Emma Phillips

The Danger of Assumptions

It’s really easy to make assumptions when it comes to dogs. These are usually pretty innocent and undamaging, but sometimes it’s worth looking at the assumptions we make and trying to stop the assumptions. Assumptions can be damaging in relationships, if I assume a certain level of knowledge of a client and they have no …

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Do you have the same expectations for your dog’s behaviour as your own behaviour?

Often, the expectations that clients come to trainers with don’t match anywhere near the level of their expectations for their own behaviour. Is it fair to hold our dogs to standards where we couldn’t even meet those standards ourselves?  Let’s take self-control as an example. Consider your own self-control, that last diet you did, how did …

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Behaviour Has A Function

All behaviour in every animal (humans included!) serves a function. When we’re trying to change behaviour, it’s important to acknowledge the function of the original behaviour and try to replicate it as much as possible. For example, if your dog jumps up on people when they come to visit, it’s likely that the function of …

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Use of Punishment

This is going to be controversial, I’m okay with that. Punishment in the world of training is defined as anything that reduces the intensity or frequency of a behaviour. Putting this in context, if your dog is barking at a dog walking past the window, and you happened to sneeze at the same time. The …

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Practice Makes Perfect

Dog training is a physical skill, like learning to drive and it takes time to get used to this. We all go through the stages of learning skills; unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetent, conscious competence, unconscious competence. For dog trainers who have been teaching behaviours for years, we tend to lie in the unconsciously competent stage …

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Shaping Tutorial

A video version of this tutorial can be found HERE. Any questions? Pop them in the comments! 

Set your dog up for success

Clients rarely come to me asking to teach a behaviour. Usually I’m asked to stop behaviours. ‘I want to stop her pulling on the lead’ in comparison to ‘I’d like her to walk next to me’, ‘I want to stop him running off’ rather than ‘I’d like to teach him a good recall’. I’m good …

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Target Training Tutorial Series – Chin Rest

Check out how to train a killer chin rest with the following infographic and video tutorial: The video version of this tutorial can be found HERE.  Let us know what you think! Feel free to share your own attempts at training this down below. We’ll happily give feedback on how to improve your chin rest!