Wow, time flies when you are having fun! It’s July 16th already!!

The first part of June I had the opportunity to go to a dog training camp at Kathy and Gary Platt’s Innovative Dog Training Center in Papillion, Nebraska. Oh my! It was so much fun. My highlight was the philosophy the Platts shared. It goes something like this: Be fair to your dog. If your dog is trying to play the game but is not playing it right, a punishment isn’t the next step in training. The next step is for you to figure out how to help the dog understand the rules of the game. For example, heeling. If your dog is heeling beside you in a forged position, with his tail wagging and eyes on you, is fair to correct the forged heel position? It is worth losing the attitude? The alternative is to teach the dog to back up, so when they are forging with a great attitude you can back them up into proper heel position, rewarding the correct position. This way, the dog is still playing the game and we’ve given them clear communication on how the game can be better played. YES! I learned so much more and I’m having FUN implementing the new skills.

We are updating the Puppy Palace! New wall coverings and a large fenced play area are in the works. Speaking of play areas, the agility field has been plowed, leveled, and seeded. We’ve got grass coming up! We should be ready for agility classes next summer!!

Now that we are in the heat of summer remember to be patient with your pups while training. Science has proven that tempers are shorter when people are hot. And I know, from experience, that it is hard for the dogs to perform the tasks we ask them to when it’s hot. When you train, ask yourself:

  • Have I considered the environment I am asking my dog to work in?
  • Have I considered the mental state of my dog?
  • Have I thought through what I want to train today?
  • Have I set my dog up for success?

New class sessions are starting! Check out the schedule on line and come join me for some fun and positive training!