Denise is a professional dog trainer who specializes in building relationships in dog handler teams who compete in dog sports. Her personal passions are Competitive Obedience and spreading high quality information about no force (motivational) dog training. Denise travels throughout the world teaching seminars on topics related to Dog Obedience and Building Drives and Motivation.
Denise founded an on-line school for competition dog sports – the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. You can read more about Denise and her training by visiting her blog
Saturday + Sunday, September 17-18
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Lecture, video, working sessions
Weekend Working Spot (dog and handler)
$375 (FULL, wait list open)
Audit (human only)
$75 each day
Some dogs are “born” watching their handlers, but most dogs require a little help to get there. Likewise, some handlers are born playful and …some need a little help!
This lab will take students through a systematic multi step process for creating and increasing engagement with their canine partners, with a strong emphasis on developing the handler’s playful and interactive side. This class will discuss engagement training and, time permitting, personal play. By quickly transferring responsibility for paying attention from the handler to the dog, we are able to encourage our dogs to work much harder and longer without relying on the appearance of toys or food to create engagement. At the same time, we need to make sure that we are attractive play partners to our dogs!
Once basic play and engagement is created, dogs show significantly more energy and focus in their work, which serves competition dog and handler teams extremely well!
The basis of competitive obedience, rally and freestyle is the skill of “heeling”. If you want to succeed, you and your dog must LOVE to heel. To a large extent, the handler’s ability to making heeling exciting, interesting, and innovative will determine their dog’s enjoyment of the activity. For most dogs, heeling is not innately interesting.
That’s where this seminar steps in. Denise will introduce you to a series of games to make heeling….a lot of fun! Rather than performing patterns with “forward, left, right and halt”, you will learn patterns that create natural attention and enthusiasm with your dog. You will learn how to make a five minute training session exciting, skill building, and leave you and your dog wanting more! If you’re not leaving every training session laughing and smiling with your canine partner, you need to rethink your training plan!
In this lab you’ll learn about opposition reflex and how to use it to build intensity and endurance. You’ll learn how to use games to reduce your use of food and toy reinforcers – the only thing you can take into the ring! You’ll learn the difference between presenting rewards “for position” and using rewards to create energy and excitement for work.
At a fundamental level, this class will be about developing a working relationship which emphasizes having fun. Yes, even in heeling!
This class will not teach you the specific mechanics of heeling. We’ll start with the presumption that your dog can heel with some degree of accuracy. It’s ok if your reward schedule is still high – this class will help to reduce that significantly.