Foundation Class Winter 2012/13

The class is open for 10 working participants. You can also join as an observer. As a working participant, you will follow the class with your own dog (one dog per working spot) and post video for the entire class to see. Thomas and I will of course comment on your videos and help you through all the lessons. The observers get to read and watch all material from me, watch all the posted videos, ask questions and join in on the discussions. This is a foundation class, much like the one we do IRL at home. It will be great for anyone wanting to get the most out of reward based methods. There is also the option of buying access to just one of the lessons. With that option, you can read the text and watch all videos, but questions and discussion is restricted to the participants and observers that follow the whole course.

The class will run from November 14th. A new lesson with text, video and homework will be posted every other Wednesday, for a total of 7 lessons. Every lesson has a theme, these are the themes that we will cover in the 7 lessons:

  • Play! How to get your dog to tug with you and how to use playtime to teach your dog invaluable lessons for future training.
  • Self control. How to use rewards to increase control and gain clarity when working with the dog.
  • Shaping. Getting you and your dog started with shaping, or fine tuning your shaping skills. How to plan, execute and evaluate your sessions and bring fun into shaping.
  • Heelwork. How to get your dog to heel with focus, precision, attitude and duration. Great for any dog, even if you’re not planning on doing obedience trials, as it teaches the dog many valuable lessons.
  • Stand, sit and down. Learn how to teach the “jumping stand”, how to get fast and precise behavior, generalization and a dog that will keep the positions no matter what. Also great for any dog, not just obedience dogs.
  • Retrieve. Build from the play we worked on in lesson one and teach your dog a fast, precise retrieve where the dog never chews on the dumbbell. Our method of teaching the retrieve is different, fun and very effective.
  • Stimulus Control. Adding cues to behaviors, teaching the dog to wait for the cue and to discriminate between cues. Every clicker trainer needs this lesson!

What you need to sign up:

  • Computer with good internet connection
  • To read and write in English

If you want to work with your dog in the class, you’ll also need:

  • Video camera and a video editing program
  • YouTube-account where you upload your videos

Here are a few words from participants and observers in the first class:

“I enjoyed all the lessons, the videos and the discussions and learned a lot. I feel so sorry that I did not go for ‘working participant’ as the course offered much more than ‘basics’ in my opinion and the working participants got so much personal feedback and guidance.”

”Dot thrived at the “get it” game! Ran as fast as she could to the food and then ran back to repeat the game instead of running around enjoying herself. I saw her thinking: “A game where I can run away as fast as I can and get rewarded for that, I want more of that” This made a big change in her overall behavior.

For me this was the first time that I learned about Premack and I am so glad you taught me this! It made an enormous difference in my understanding in how to cope with her not having time for me. And why raising her was such a struggle without making advantage of the all the fun things behind the end of the leash.

Super to know I could also use Premack in situations where she is scared. I see instant relaxation when I reward her with a small sprint away for having attention and taking food. It really boosts her ego and I can see her grow.”

”This is the best class we’ve ever been in. It’s so good to be able to show some of our best work and get feedback. Being able to re-watch our videos while looking at the feedback helps with the learning. In live classes we don’t always remember what we were doing when we received a piece of feedback. I think the online format allowed for us to get better about self-assessment, which is obviously crucial for students to be effective working on their own.”

  • reply MEGNIEN ,

    thanks for organizing another foundation class, just signed in!

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                                    • reply Maria ,

                                      Hi, How can i sign up for Lesson 1 (Play with your dog)

                                      Thank you!

                                      • reply Thomas ,

                                        Hi Maria,

                                        I’ve sent you an e-mail.

                                      • reply Jenna ,

                                        When do you organize the next foundation class?

                                        • reply Fanny Gott ,

                                          Probably when obedience class ends, but it’s very much up to how much interest there is. If you’re not sure if you should do the foundation class or obedience class, there’s always the option of joining foundation class as an observer for half the price if you sign up for obedience class as well.

                                          • reply Jenna ,

                                            I was going to participate as an observer anyway, because I don’t have a chance to take video. I was thinking taking this foundation class with my 5-month old puppy, with him I need to teach playing, shaping and other basic training skills more than formal obedience training. The obedience class would be more suitable for my older dog who already competes in obedience, I have to think about that later. Is it too late to sign up this upgoing foundation class as an observer or is there too much to catch up?

                                      • reply MargeR ,

                                        Hi, Fannie and Thomas.

                                        What is the cost to join the foundations class as an observer? How long would I have access to the materials since I am joining so late. Fannie has inspired me for years! I’m excited to be an observer in the retrieve workshop and love what I’ve seen so far. 🙂


                                        • reply Tracey ,


                                          I’d love to more info on this Program…cost and how to sign up? I would be seeking to sign up as an Observer.

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