It is so important to remember to tell our dogs when we are proud of them, and this includes celebrating their expressions of joy. When your dog looks proud and happy, tell him you love his happy face! The joy you express will add to his feelings of happiness and competence, furthering that positive circle the two of you are creating. You can never celebrate too much when your dog demonstrates a positive, cheerful attitude. Acknowledge it enthusiastically!

Denise Fenzi, Dog Sport Skills, Book 1 (via pitsandpastries)

In fact, when shaping a new behavior, if my dog goes more than 5 seconds without a reinforcer, I need to stop and reevaluate. Usually that means I need to change one of three things:

1. The set up – How I’ve arranged the environment and relative positions of myself, the dog, and any props.
2. My criteria – What exactly I’m clicking.
3. Method of reinforcement – How or where I deliver the reinforcer.

Hannah Branigan, “How long should you wait for behavior?”. Wonderpups (12 January 2017).
(via herebelife)

It is so important to remember to tell our dogs when we are proud of them, and this includes celebrating their expressions of joy. When your dog looks proud and happy, tell him you love his happy face! The joy you express will add to his feelings of happiness and competence, furthering that positive circle the two of you are creating. You can never celebrate too much when your dog demonstrates a positive, cheerful attitude. Acknowledge it enthusiastically!

Denise Fenzi, Dog Sport Skills, Book 1

Help! After lots and lots of research, I got a insert-intense-dog-breed-here but I think it’s broken because it is acting exactly like the breed should.

This is all so surprising because the breeder I found on craigslist said the dog was everything I wanted, came pre-trained, and farted rainbows. What do I do?

I really really try to be supportive of most new owners because it is a difficult lifestyle change and you don’t always get what you planned.

It’s just kind of hard when someone is shocked and complaining that their dog has every quirk and trait that breed descriptions say it should have.

Being a positive reinforcement trainer doesn’t mean I’m some kind of Buddha. I’m just not there as a person. My husband has to put up with the fact that sometimes I’m grumpy and irrational. My kids have to put up with the fact that sometimes I’m grumpy and irrational. And the dogs? Same deal.

Denise Fenzi, The Perfect Trainer! (March 8, 2016)