Updated: May 29
You may submit questions to me as you encounter them in this course.
Please send your questions to this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It will be helpful to me if you put “training manual question” in the subject line of your e-mail to me.
I will do my best to answer these questions by writing blogs about them and posting them in this blog category. If you have questions, please check in with this blog category often, as you may find others have similar questions. Your answers may already be here. I would love to hear your stories of successes, or challenges, so if you would like to share your thoughts, and photos, please feel free to do so!
I originally wrote this training manual for buyers of my pups. I quickly found that people all across the country are interested in learning positive reinforcement training to use with their own LGDs, so I adapted the manual for broader use.
The original version of the training manual assumed the reader was working with a puppy, or adolescent Maremma, born and trained here. Going forward with training with a dog like that is easy because a dog raised here trusts people and loves the training process. Our pups like food reinforcement, and know how to take treats gently from a trainer's hands. Being able to use food reinforcement is convenient.
The training manual has been well received and popular, far beyond my original expectations as I wrote it. It thrills me to know that there are so many LGD owners out there that are excited to learn how to deepen their relationships with their dogs. Several of the early students in the course checked in with me to share how their journey was going, and in some cases had questions about their specific situation with their dog.
I owe a lot to one particular student in the course who had questions about how to begin clicker training with a dog that was afraid of her and was not food motivated. This adult dog had been recently re-homed with her, and his previous training history was correction based, so she had a lot of work ahead of her just in terms of building his trust in her. Training plans specific for him have been created; both dog and trainer are making great progress!
The science presented in the Foundations course, and in my training manual, is solid, but training plans must be created for individual dogs. The Foundations course makes the assumption that the trainer has a food-motivated pet dog as well, so the training plans in the course are written for such a dog. LGDs need different training plans than most pet dogs do, and, a training plan for an adult LGD is different than one for an adolescent LGD.
I have trained many companion dogs over the years, as well as about 250 Maremmas, but I have never trained an Anatolian Shepherd, Kengal, or Tibetan Mastiff, for instance. The training plans for breeds such as these may need to be modified if their needs are different than what works with Maremmas. I don't know if they are, but if we work together, I think we can answer these questions and share what we learn through my website so that the information goes forward as helpful to others.
I know how to "train the dog in front of me", whatever breed he may be, because the dog will provide feedback about what makes sense to him, and what doesn't. If I run up against a question about training that I can't answer (yes, that still happens) I have KPA-certified trainers I can reach out to as well as a variety of specialized training professionals.
I think this provides a learning opportunity for all of us, even beyond the students of the course.
Time and reality are issues for me, so I may reach a point where I can't find the time to answer every question presented to me, but I will do my best. I truly believe that a considerable training database can be created through working together in this way.
I also have a professional training business, working with owners across the country via Zoom, and sometimes even phone conversations, so personalized, ongoing training support from me is an option. This is what is currently happening with the worried dog and his owner that I described earlier. My training rate is $75 per hour. If you feel this would be helpful to you, please e-mail me, and we can talk it over.