Relationship Building 2016

Relationship building

This class suits dog owners who wants to develop a great relationship with their dog. You can join with a puppy, a young or adult dog of any breed. A great relationship is the foundation that makes both everyday life and (training for) trials fun and easy.

Dog training and ownership is so much more than just training behaviors. Training behaviors is part of it and is quite easy in an environment without distractions. A great relationship makes it so much easier to have success even in more challenging situations.

What is the perfect relationship like?
There are as many answers to this question as there are dog owners. To me, the perfect relationship includes:

  • A dog that loves to work with me
  • A dog that is under control, both in everyday life and trial situations
  • A dog that chooses to stay with me, play and work with me, even with distractions like other dogs, people, or around birds, squirrels or deer.
  • A balanced dog that can relax, walk on a loose leash or stay close off leash, listen to a stop cue and come when called.
  • A dog that trusts that I take responsibility in situations too difficult for the dog to handle on his own.

1. Changing your dog’s behavior starts by changing yours. That’s the hardest part! 🙂

Therefore we will focus on the roles we play in our dogs life.
What is required of us?
Your attitude
Understanding your dog (but not rationalizing)

2. Building great rewards and make them work in real life

3. Defining your personal goals

4. Troubleshooting with timing, criteria and reinforcement
Timing is more than just clicking the right moment
Setting criteria, defining clear criteria and maintaining them
Reinforcement – more than treats and toys

5. Habits and structure in everyday life
Building good habits
Realistic expectations
Identifying potential reinforcers and challenges

6. Structure and plan your training sessions
How to start and stop your sessions
The two phases (work and reward)
Planning the transitions

7. Skills like:
Sit stay
On/off and relaxation
Switching between different kinds of rewards (or behaviors)
Self control and distractions
Stop signal
Loose leash walking
Retrieving (toys) to hand

8. What is positive reinforcement training?
Rewards, not bribes
Choice, value and control

9. What to do when the dog doesn’t listen or shuts down?



Thomas Stokke has been clicker training for dog sports for 15 years and has trained gundogs (spaniels, setters and HPR’s) for hunting and trials for 10 years.

He has offered positive reinforcement foundation classes for gundogs the last 8 years. We discovered how well-mannered these dogs have become in everyday life and how much faster progress they had in other dog sport classes compared to the dog and handler teams that hadn’t gone through this program. Now we offer this class online for all breeds.

Class will consist of nine lessons, with two weeks in between lessons, for a total of 18 weeks. Class starts January 4th.
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

Type of participation

Prices are in Swedish kronors and payment is done via PayPal.
VAT is added within the EU.

  • reply Beate Peterson ,

    I’m interested in your Relationship Building class. What is included in a working spot? How long do I have access to the lectures? Thanks, Beate

    • reply Thomas ,

      Hi Beate,

      as a working participant you can post as many comments and videos you like. As an observer you can read the lessons and other comments, participate in the discussions and ask general questions, but no videos or personal advice.

      The class is active for 18 weeks, but you will have access to class for several months after class is finished.

    • reply Andrea ,

      Hello Thomas! I missed your “Relationship building” course … when does the next one start? I wrote you a message via FB but I think you didn’t see it. 😉 Thank you! Andrea

      • reply Thomas ,

        Hi Andrea!,
        next RB-class will start July 27th. It will open for registration soon.

        • reply Andrea ,

          Hi Thomas, great, so I’ll sign up for it! Thanks a lot!!

          • reply Ann Clements ,

            Is the relationship building open for registration? Does the class “meet” every two weeks? Thank you! Ann

            • reply Thomas ,

              Hi Ann,

              yes, the class is open for registration. Next class starts July 27th.

              A new lesson is published every second week. You can log in, read and post comments any day/time during class. I reply in the comments field daily.

              • reply Ann Clements ,

                Hi Thomas,

                Thank you. I think I will sign up. I look forward to learning from you. Would you elaborate a little on the difference between the observer and participant levels? Specifically, how many videos, homework assignments, etc. Thank you.


                • reply Thomas ,

                  Observers can ask general questions and of course participate in the discussions. To answer questions regarding specific problems in training with your own dog, I would like to see a video, and this not included in the observers spot.
                  Participants with a dog (working spot) can post an unlimited number of videos.

                  • Ann Clements ,

                    Thank you.

            • reply Ann Clements ,

              One more question. I want to make sure I have this correctly; the price is 2000.00 SEK, does that correctly translate to $236.25 american dollars?
              Thank you!


              • reply Thomas ,

                Yes. According to google 2000 SEK is 235.29 USD.

                • reply Ann Clements ,

                  Just making sure. Thank you.

              • reply Carmen ,

                Is it still possible to sign up for this class?

              Leave a comment