APDT Conference: Day 1.1

Ken Ramirez was only one third of the first day, his session was followed by Denise Fenzi who is a 30 year veteran of training, competing and titling in schutzhund, obedience, tracking, agility, mondioring, conformation and herding – www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com Denise’s talk was “Developing alternatives to food and toys: personal play!”

I kind of liked this session in that so many times we focus on everything else except us as a reward, yet what is the one thing we always have! Through video and talk, Diane demonstrated how to get a dog motivated and how to moderate dependent on the hardness or softness of the dog.

This was interesting as I think sometimes we expect that a dog will enjoy play but body language and what is acceptable makes so much difference. For instance, when you say play with your dog how many handlers turn and automatically confront the dog face-on and wonder why sometimes the dog is not interested. And what do you do with the dog that gets over stimulated and becomes mouthy.

I spend most of my time at off-leash dog parks watching interaction and learning about play so there maybe wasn’t anything overly knew for me but I did like the key message: why bother with play? – because people have dogs to enjoy them!

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