Perfection is not a permanent condition. The more criteria, the more maintenance.

Four Types of Rewards

  1. Food (what is the least your puppy or dog will work for?)
  2. Toys!
  3. Verbal Praise
  4. Petting

Order of Rewards

  • What does the dog like least?
  • What does the dog like most?
  • What types of behaviors require certain rewards? Ex. placement of rewards and marking for position, calm behaviors vs. high drive

Teaching Toy Play

  • Don't rely solely on food to get your dog to do something
  • Transition to toy play! 
  • Teaching your dog a "get it," and "give" or "out" makes trainng a lot easier when your dog knows the expectation to keep the game going

Crate Training / Housebreaking & Separation Anxiety / Attachment

  • Do you understand the importance of crate training?
  • When do you utilize the crate?
  • How much/often do you utilize the crate?


  • Adding Distance, Distraction, Duration to all of your training and working on proofing behaviors

Nutrition (and chews)

  • Have you educated yourself on the proper diet for your dog?
  • Do you know how much to feed your puppy or dog?
  • Is the puppy or dog excessively urinating or defecating in the house?
  • Do you know what chews are safe for your dog vs. which can be extreme hazards? 

Surface Exposure

  • Has your dog walked on grass, gravel, concrete and sand?
  • Have you taught your puppy or dog front/rear end awareness?
    • This can certainly help a dog learn to put its paws up to get into the car! 
  • What about stairs? Elevators? 


Skill: Marker Word = YES! (or a clicker)
Exercise: Teaching your dog that its name means to look at you

Criteria: Giving a verbal cue to ask for your dog's attention
Progression: Offered focus


Skill: Engagement
Exercise: Four on the Floor

Criteria: Wk 1, 2: In front
Progression variation of front and heel

Exercise: Impulse Control (leading to ‘Leave It’)

Criteria: Wk 1, 2: From hand and floor / Wk 3, 4: add movement until standing; challenge on paws, nose, etc; ask for eye contact        


Skill 3: Let’s Learn!

Exercise: Sits/Downs

Criteria: Wk 1, 2: In front / Wk 3, 4: variation of front and heel
            Do you need a treat? Do you need a hand signal?


Week 2

Skill 4: Let’s Work with fun and meaning!

Exercise: Hand touch

Criteria: Wk  2: close to nose for success / Wk 3, 4: hand moves all around!


Skill 5: Recall

Exercise: Come!


Skill 6: Touch Sensitivity

Exercise: Collar grabs and touch sensitivity


Skill 7: Mouthing?

Exercise: Trading & redirecting

Criteria: Wk 2: Offer objects, do not pry out of mouth / Wk 3, 4: add a verbal – out, give, drop

Exercise: Resource guarding


Skill 8: Heel Position

Exercise: Luring into Heel

Criteria: Wk2: lure with treat

Exercise: Luring with a Hand Touch into Heel

Criteria: Wk 3, 4: hand touch into heel


Week 3

Skill 9: Shaping

Exercise: Go to your bed

Criteria: Wk 3: look at, 1 paw, 2 paw, 3 paw, 4 paws / Wk 4: lure into sit, lure into down; add D, D, D

Exercise: Retrieve/Hold


Skill 10: Hold Position

Exercise: Sit Stay

Criteria: Wk 3: 1 small step  / Wk 4: increased steps, out to end of leash

Exercise: Down Stay

Criteria: Wk 3: 1 small step  / Wk 4: increased steps, out to end of leash

Exercise: Make it all the way around with distractions


 Week 4


Skill 11: Let’s Walk

Exercise: 1, 2, 3 Steps!

Criteria: Wk 4: count your steps and monitor your progress!


Understand the basics? Now you can more successfully walk and start presenting distractions on the ground and around you.

            Walking towards, behind, or past another dog. Meet & Greets. Unfamiliar objects. Prey.