January 31, 2010

Shaping Success!

Last fall I took Brandan to a Free Shaping workshop with Pam Dennison for two days. I wanted to do something that was outside my comfort zone. I had always thought that Free Shaping was all about teaching a dog to do tricks (which I had never really been drawn to). I am always looking for new things to offer my training clients, so I thought why not.
Long story short...It was a BLAST & I found a new training style that I now use in my every day training of basic obedience & behavior modification. First of all, Brandan loved it. He was so proud of himself as was I. I taught him to "take a bow", ride a skateboard, wipe his paws, and roll over & play dead.
In the months to follow my daughter actually recognized how happy Brandan was to have learned these new 'tricks'. She said, "Brandan seems so happy since you took him to that training seminar...he wags his tail more and looks like he is smiling" and she was right.
Now I use Free Shaping to teach a dog to drop an item, fetch a frisbee, roll over for examination, clip his nails, retrieve a particular item, go to place, etc. I rarely ever lure a dog into position any more. There is just no reason to. It is so much more fun to let the dog really think about the task and sit back and watch him figure out exactly what it is you want from him. It is very gratifying.

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Dog Training Philosophy

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I train dogs using positive reinforcement training to modify unwanted behaviors.  I step outside the traditional training box and use therapeutic-grade essential oils to assist in my behavior modification regime when it comes to dogs plagued with fear and anxiety as well as aggression.  My philosophy is to heal the dog's mind, body and spirit, not just to rid the dog of unacceptable behaviors.  I specialize in shelter dog rehab, reactive rover, and fearful fidos.