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Play Your Way Seminars and Workshops

CALENDAR OF SEMINARS

Prices

All Seminars are $10 per person.  
Those who are members of the Training Club can attend free.
Seminars happen most Wednesday evenings at 6 pm.
Please view the calendar and sign up for your seminar.

Reducing Reactivity

Meet and Greet Strategies

There’s lots of great basic information on the internet about how to work with reactive dogs (as well as some stuff that’s not so great, unfortunately), but I find that a lot of it isn’t very specific. Even if you understand the general idea of what we’re trying to accomplish, it can be quite difficult to translate that into a successful plan for your dog – especially if you don’t have much experience with dog training!

We will present an actual step by step plan for reducing or solving leash reactivity around other dogs, children on skate boards or strange people.

Foundation Skills

Efficient Learning

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.

Magic In Dog Training

Effective Learning

Dogs universally respond naturally to certain cues, and you can develop a personalized system of communicating with your dog for clear, accurate and timely training and handling.

YOUR thoughts and emotions have an immediate and direct effect on your dog...and you can learn to use that effect to get the results you want. Learn to stay calm, focused, neutral, deliverate and supportive at all times. This way of being with your dog is guaranteed to bring out the best in any dog, in any situation.

Nosework In Life

Living with a dog's nose

Your dog’s olfactory system is three times as big as your own, and they have a lot more relative brain area devoted only to smell.

Dogs can track time throughout the day by the odors circulating in their environment. Think of it this way: as a human, you can tell what time of day it is with visual and sensory cues from the sun.

It’s tempting to hurry your dog along when he’s lingering over a particularly odorous patch of sidewalk, but pulling dogs away from smell-rich environments can cause their sense of smell to diminish.

Of course, it’s nice when your dog pays attention to your expression, but you don’t want them to lose their true superpower: their incredible sense of smell!

Separation Anxiety

What it is and what it isn't and how to solve it

Does your dog chew on your shoes when you’re away, destroy furniture or defecate? 

Separation anxiety in dogs has been found to be the primary reason behind many frantic and destructive behaviors that pet parents often mistake for other behavioral problems. Treatment for separation anxiety is essential because it will make your dog calm and happy.

This seminar will teach you how to ease and treat anxiety in dogs and make you and your pup’s lives better!

When Training Doesn't Stick

Is it the dog or you?

We make mistake for the following reasons: 
Lack of data
Miscommunication
Change in the environment
Stress
Complexity

Our dogs make mistakes for similar reasons. 
Lack of training in how to live in our world
Poor communication
Sudden Environmental Changes - dogs are contextual and live in the entire environment, it takes work to teach a dog that a trick can be performed anywhere.
Emotional Pressure
Complexity

Learn how to overcome these mistakes in your training.

Walking Clinic

Walk your dog with no tools easily and quickly

There are a ton of "tools" that will supposedly keep your dog from pulling. There are also a plethora of methods to get your dog to walk on a loose leash.  But which ones actually work?

Find out in this seminar.

Enrichment

The solution to bored dogs

We all know the benefits of allowing a dog to scent and gather information about their environment. This is an exercise you can do at the beginning of each class to allow high energy dogs as well as shy and insecure dogs to focus and decompress. Place a number of household items scattered about in one area of your training space. You can use things such as folding chairs, large stuffed animals, children's toys, umbrellas, suitcases, rollerblades and various kitchen gadgets. As dogs and students arrive, have each team walk their dog through the enrichment area one at a time, letting them sniff any object they wish to. There is no food or play involved with this exercise. Students can praise shy and insecure dogs for showing courage in sniffing any item.

Barking Dogs

Why dogs bark and how to get them to stop

Dogs barking is a familiar sound in virtually every neighborhood. Playful barking is one thing; it's understood as such and not a problem for most people. But barking for hours on end, every day, every week is something very different. Not only is it annoying. It's illegal.

Learn how to limit your dog to 3 barks, eliminate boredom barking and show your dog that his noisy communications don't work.

Distracted Dogs

Why he doesn't listen to you

If your dog isn’t listening, they may have learned that there is a greater reward in ignoring you— more squirrels to chase, more time to smell the grass, you name it.

