursday, January 28, 2016



 


Welcome to the Functional Agility Trainer class ! In this class you will be learning the fundamentals of how to train functional agility and fitness and the 3 associated sports. Most of these fundamentals will translate to any sport you attempt. You will be learning about your dog's anatomy, behavior, how to teach speed and flexibility and what to do if things go wrong.

Just like tools and equipment, there are at least a few dozen ways to teach a dog how to do those behaviors and tricks we'd like them to do. Because sports are so demanding of a dog, because precision and coordination is so important to preventing injury and obtaining speed, I highly recommend that only positive reinforcement type methods be used to train these sports.

There should never be a need to force a dog to exercise or do behaviors via pain, fear, intimidation, compulsion or moving his body for him. I have no idea if there are any studies comparing methods vs injuries attained. The one thing that I have found is that proper conditioning is usually only a subject on the positive reinforcement based websites. Injury and rehabilitation on the non R+ websites are referred to a sports based Vet. In one PDF I found it suggested:

"The sports in which dogs compete: It is particularly important that the sports re-trainer be actively competing in canine sports and be familiar with current training techniques since they can affect your dog’s return to competition or the potential for later re-injury. In addition, the sports re-trainer should be very familiar with the muscles that are used for different aspects of the various canine sports."

There are hundreds of different ways to teach and a thousand ways that life is being lived. There is classical and operant conditioning; there is social and associative learning; trial and error and memorizing facts and figures. Each of us creates a pattern of actions that assist us in learning and in playing the game of life. But the one pattern, the one learning scenario that is gaining prominence and proof, the one that appears to deliver results in all arenas is Game Theory.

The price for this 12 week class is $300. Please use this button to purchase this class.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

What Is Functional Training

Over the past few years, due to positive reinforcement based training having an effect on dog sports, there has been an awareness shift toward making that training more functional. Adding TTouch, Bowen Technique, massage, Reiki and other modalities led the way to using the same balance equipment that humans use to help our dogs develop the balance, coordination, body awareness and core strength they need to not only excel at their sport but to reduce injury.
Along with the manufacturers and marketers of tools for handling dog walking skills and reactivity are those who are building tools for use in canine fitness and training.  Peanuts, donuts, paw pads, exercise balls, balance pads, treadmills, and many more have entered the dog training arena over the past couple of years. 
Sports that are embracing functional training are agility, musical freestyle, and many others where positive reinforcement methods are making huge inroads in the way the winning dogs are being trained.  Even the service and guide dog industries are embracing not only positive reinforcement based methodologies but also functional training.  Unlike the human field of functional training, in dog training there is no controversy.  Functional training started as a way to include balance and coordination and evolved to assist in handling reactivity, injuries, anxiety and much more.
As one begins to explore the concept of functional training for sport, keep an open mind about how and this can also be used for our companion and pet dogs. Think of your training as a vehicle to improve life, not just to improve performance. Current training programs are mostly geared built around actions that occur in the designated sport.  But functional training can do the same job by working behaviors and fitness exercises do not occur in sport but do occur in the life a dog leads in the alien world we’ve created. The key is to design a training program that truly prepares a dog for living life easily, functionally and with minimal injury. This can be done only by using exercises that train the muscles the same way they are used in sport, in other words, functional training.

Skill-Related Components of Functional Training

When looking at human Functional Training, the following six areas are considered the important skills of Functional Training.
Speed is the ability to move quickly.  Speed and reaction time are closely related but speed is more about continuous fast motion and doesn’t require the need to react to stimuli the way reaction speed does.  Speed is essential in many sports.  Some sports, such as agility and fly ball, require speed in most components of the sport.  Other sports, such as IPO, musical freestyle, obedience and Rally, only need such speed as to get through the objectives within a time period but control and competence in the activities are graded higher.

