Assistance Dog Opening Door

10 Strings to Pull to Manage Drive and Untie Behavioral Knots – Pt 2

Ron Watson Bitework Foundation, Disc Dog Training, Dog Training, Theory

The last two installments of this series outlined the behavioral strings and knots metaphor and examined 5 ‘strings’ of behavior and their relationship to behavioral knots and to each other. I am going to continue to stretch this metaphor and cover some less tangible behavioral strings that are precursors and requirements for engagement, interaction, and drive management. Oh, and I’ll …

Contextual Understanding in Dog Training

Contextual Understanding is Like Conversational Spanish

Ron Watson Dog Training

Learning a foreign language from a conversational angle is all the rage these days. Instead of focusing on grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, the very concepts that fluency in language is built upon, the teaching is focused on creating competence: pronunciation, common situations, verbal repetition, and vocabulary supplements. contextual understanding in dog training is like conversational Spanish. it’s all based upon …

Metaphor and Understanding in Dog Training

Metaphor and Understanding in Dog Training

Ron Watson Dog Training, Opinion, Theory

In our business, teaching people to do cool things with their dogs, we rely on metaphor all the time to communicate complex ideas. A metaphor can be tailored to a specific client or a team and can be used to help them succeed with their dog. Sometimes that means just simplifying the situation and placing the focus on the things we need to succeed, and sometimes we try to completely reframe the handler’s understanding

Success vs Performance in Dog Sports

Success Vs Performance Requirements

Ron Watson Dog Training, Theory

Disc dogger’s have a problem. We all want to play this game so darned much that it’s hard to remain consequent and focused on the component skills that build our game. Once our dogs start to approach the realm of performance potential, it’s hard to keep our focus on being successful because of the handler’s expectation of performance. This is classic putting the cart before the horse behavior and can be very detrimental to a team’s long term potential.

Bite as Cookie

Bite as Cookie

Ron Watson Practical Bitework, Theory

When a Bite is offered as a cookie the dog has earned the right to attempt to Bite that object. It’s a very empowering experience. The dog learns that he can make the bite happen by showing some Patience, giving Eye Contact, offering a Back Up behavior, or whatever.

Anatomy of a Behavior

Ron Watson Practical Bitework, Theory

Most of the behaviors that we create with our dogs are really chains of small concepts and chains are only as strong as their weakest link. Dog trainers and dog sport handlers need to be able to break down complex behaviors, isolate the weak concepts and mark and reinforce them to make them stronger.