1. Lack of a meaningful relationship with you. Does your dog even care?
2. Lack of consistency in training, in living and even in punishment.  Does your dog actually understand or is it just a confusion or random acts?
3. Punishment instead of training.  Can you really punish something when the recipient doesn't know what they are supposed to be doing?

Learn how to get your dogs to stick with you no matter what.

Resource Guarding

Guarding Food and Jealousy

Resource guarding refers to a dog displaying behavior (growling, snapping, etc.) intended to convince other dogs or humans to stay away from a particular treasure or “resource.” The resource can be food, treats, toys, a place (a bed or favorite chair), or occasionally a person.

The protection behavior can be scary and even dangerous.  Find out how to stop this vicious cycle.

Fitness Fundamentals

Preventing injury in every day life

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.

Puppy Works

Raising a Puppy

From the time a puppy is 3 weeks old, they should be learning about the human world.  They should also still be learning dog lessons from their mother and from litter mates. 

Learn what it takes to raise a balanced dog and what to look for when you first adopt an 8 week old puppy.  You will know how that puppy was raised with just 3 tests.

Methods of Learning

There is more then just a clicker

Learning theories are conceptual frameworks that describe how students absorb, process, and retain knowledge during learning. Cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in how understanding, or a world view, is acquired or changed and knowledge and skills retained.

Most (almost all) dog training uses only one theory - operant conditioning. Learn about other just as valid theories that lead to other methods of training.

Don't Touch Me

Stress Free Handling

Not all dogs feel relaxed with a human hand coming at them.  Especially if it's over the head.  

Very few pet dogs are willing to have ears, paws, mouth and tail manipulated by a groomer or a vet.  This leads to forceful and uncomfortable handling of the dog to get a job done at either venue.

You can however show your dog, even a fearful one, that handling is fun and rewarding.

More Than One

The nulti-dog household

By the end of this webinar, you can develop an understanding about:

How initial dog-dog introductions can set the stage for the rest of the relationship
Whether the shelter is or isn’t the ideal place for new or resident dogs to meet
Practical ways to conduct safe, humane and informative introductions on your  own
How to navigate a new social structure in your home, including milestones, setbacks and transition periods
How to determine when a canine relationship isn’t in the best interest of either the dogs or the family

Taming The Wild Child

The overly excited dog

Do you have a dog that is so interested in and excited by a particular situation – the presence of a rabbit in a cage for example – that he is unable to focus on or respond to, anything other than the source of his excitement.
Dogs in this state cannot absorb information and are incapable of learning.

They may be moving uncontrollably (lunging about at the end of a lead) or literally frozen into immobility, eyes fixed, muscles quivering

You can wave your hand in front of this dog’s eyes and he won’t see it.

You can stick food under his nose and he probably won’t even sniff it. If he grabs the food by reflex it will probably just drop out of his mouth as he is incapable of swallowing.

Learn why standard training doesn't actually work with a dog like this and what you CAN do to tame your wild child.

Drive, Brakes and Steering

Must your control your dog or can you teach the dog to have self control

Think about the phrase SELF control. It comes from the self, not from outside or from others. It means that there is a conscious, determined, decision to restrain oneself from impulsive actions and immediate gratification. That means no cues from the human, no "stay" command, no implied or overt action or body language that tells the dog to refrain from action or maintain a course of action.

Learn how to teach your dog real self control and impulse control, what the rules to life are and how to live by them EVEN WHEN YOU AREN'T THERE!

Ask the Trainer

Questions answered

Since we are only doing one seminar a week, it's hard to cover everything about a dog and dog training in a short amount of time.

If you have a training or behavioral question about your dog or dogs in general please submit your questions below and we’ll get answers to your most pressing questions at this seminar!

Service Dogs

The Essentials and the Extraodinary

By law, service dogs are much more then just a pet.  Service Dogs save lives.  They give to their humans freedom that the human would not otherwise have because of a disability (or two or three).

In the beginning there were only guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf.  Since the late 1990's, all that started to change.

Come learn about the new breed of  Service Dog, how they are trained and the range of services they can be trained to provide.  And especially learn how these incredible dogs are our heros.