Reaction time is the time it takes for the dog to react to any particular stimulus.  Reaction time always reminds me of the time when Micah wanted to work on top of the hot tub, which he loved, but didn’t realize the top had been blown off by the wind.  When he discovered there was no top to land on, it appeared that he actually levitated himself and went all the way over the hot tub instead.  Reaction time is about observation and being mindful of the environment.  It can be enhanced and increased.

Agility is all about changing directions at speed.  Agility by necessity involves balance, body awareness, environmental awareness, reaction time, awareness of and engagement with the human for direction, coordination, and speed.  The training for agility should cover all that and instill in the dog the ability to change direction rapidly without a significant loss of speed, balance, or body control.  

Power is many things including muscular strength and the ability to exert that strength both in a slow controlled manner and at speed. Power is about the speed at which work is performed. Strength, acceleration, and speed are essential for power.

Balance means not falling down.  Balance means controlled movement and static behaviors that maintain equilibrium.  Balance generally comes from core strength, body awareness and muscle coordination.

Coordination is the ability to move and use different parts of the body together smoothly and efficiently.
As mostly a pet dog trainer, I would change this list to:
  • ·         Balance
  • ·         Coordination
  • ·         Reaction time
  • ·         Body awareness
  • ·         Environmental awareness
  • ·         Core strength

When dealing with those sports requiring agility I would add:
  • ·         Rear end awareness
  • ·         Confidence
  • ·         Movement in balance
  • ·         Engagement



Functional Training

Functional Training has been around for a long time in the human fitness world, in and out of favor. I remember when I was on the swim team in the 60's and how it seemed that every year something would change in the fundamental exercises we would do to improve our speed, strength and stroke. Many times it would fall out of favor to what appeared to be the smoother paved roads that promised faster and easier results. This deviation from the functional and the fundamental almost always led to an increase in injuries and failures.

This same path has been followed in the dog world as well. It's a longer path however and spans centuries rather than years or decades. Originally dogs were merely there to assist with the hunt and little actual training was done. Then man discovered that dogs could be trained to assist in other areas like herding domestic food animals, marching with armies and guarding the home place. The training that went along with these activities was all functional. Each dog was paired with another dog who already knew the job. With mimicry and observation, the new dog learned the ropes.
As a dogs role changed over the centuries, so did the manner of training. Man started taking a hand in teaching dogs the different jobs they were to perform. But dogs were still there to assist man for the most part. Eventually, most of those tasks were eliminated or changed and the dog became more a companion with no tasks at all. There were still groups of dogs that worked on farms, for the authorities, service and therapy, but for the rest, work became sport or in most cases there was no work at all.
With this major change in the role of a dog in our lives, strange behaviors and aggression started to explode. Companions dogs had little to no training; no purpose other than to just be there; and most humans did not take the time to educate themselves on what a dog is. Enter the training of police and military dogs into the general society. This training was rigid and rigorous and most dogs failed at this training because of the methods. Due to the nature of these training methods where quick results were necessary in times of way, the dog was treated much more as a machine then a thinking being.
But as history shows us over and over, things change and the circle comes around again. People are becoming aware that their dogs are more capable then they could dream of. Television and the Internet are creating a plethora of canine sports and the awareness of service dogs and the apparent freedom they have. But the quick and dirty methods are still there, the myth that the six major obedience commands are necessary for every dog, and the need for instant gratification which these methods appear to promise. The dogs know their jobs, but those jobs are done to avoid the rough handling of the training methods, and they have no clue how to live in a human world otherwise.
Functional Training changes all this. Functional training takes us back to the roots of our association with canines and getting back to the basics of movement, body awareness, the flow that should be inherent in moving from space to space and when navigating obstacles, balance, coordination, flexibility and agility. Functional Agility helps provide your dog with the strength, stability, power, mobility, endurance and flexibility that s/he needs to thrive as s/he moves through life and sports. Using basic functional movement patterns like pushing, pulling, lunging, squatting, rotating, carrying and gait patterns, Functional Training utilizes exercises that improve movement proficiency, enhance performance and decrease injury.
In Germany there are two activities (Degility and Jagility) for dogs that encompass Functional Training. Using agility, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, scent and cooperation with humans as the basis for these two activities, I call these activities collectively Function Agility. There is little need for speed in these two modalities, but speed can be built in at the higher levels and that adds a third activity that is rapidly becoming a sport in the US - Canine Parkour.
http://www.functionalagility.comLife is unpredictable and unstable. So why would you develop your dog's training using stable and predictable routines and equipment? No matter your fitness goal with your dog is, treat variety and practical application as critical components of his training. You don't live in a vacuum; your dog doesn't live in a vacuum, so why would you train him in one?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Moving Towards Mastery: Seek Many Paths

