Many handlers struggle with their dog’s unproductive arousal, lack of self-control, and lack of focus. Sometimes, the struggle is very physical as the handler tries to hang on to the dog using halters, harnesses and other devices. Relaxation is attempted at best in quiet moments here or there in “distraction free” areas, or through exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting for the client) protocols. A multitude of techniques and equipment exists to help handlers physically control their dogs, and to help dogs calm down, focus, relax. But frustrated handlers can feel that they are drowning in a plethora of options that may or may not be effective, even when they are diligent about doing the work. Worse still, they may have a dog who has many trained behaviors but is still challenging when not under specific cue or being kept on task, and who may still need special equipment. This presentation uses lecture, video and interactive exercises to present simple, effective techniques for helping handlers and dogs build the correct foundation for learning:
• Productive arousal (Think & Learn Zone)
• Relaxation (Really Real Relaxation)
• Self modulation (Auto Check-In, and Say Hi 1-2-3).
These techniques are well grounded in behavioral, social and cognitive science, but are simple to learn and apply, even for the novice dog handler.