Three ways to increase water test pass rates!


One of my passions is to address the low pass rates in our breed water tests and why this cycle has been going on for so long.  I have seen pass rates for a single test as low as 10%.

I know this is a big topic to take on, but my goal is to identify what is important to the participants and support keeping these tests viable for the future owners and the water breeds that participate in them.

I have Newfoundlands.  I also have many clients with Portuguese Water Dogs.  Some of the same issues cross both breeds.  There are also Labrador Retriever and Leonberger breeds that will participate in these tests when opportunities are open to them.

I am not an advocate for making the current test criteria easier, I am in the camp of educating members on how to properly train the tasks using scientific methods.

I am a Professional Dog Trainer that spends time and money educating myself with the most current scientically supported training methods from many instructors...

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My Why.....her name is Molly

Photo Credit Louis Ruediger

I had a revelation the other day.  My stumbling 14 and a half year old Newfoundland with her cataract eyes, unkept coat, and greying muzzle looked at me.  I realized why I decided to take my training business full-time, ask a friend for a hand to live on her property, and devote my life to being an entrepreneur.... Molly.

I thought my why was my independence, owning my own business, flexibility, but that was all just added benefits.  The true reason...Molly.

My first Newfoundland, my heart dog, spent the last years of his life not sleeping near me, in a crowded space, and my devotion to something that did not serve him.  He spent his life by my side in good times and in bad.  Some of my decisions did not serve him.  

Tears are now rolling down my face....

I was not going to do that to Molly.  I got her at 10 months old.  She was scared and soft.  She made me the trainer I am today.  She has allowed me the...

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Dog Training Items I Recommend all the time!

I have been on boarding some day training clients.  I decided it was time I put onto paper all the things I use.  I am not paid to promote any of these products. This is just a list of products I have put together after a decade of observations and hundreds of clients and myself using dog training stuff.

Some of each and every appointment either at the pool or in a park is a general coaching conversation about how to help the client have a better interaction with their pet.  Some of my clients only have a vet to reach out to, so I am their life line to ask general questions.  There is so much information out in the world, most people need help to filter the information.  My team at 4 Paws Adrift strives to provide resources and information to guide our clients to good, reputable resources.

The spectrum of questions we receive is wide, but today I will focus on items to setup a productive training session for any dog owner and their beloved dog....

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Taking the Mat Challenge a step further - Building an "Off Duty" Mat Behavior


I have included my Instagram Live Video from today and a demo video of Jibe and I doing the training challenge.

I don't know about you guys, but these challenges are doing the job of getting me to focus and train my dog as well.  I hope you all are enjoying these challenges as much as I am!

Here is my 4 Paws script for my training clip:

Plan - food in the middle of dog's front two feet

Always Choice Based- food lure to and from bed to set up good choices

Work Dog in Front - Jibe is ready for challenge, Plan B was to go back to Day 1 challenge from last week to magnetize mat to more fluency

Strategic Reinforcement - Food thrown or placed in between dog's two front feet

Remember to look for those calm moments to throw food and set up a non working context for your dog.

Visit my website to get a free training video and learn about my new on-line course: 4 Force Free Steps to increase Article Hold Duration

Now...go out and train some dogs!

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