In sports, in particular agility, it's common to work at problem solving from the viewpoint of efficiency and progress. Working through a series of obstacles should be practiced from all angles and all paths, easy to hard and back and forth. Doing this pushes you and your dog out of your comfort zone and ensures that if things go wrong in the ring, you have alternatives that have already been practiced. Sometimes, taking another path ends up being the better, faster path then normal handling would anticipate.

Moving through environments and moving through life are not dissimilar. Taking the known path, the path that looks the easiest, or the path that others seem to have taken, is not and never will be the best path. If you work through all the paths, finding the most profitable and most efficient over the long term, all paths become easier and your experience in practicing all possible path opens up additional possibilities.

Mastery is built on the greatest knowledge and skill possible. If all you do is follow the known path, the path laid out by others or the path you planned based on minimal experience, mastery of the skills needed will never happen. Mastery means thinking outside the box, having courage to question and learn new things about your chosen skills and not hesitating because you've worked on all possible scenarios. Mastery means you can think with your subject and change in a split second based on the developing conditions that occur because you are moving forward.

Handling mastery is earned with this kind of knowledge and practice.

There are six keys to acheiving success in most endeavors:
  • Passion
  • Education
  • Practice
  • Understanding Reality
  • Intent
  • Pushing the envelop
Mastery is:
  • A process of creating the ability to think with and manipulate the subject in new ways
  • Long-term dedication to the journey - not the bottom line
  • Gaining mental discipline to travel further on your journey
  • Having a plan and simple goals
  • Becoming the process and realizing the self reinforcing nature of it
  • Creating deep roots in knowledge and skill
  • Your commitment to hone your skills
  • Being willing to move from peak to peak and not getting bogged down in the vallys
  • Being willing to practice, even when you seem to be getting nowhere
  • Appreciating and even enjoying the plateau, as much as you do the progress
  • Practicing for the sake of practice
  • Winning graciously, and losing with equal grace
  • Placing practice, discipline, conditioning and character development before winning
  • Being courageous
  • Being fully in the present moment
  • Realizing that the ultimate goal is not the medal, or the ribbon, but the journey itself
  • Maintaining flexibility in your strategy, and in your actions
  • Determination

Become a master in every part of your life remembering always that moving to a prize is momentary and fleeting and that the true rewards are the journey and the doing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Making Choices, Managing Prey Drive

Today is the last day of Part II of Making Choices, Managing Prey Drive at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.  Everyone is filling out their exit surveys, sending me their final videos and getting ready for two weeks off before the next semester of classes.

The meat world class here in Clearwater, Florida starts this coming Saturday at 6 pm and I can't wait to see a whole new group of dogs learn that their humans are more exciting then the squirrel in the tree.  If you wish to join us in this class, call me at 727-686-4246.

Here are some of the success stories from this class:


Just wanted to say thank you for everything! You have made a huge difference in my little dog. We will continue to work hard and start taking our games on the road. Hopefully we will take the distractions class at bronze in June. I will miss your feedback but we are excited for the new games! 

