Video:  Tayt's Trick Training #2
 [more to come, so check back!]
The other day in agility class, I noticed Tayt leaving me more than usual. It wasn't his fault, it was mine for not creating a connection throughout the week prior to class. I wasn't training wisely. Rushing through and not making an authentic effort to connect, is what I was doing. If I want a connection in the classroom, it starts in Tayt's "real" life. It starts at home, not in that hour class.
Watching the video, you'll see me break down the goal behavior (Tayt moving behind me so that he can come between my legs, sit, and look up into my eyes). 
When teaching a trick, it's easier for the dog if you can break it down into small component behaviors. How small will depend on the dogs success. If you don't break it down enough the dog will struggle too much and if you break it down too much some dogs will get bored, so know your dog and don't create a task too hard or visa versa. It's a balance of creating a sure-thing and a challenge.
Another way to look at it ... you are trying to build desire and drive. The dog wants to work with you because it's easy to succeed and fun to be successful. The feelings irrupt into a confident connected dog that hasn't had a chance to devalue the motivation chosen, because you set the stage for success by rewarding good choices in a timely manner.
All the right answers to those important questions ... when to reward, what reward should be used, where should the reward be placed ... are delivered so that you become the most efficient, effective and connected trainer ever!!
In the video, that doesn't mean I cannot be a gambler. If fact you'll see me wait to see if he can think through the different components. You'll see my hesitation, not to rush in to help, that created a chance for Tayt to rise to the challenge and solve the "problem"of sticking his head through my legs. Dogs that learn to think and problem solve are the easiest to train because they have learned to never give up.
If you want to know more about tricks, contact Gail Hubbard. Look into the Cross Training class. There you will be introduced to connection games that will enhance any sport or therapy work you are thinking about getting into. The class will show you how to take care of your canine athlete through stretching, strengthening and body awarenessexercises. Impulse control games and tricks to maintain those highly driven dogs in class as well outside in the "real" world is essential and talked about.

Nicole Martinez shared a status

Gail had great advice to help us get our fearful Uli into the car without him freaking out so much! We still have a long way to go but as least traveling got easier!

student stars

  • studentstars brewster

    OWNER: Maggie Brindell-Watt 
    I have to tell you we went to our Neighborhood Christmas Party and I was singing your praise.  Many of my neighbors that walked by our house daily commented on how well Brewster is behaving.  They were impressed when he barked at them and I can come out and tell him to be quite and he actually does listen to me.  So, in general they were just impressed at how well he is behaving for such a young dog.  So, I just wanted to say "thank you" for helping us, couldn't have done it without your help. We still have a lot of work to do but we are on the right track.

  • studentstars roux

    OWNER: Cindy Hartman  
    "Gail, thank you VERY MUCH for reviewing our runs from last weekend, your comments were very helpful! You make some great points. I appreciate your keen eye and willingness to help us become a better team! Can't wait for class on Thursday!"

  • studentstars rigel

    OWNER: Susan McKenzie
    Rigel (2 ½ yr old black and white retriever/hound mix) took basic manners class and Pedals (6 mo old brindle lab/pit mix) attended both the puppy and basic manners class at A Good Dog’s Life  When people visit our home, I often receive compliments on how well behaved my dogs are.  They do not try to counter surf and I can ask them to stay on their beds to get out from under foot.  I am a strong believer in challenging dogs physically and mentally and intend to take further classes at A Good Dog’s Life.  They both enjoy it.

  • studentstars elke

    OWNER: Tanya Alstott 

    I was happy with the content of the class.  I think these type of puppy class are limited in what you can expect out of your dog, mainly due to age and the inability to focus for any length of time.  Socialization was my main goal and I feel like Elke got that from the class.

  • studentstars sky

    OWNER: Peggy and Bob Dellinger 
    Gail, WE loved class today. I had read most of the book "tracking from the ground up" but boy you made lots more sense then the book!

  • studentstars franklin

    OWNER: Lisa Wester 
    You are Wonder Woman Dog Trainer. My son and I did a short session with Franklin today. Did not jump any. We did five or six meet and greets. Michael did three short walks and Franklin behaved very well letting Michael pet him.
    Hope to do a session Fri and Sun.
    Thanks so much!

  • studentstars eiko

    OWNER: Anna Ferguson, Vibrant Heart Yoga 
    Eiko and I have had great fun learning with Gail from A Good Dog's Life. We have done classes at her wonderful facility and also some private lessons. I am always impressed by Gail's knowledge, patience and obvious love for dogs. Her training tips and handouts were crucial for great puppy training, and we really enjoyed our puppy classes. We now have a wonderfully well-behaved, intelligent dog that is our best friend! I recommend her all the time to new puppy owners to get started on the right paw!

contact us

A Good Dog's Life
Training Center

33 Hidden Acres Drive
Asheville NC 28806

Susan    828.231.4172
Gail    828.712.4245