FUNdamentals Week 3 and 4

This week we will continue many games from the first two weeks simply for the fun of it. Our dogs LIKE getting things right, so as long as you play them at randomly, the dog will maintain interest. Please print the lesson play so you have it handy!

We’ll continue with Front Feet On this week with some progressions. If your dog is doing well, you can introduce something slightly unstable for variety. If your dog is clearly having a blast, then you can take it all around the house and into the garden if it’s safe.

We will add some more things to our Cardboard Chaos, this time things that roll to add an element of random movements.

We will also make It’s Your Choice a little more difficult. Last week we opened our hand, and closed it again if the dog dove at it. This week we will move that open-hand. Be prepared for your dog to have difficulty. If your dog likes to chase things in the first place, adding movement to desirable things is quite difficult.

The Mouse game builds on IYC by putting things down on the floor. Some dogs take this in stride but others do not. Dogs are often used to divebombing for dropped morsels in the kitchen and stuff on the floor is usually fair game. It is a large mental gap for the dog to cross: leave something alone on the floor.

The Cone Game is a large leap forward for timid dogs. Go at your own pace. You want your dog comfortably sticking his head in things. Take it step by step.

Be With is deceptive in its importance. But it is the thin edge of the wedge in terms of ever having loose leash walking, or, making off leash walking possible. If your dog cannot be happy bounding about with you in the house, you have no hope in coping with distraction when you’re out and about. Play it often. Keep it short and unpredictable.

The Calming Marker (handout and video here) is something we will build on in weeks to come. However, as you will see, it is something you will only be able to capture perhaps once or twice a day. The most likely time for you (human) is in the evening when things are winding down and your dog is almost asleep. When you reward him, he will probably get back up again. Eventually he will not and you will get the situation where I filmed MacGee 6 or 7 times, often within minutes.

Another useful skill for humans to have is the ability to lure the dog into positions that the dog doesn’t often do. Play the game slowly and be careful to stay within your dog’s reach. If you move too fast they will become discouraged. Remember you’re asking something physical that dogs don’t often do. Give them a chance to hook body and mind together!

Have a good week! Happy Mother’s Day! See you in the zoom call on Wednesday.


And here’s the Zoom Call and 2 Handouts from Wednesday, May 13. Enjoy!!! Please keep those videos coming!!!



Welcome back! We’re starting to get into a pattern now. Each week we tweak something familiar and we introduce some more. Soon you will see the method in my madness!

Continuing to build the confidence and stamina with Cardboard Chaos…. now we add instability underfoot.

It’s Your Choice is a game you can adapt to many many situations. Here you will see 3 videos of Taylor …. in the first you’ll see where I muck it up and mark AFTER she’s moved (oops). In the second you see her wanting to get out of her crate and it’s kind of a tie who moves/speaks first! She nails it in the third video with the food bowl.

Moving on with the Cone Game, if you’re ready for it, this is what it looks like when you start to introduce the muzzle.

Loose Leash Walking is kind of the holy grail in dog training…. ranks right up there with Come When Called. Last week we started with our hands on the belly button and a funny little 3 step dance with the dog. This week we want the dog to actually understand the position before we add a lot of movement to the ask.

One of the worst problems people have is that their dog pulls like a train when they’re trying to walk on lead. The first step in correcting that habit is to teach the dog what to do when they feel a tight lead. Here I show you two ways to do it: once with a partner and one on your own.

Now we’re going to build on the fundamental movement where we had the dog spinning in a circle with our hand. We can build on this to teach the dog how to spin (a fun trick) but I’m going to talk about Swoosh now. This is where you teach your dog to go out and around something, and come running back to you. It allows you to add distance and variety to an Orientation game, and it means you don’t always have to throw a treat out to get the dog to move away from you.

Have a great week and talk to you on wednesday at 7!!!


Handouts that were discussed on the zoom: Ladder of Agression and Watch for Arousal.

Week four zoom call May 20, 2020

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