Thanks for a great class - got a lot out of it.. I will be taking the distractions class in June, not sure at what level yet. We still have work to do, but before these classes, we would not have stood a chance of being able to work in this situation 

LEXI RECALLED OFF A CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now it is a good thing the fence was there as she charged it , I called out Lexi!!!!! She whipped around and came back ...I nearly died. She came in and ate and turned away I said her name again and tossed a handful of treats in the air ...she stopped and proceeded to eat. Overall I am pleased -still a ways to go but very pleased. What I liked was she was relaxed and not on edge. I am looking at the distraction class ....thinking :)  Jamie thanks ever so much for the great class.
 

I just completed your managing prey drive 2 class with my youngster Gus. He is a squirrel, bunny and deer happy boy. I participated in the bronze level and still got so so so much out your class. Thank you! I've only had this pup for 11 months. He's a shelter rescue but he is pure joy and I'm loving where this class is taking us. Looking forward to more of your fenzi classes in the future. Thank you again. 

If you struggle with a dog who loses focus quickly, takes off with zoomies around the ring, distracted by smells and sounds, doesn’t listen, bolts out the door; Prey Drive class is for you! And besides building our relationship so those distractions aren't important we also got an awesome recall! 

I liked this course , its format is out of the box thinking . For those of us who applied ourselves and tried the games we saw changes in our dogs. 

My dog couldn't relax outside and was always obsessively searching for birds and squirrels. He was much more than a casual squirrel chaser, hunting prey was the only thing he could think about. He remained on a long line in his own back yard for several months because I was worried that he would jump the low part of our fence in pursuit of prey. We couldn't train off leash without him bolting into the bushes or charging the fence in hopes of finding prey. Prey did not even have to be visible for him to get over aroused, just their scent could send him over the top. In the past couple of weeks, he has ditched the long line. He thinks his mom is pretty cool now and he is so much more relaxed. His personal play and recalls have improved and we worked through so many fun games to improve his willingness to be with me. I also loved that Jamie provided us with ways to satisfy their prey drive, like games for scenting, shredding, etc. If you are committed to the training, it will be well worth your time. 

Thanks again for such an amazing class. We fell behind here and there but we will continue thru the break and hopefully snag a gold spot for the distractions class 

This was an amazing class. I thought I knew what Prey Drive was...not even close! Thank you to the Gold and Silver students for asking the questions and putting yourselves out there. Looking forward to Distractions! 

Donna Hill Jamie I love your classes! I've been spreading the work both locally and online. I think your class is hugely needed by many people! 

Loose dogs approaching us today.  Guess which game we played? GO (on cue)!!! Bodhi had a blast, didn’t care about those other dogs J

At the beginning of this course I had an unruly 21 month old whippet, Layla. Any time she would see a dog she was off over to it with not a glance back and turning deaf to my attempts to recall her. After completing the 2 part course I find myself on holiday with a 3 mile long beach and 1 mile wide with the tide out. Needless to say it's heaven for most dogs. I let Layla off the lead and there were a group of dogs 30 yards away she trotted 5 yards from me and then stopped and she turned round to look at me!!!! she actually turned round and asked if it was ok to go and play!! I said 'ok' and let her go play feeling triumphant! When I whistled her to call her back she 'whipped it' good and shot back over to my side with a huge smile on both our faces! I never thought this possible. Thank you so much Jamie Robinson for this amazing fun course, we have learnt so much and my gorgeous whippet has loads more self-control and even more love of life if that's possible. 

A great sequel to Managing Prey Drive 1. It helped me realize what kind of predator my dog is (i.e., which part of the prey sequence is most pronounced/satisfying to her) and what games would satisfy that part of her prey drive. Would highly recommend this class even for dogs that aren't super prey driven -- the games have helped her to make better choices in general, and the concepts and games are useful in other contexts. Once again Jamie showed her dedication to her students, gave prompt and pointed feedback, answered questions, joked around, and I felt like we were all a team. Thanks again, Jamie!