When Hannah Branigan began training her first dog for obedience competition, she wanted to play the game but train using positive reinforcement. She quickly discovered that traditional methods weren’t for her and that she had to throw out the old playbook. “Clicker trainers like me look at the problem completely differently,” she says. “We break down skills into easily mastered bits and pieces that we then link into behavior chains to produce flashy heeling and snappy drops on recall.”
Hannah built a new training program from the ground up. The results were awesome. Her dogs have competed successfully at the national level, earning High-in-Trial awards and advanced titles through several organizations. These strategies have transformed training for hundreds of teams, who also believe in the power of positive reinforcement and good training practices. In Awesome Obedience, Hannah lays out all the components to build the behaviors needed to go as far in obedience training as you want.
- How to create a happy, reliable partner using motivational games
- Where to put your efforts (hint: not in Fronts and Finishes)
- How the mechanics of exercises affect training
- How to fine-tune your dog’s arousal level for maximum performance
- How to train your dog to ignore ring distractions (like that judge following you around)
- How to train the critical, unscored transition portion of your performance between exercises
- Most of all, how to have a blast with your dog while you train
“My copy arrived last week and as expected it is loaded with fantastic accessible training plans, great graphical demonstrations, and Hannah Branigan’s genius sense of humour.
In a sport where traditionally exercises were taught by dogs performing to avoid punishment, we needed a fresh perspective, and not just replacing corrections with cookies. We needed to learn how to train smarter, efficiently and effectively to develop a reliable and precise routine that we could take into the ring. When I went looking for that perspective (circa 2012, Slice was born in January 2013) I was fortunate to find Hannah and I’ve been proudly a student and have been supporting her innovative endeavours ever since.
This is a book that holds an unoccupied space in the dog training literature. Before this, Hannah’s training concepts and pathways were only available in an online course format or if you were lucky enough to attend her seminars. I can attest that this is a proven pathway from novice through utility. You still have to do the work of course, but Hannah’s online classes have been my primary training reference while training my Master Obedience Trial Champion and Multi HIT winning dog Slice since she was a pup. And now I can have this reference on my bookshelf or in my training bag.”