by Judith Destasio
June 2012 we adopted Tucker, a magnificent 18 month old purebred from Golden Retriever Rescue Mid-Florida. It’s hard to believe but he had been surrendered twice already! Tucker was ready for his forever home. We were so happy and blessed to bring him home. He is a big strong boy so we thought we should get him in training. We have been customers and friends of Courteous Canine for a long time so we signed up for Basic Manners. Tucker did great so the next step was to work toward his Canine Good Citizen (CGC), he passed his test in November of 2013. Then with a lot of positive feedback about Tucker’s skills we decided to start training with the goal of Therapy Dog. We decided to take the CGC/Therapy class again as a refresher, which was a good idea. He passed his Therapy Dog evaluation with flying colors April 26, 2014. Thank you to everyone at Courteous Canine, with special thanks to Angelica, Pam, Monica and Jan. You all provided so much support and guidance we wouldn’t be where we are without you!
Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa offers dog training, puppy training, working with aggressive dogs and rehabilitating fearful and shy dogs. In addition we offer cat training, agility, pushball and dock jumping. Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa is a full service dog school that offers doggie day care, pet sitting, group classes and boarding!
Smart, gifted and clear are the words that come to mind when I think of this blog: Eileen and Dogs written by Eileen Anderson about the training adventures she experiences with her dogs. Eileen is careful to base all her information on science, fun and results oriented training.
The internet overwhelms with largely inaccurate information so this blog is fresh air.
Read. Enjoy and please subscribe!
Eileen Anderson, BM, MM, MS Eileen is a passionate amateur dog trainer who writes about learning theory, her life with three dogs, and force free training in her blog and other publications. She brings a science background, critical thinking skills, and teaching experience to her writing, with a focus on making training accessible and learning theory comprehensible to pet owners. Eileen has worked professionally as a writer and academic editor, a network administrator, taught remedial college math, and trained all levels of computer skills in academic and workplace settings. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance, and a master’s degree in engineering science. She received the Certificate of Excellence for completion of Susan Friedman’s professional course, Living and Learning with Animals, in 2012.
Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa offers in dog training, puppy training, working with aggressive dogs and rehabilitating fearful and shy dogs. In addition we offer cat training, agility, pushball and dock jumping. Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa is a full service dog school that offers doggie day care, pet sitting, group classes and boarding!
By Brenna Fender, Tampa Dog Trainer
Do you whip out your cell phone at training practice or set up your video camera when training in the yard? If you’re like me, you love to shoot a video of your agility weave pole progress, advances in nosework, or sharpened heeling to share with your doggie friends online. It’s so easy to upload a short video to your facebook or blog. In a short time, hundreds of your online friends can be viewing your recent training session.
But sharing your training via social media could have a major effect on your training itself. When you know you are being observed, you are likely to behave differently than when you are alone, even though your observers will be far away and watching your practice on a delay. Unless you plan to do a lot of editing, you know that your bad points will be on display as well as your good ones.
Whether the changes in your behavior are good or bad – or a mix of both – will depend on how you react to the pressure of being watched. It may make you much more conscious of your actions. You might be extra observant, super accurate with your clicker, and extra generous with your praise. If so, these changes are obviously good.
Alternately, recording may make you do things you wouldn’t normally do while training. You might do more reps without rewarding so you can get a long stretch of action on video without a break. You might under-praise (is your happy voice embarrassing?) or avoid rewarding the smaller aspects of behavior that really need reinforcing in your particular dog. You might get frustrated with your dog because you want more perfection than he can offer. Perhaps you will practice what you already do well in order to show off your skills rather than train your weaknesses. Maybe you’ll tend to practice what easily fits in the video frame rather than something else that needs your attention. Whether you show this video online or not, this kind of damage to your training and to your relationship can’t easily be undone. These changes are, of course, not ideal.
In addition, recording your practices with the intention to share them has the power to create, on a smaller scale, trial-like nerves in some trainers. This could be helpful for proofing purposes as well as for handler sports psychology training. Practicing while nervous can help your dog learn how to read your cues when altered by nerves. Repeated practice under stress may eventually reduce ring nerves as well. If you record your training sessions frequently and post them for the world to see, unedited, you may also reduce your competition stress. If everyone’s already seen your mistakes, you may have calmer state of mind when you walk into the competition ring!
Posting training videos online can allow others to offer training advice and suggestions, particularly if you post your concerns and questions along with the video. But who will be giving the advice? Are they experienced trainers? Do they know you and your dog? Take advice with a grain of salt and make sure you are comfortable with the suggestions given before you take them. Are they safe? Are they ethical? Do they understand the science of behavior? If all the questions are answered yes, that would be a very rare find as most dog sport enthusiasts or coaches do not pursue formal education.
When you post training videos online, you’ll probably also get lots of comments about your dog’s brilliance. Those I recommend taking as fact. You and your dog make a great team!
Happy training – and recording!
Brenna Fender is a dog sport journalist who writes for Clean Run Dog Agility Magazine, USDAA’s website and many other high profile dog publications. Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa offers agility, disc dog, pushball, lure coursing and dock jumping instruction. Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa is a full service dog school that offers doggie day care, pet sitting, group classes and boutique boarding!
Tampa Dog Training: Courteous Canine Super Splash Dog Competition
The results are in. Thank you again to Judge Michael Pastrana. Much fun was had and much splashing later here are the final standings:
Splash Division for dogs jumping 0′ to 9’11”
Frank and Shadow with a jump of 10.04 first place
Rebekah and Zoli with a jump of 9.03 second place
Joel Emma with a jump of 7 feet third place
Junior Division for dogs jumping 10′ to 14’11”
Susan and Buster with a jump of 14.07 and first place
Tom and Player with a jump of 13.02 and second place
Adam and Bentley with a jump of 13.01 third place
Frank DeShong and Ressie with a jump of 12.08 fourth place
Jan and Buzz with a jump of 12.02 fifth place
Penny and Ice with a jump of 11.02 sixth place
Susan and Zac with a jump of 10.10 and a seventh place
Ronnie and Zip with a jump of 10.02 an eight place
Semi-Pro Division dogs jumping 18′ to 20’11”
Gianna and Dali with a jump of 17.1 first place
Travis and Kali with a jump of 17.06 second place
Pro Division with dogs jumping 21′ to 23’11”
Gayle Sienna with a jump of 22.1 first place
Frank and Zeus with a jump of 19 a second place
Shannon and Prospect with a jump of 17.06 third place
We look forward to having you again next year!!!
Happy dock jumping to all!