March 2014: Secrets to Dog Training Success: Redirect, Substitute, Reward
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Bribes or Rewards?

You Need to Know the Difference

Your dog is looking at you, about 15 feet away. He won’t budge. You’ve called him 10 times already. Nothing. You go back into the house, pull a hot dog out of the fridge, and go back outside to approach your dog. Lucky you, he comes running as soon as he smells it.
That’s a bribe: It made your dog come to you. It came before your dog came to you.
You call your dog and he comes bounding over to you. You tell him what a good boy he is and you pop a piece of a hot dog into his mouth to reward him for his good behavior.
That’s a reward: It came after your dog came to you. It reinforced the dog’s (good) decision to move in your direction. 

Continue reading to learn the difference between rewards and bribes... 

How-To Dog Training Videos

DIY Videos 

Our goal at Smart Dog U is to help you have the best life with your dog. To that end, we're producing high-quality, short, easy to follow videos to help you have a well-behaved dog you enjoy hanging with. 

Each week, we'll post a new video on the Smart Dog Blog. Here's what we posted in February:

Become A Dog Trainer

Karen Pryor Academy - New Locations + Dates

If you've ever wanted to take your career to the next level or to become a dog trainer, Karen Pryor Academy's Dog Trainer Professional Program is an international education program that can help you meet your goals!

I'll be teaching the program all over the U.S. this year. Check out the locations and dates and enroll today!

Georgia (Atlanta metro)
Workshop 1: 5/3/14 - 5/4/14
Workshop 2: 6/14/14 - 6/15/14
Workshop 3: 7/26/14 - 7/27/14
Workshop 3: 9/20/14 - 9/21/14

Missouri (St. Louis)
Workshop 1: 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
Workshop 2: 8/23/14 - 8/24/14
Workshop 3: 10/18/14 - 10/19/14
Workshop 4: 12/13/14 - 12/14/14

Cincinnati, OH
Workshop 1: 9/27/14 - 9/28/14
Workshop 2: 11/15/14 - 11/16/14
Workshop 3: 1/10/15 - 1/11/15
Workshop 4: 2/21/15 - 2/22/15

Richmond, VA
Workshop 1: 10/4/14 - 10/5/14
Workshop 2: 12/6/14 - 12/7/14
Workshop 3: 1/31/15 - 2/1/15
Workshop 4: 3/14/15 - 3/15/15
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Caysun Graduates

We get to see the fruits of our puppy raising labor at Graduation. This weekend, our Sweet Baby Caysun graduates into her career of Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD). 

Part of our job at Graduation is to talk about what makes the puppy we raised special -- and there's lots that makes Caysun special.

Another part of Graduation is the symbolic act of handing the leash to Caysun's new partner. It's a whirlwind of emotion for me: pride, wistfulness, celebratory... So many good things all wrapped up into one. 

Watch the Smart Dog Blog, we'll have pictures up!

Did I mention that Schooner and Levi will be in the Puppy Parade at Graduation? There will be four dogs in the program that we've had a hand in raising: Caysun's a graduate and Monti, Levi, and Schooner will all be in the Puppy Parade. 


Service Puppy In-Training: Levi

Levi made his debut at ClickerExpo in Norfolk, VA. He was on-stage with me as I delivered my talk on clicker training service dogs. There were about 120 dogs in attendance and Levi fit in as if he'd been attending for years. 

He experienced a lot of "firsts" like:
  • four-hour car ride
  • hotel room and noise in the hall
  • shower curtain (he cried at first because he thought I'd disappeared in the bathroom!)
  • applause
  • audio system with microphones and speakers
  • 500+ attendees
  • buffet lunch lines
  • crowded restaurants and sleeping under tables
  • elevators
  • smell of salt water and gusty winds
  • and so much more!
He did a great job during my presentation and with the very busy environment. He took it all in stride and made me proud to be his trainer. Keep your eye on the Smart Dog Blog, he appears there regularly and we'll document some of our adventures from ClickerExpo there soon. 

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