The Critical Skill of Connection


“I just want my dog to listen!” “He does just fine at home!” Trainers hear these statements from clients all the time. It can be pretty easy to teach a dog to sit, down, and stay. But getting reliable responses to those same cues in distracting environments is HARD. This workshop will discuss the importance of connection with the dog and how to test whether or not you have it before you even begin formal training, as well as how to help your client understand why this skill is so critical to success.

You will learn about the importance of having a dog in the right frame of mind to learn or respond to cues; how to teach specific behaviors that will allow the dog to “tell” you if he is ready to work; and how to respond to the dog if he says he’s not ready.


  • What is connection? Why is it so critical?
  • Teaching specific behaviors as a foundation for all other training
  • Offered eye contact
  • Name game
  • Hand touches
  • Responses to the dog if she is unable to perform simple behaviors
  • Put distance between the dog and distraction
  • Increase value of reward
  • Move dog into less stressful environment
  • Explore reward history on behaviors

Section 4: Foundation Training for Pet Dogs

Scheduled to run

March 1, 2020


Nicole Wiebusch

Core Class

Approved IAABC CEUs


Approved CCPDT CEUs