Engagement and Advocating for Your Dog




Today, Stacy, Robin, and Crystal discuss how to set your dog up for success by becoming their advocate.

Listen in as our hosts explain how to see consistent growth in your training—pushing your dog while ensuring that you only put them in situations that they can handle. To them, a key factor to building your dog’s confidence in this way is by assuring them that they always have a choice during your sessions. They remind us that we as handlers are here to train our dog, not test them.

With the belief that, “Every dog you have is going to help you grow as a handler,” Stacy, Robin, and Crystal encourage handlers to learn how to “ask the dog” instead of imposing a one-size-fits-all training framework for every dog they become responsible for.

They also talk about the importance of understanding dog behavior, body language, and even your dog’s level of engagement in order to understand how to develop them further.

“Don’t beg your dog to work. They should be the ones pushing you to work.”

Key Topics:

  • Being an advocate for your dog (03:11)

  • Embracing “the suck” when working with sensitive dogs (08:36)

  • Overcoming frustration as a handler (11:32)

  • Setting up a training approach that works for the specific dog (20:33)

  • Understanding dog body language (25:50)

  • Learning how to read your dog’s engagement (29:30)

  • Engagement as a habit (36:04)

  • Building situational awareness as a handler (43:37)

  • Final takeaways (54:41)

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