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Marissa Martino of Paws & Reward Dog Training in Boulder, CO interviews Kathy Sdao of Bright Spot Dog Training in WA.
In today’s episode, they talk about a very important concept that can make an impact in these 3 areas:
- Improving your dog’s behavior
- Improving your behavior when interacting with your dog
- Enhancing your relationship with your canine companion
The concept is called Plenty in Life is Free which may seem contrary to the ever-popular dog training concept: Nothing in Life is Free.
The old narrative:
Nothing in Life is Free = do not give your dog anything (access to attention, love, food, water, etc.) until he complies with what you have asked of him (sit, down, stay, etc.).
Kathy first decided this concept might not be the best option for pet parents after another trainer recommended this protocol to implement with her dog, Nic, after he bit two of Kathy’s friends. Kathy felt the protocol, one she had recommended to many, many clients before, was not addressing the root of the issue. She also felt the intention behind the concept felt hierarchical, controlling and not in the best interest of her relationship with her dog. So, Plenty in Life is Free was born – both the concept and her book!
The new narrative:
Plenty in Life is Free = Noticing the good choices your dog is already making and rewarding these behaviors. Kathy discusses her wonderful protocol called SMARTx50. To read about this protocol, please read Kayla’s awesome blog post.
Kayla grew up in northern Wisconsin and studied ecology and animal behavior at Colorado College. She founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She’s an avid adventurer and has driven much of the Pan-American Highway with her border collie Barley. She now travels the US in a 2006 Sprinter with her two border collies, Barley and Niffler. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams.