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Just for Professional Trainers

A Dog Trainer’s Guide to Best Practices

The right skills at the right time

It’s a great time to be a dog trainer! More and more pet owners are seeking training for their dogs.

The Training Game: A New Perspective

Tell me why?

“My dog loves to eat his kibble while training at home. I am so surprised that he will not eat it in the group sessions.”

 “Our dog stays motivated and focused for training when the house is quiet. But as soon as there are distractions, she does not want to eat the kibble.”

 “Why does my puppy focus so well for the trainers during classes? She really seems to enjoy her interactions with them.”

Professional trainers hear comments like these from our dog teams every day. Owners are completely baffled as to why their puppies or dogs refuse to focus on them amid the distractions of daily life. How can this be, they wonder? Their dogs love the dog food at breakfast and dinner, so there should be no need to introduce new treats. These owners truly believe that feeding kibble is reinforcing in any environment.

Defining Common Ground

What does "positive training" mean? If I polled fifty professional trainers, I would get fifty different answers. That's fifty active members of the dog training community-and very likely most, if not all, would profess to practice it.

So what? As long as each has his own definition, does it matter if it's not exactly like someone else's? Yes. It matters because without a standard, agreed-upon definition, trainers can't communicate with each other, and it matters because we've given clients no clear way to define or ask for what they want.

Field Trip! Using Unique Learning Experiences to Build Your Training Business

Visual lessons—at the zoo!