This short clip is taken directly from Ann Braue's online course, Developing a Problem Solving Puppy. Rather than train specific behaviors, the goal of this course is to train your puppy to take an active role in his or her own training. By doing things like breaking our training down into as many pieces as possible, we are able to teach complex behaviors through a series of simple steps that are easily understood by the dog.
Throughout this course, Ann will offer you a variety of fun simple stations to work on with your dog. The common concept that you will see throughout the course is to break down each exercise into to a step by step process. This is going to help teach you, the trainer, what is going on in your dog’s head. People often have unrealistic expectations of their dogs. For example, if your dog does not know how to put their front feet on a touch pad, how are you going to expect them to put all 4 feet inside of a box? By adding a first step of rewarding for simply moving toward the touch pad, your dog will begin to associate the touch pad with the reward, and you as the trainer will be able to continue to add difficulty to your expectations.
Along with trainers breaking down exercises to better understand their own dogs, Ann also changes the criteria up for her young dogs. This does not mean changing the criteria up for a finished training product. But when working with young puppies, you may ask them to interact with an object one way today and you ask them to do something completely different with the same object tomorrow. This is how we develop a dog that looks at training as problem solving. They know that they need to do something in order to receive a reward. It is their job to figure out what that something is, and it is your job as the trainer to figure out what you can do to help them figure it out.
If you would like to develop a dog who takes an active role in their training, this is the perfect course for you. While Ann uses agility equipment in the course and often refers to agility for many of her demonstrations, the material in this course is applicable to all puppies regardless of your ultimate training goals.