My goal is not to excel in a dog sport. Lyra is too nervous to take on the road, and I am too green as a trainer. Instead, I want to give her skills that will keep her safe (e.g., recall), engage her mind, and allow us to do fun things together. I also want to find games that use her innate drives (herding, mostly), to keep the light in her eyes.
I’m currently working on some online dog training courses: 1) the science of training and skills for sports and behaviour issues, through the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, and 2) foundations for herding, through Kynic Stockdogs. In all cases, instructors use methods that reinforce the behaviour you want (through food, toys, etc.) rather than correcting (through punishment) the behaviour you don’t want.
This site will help me organize our efforts. Any mistakes in training are mine and do not reflect the quality of instruction or Lyra’s ability!
Our current training areas:
Fundamentals of Heeling
Settle on a Mat
Other things I’m working on — which also fall under the category of training — are on the Handling and Tools pages. At some point, I’ll develop the Play page. For all that I’m trying to keep things simple, I need a Venn diagram to show how training, play, and coping with fear overlap! Most things I work on with Lyra are designed to help her live more happily in the world — but some are cue based (“do this thing I ask, and you get a treat”) and others are designed to change how she feels (“notice how the hand near your face coincides with a treat?”)