April 2019 KPA CTP of the Month: Patrick Emmett

Julie Gordon Featured Trainer, News & Events

Patrick (Pat) Emmett, KPA CTP, is full-fledge into his second career. Pat turned to dog-training in his retirement after more than 35 years as a businessman and president of his own company. Now he is the Training Program Manager and an Instructor at his wife’s business, Godfrey’s-Welcome to Dogdom / Dog Is Family (DIF) K9 Training. Pat oversees all training offerings and services, including Karen Pryor Academy’s Puppy Start Right Preschool. His strong interests include helping families adding a new dog to their home and therapy dogs. Pat and his golden retriever, Lake, are certified as a Therapy Dog Team through Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services.

From Fearful to Engaged: Expanding the Training Conversation

Julie Gordon News & Events

How can you quickly transform a dog from growly and people-averse to a willing participant in a training dialogue? The answer is skillful application of behavior science!

Animal control brought Misty into the shelter on a catch pole. She growled, tried to escape, and cowered in the back of her kennel—unable to greet people or even take food. An old, thick, tie-out rope was still attached to her collar.

Teach Your Cat to Target

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Targeting, where an animal touches an object with her nose or paw, is not just a useful behavior for dogs—it can be a very useful and fun behavior for cats, too! A target can be used to lead a cat to a particular spot (such as an exam table), can help shelter cats become more friendly and adoptable, and can serve as the foundation for many tricks—such as jumping through a hoop, spinning, or rolling over. Watch target training in action in this video, and learn more about cat training in Karen Pryor Academy’s Train Your Cat course!

Shaping Success: Strategic Treat Placement

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Strategic treat placement is a key part of dog training, yet it is often overlooked. The placement of reinforcement during and after a behavior can make a difference as to the dog’s understanding of the behavior you are trying to teach. Where do you want the dog to be positioned to set up for the next rep? If you want to set the dog up to repeat an action, for example settle on a mat, toss the treat away from the mat after you click so that the dog moves off and has the opportunity to return to the mat. Watch in this video as KPA faculty member Laurie Luck uses strategic treat placement off the mat to reset the labrador puppy for the opportunity to repeat the behavior!

How to Transfer a Cue

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Cues should always be clear and consistent. However, cues do allow for some flexibility and can be transferred. Are two cues too similar, so similar that your dog confuses them (for example, “stretch” and “fetch”)? Do you need to deliver a cue from a distance? Do you want the versatility that is possible when your dog knows a variety of cues? In all of these instances, knowing how to transfer a cue accurately is important.

Watch as Karen Pryor Academy faculty member Laura Monaco Torelli demonstrates how to transfer a cue!

Teach Settle on a Mat

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Teaching your dog to settle on a mat is very useful—for both practical and safety reasons. Dogs need a safe place to settle down. When you teach your dog to settle on a portable mat, your dog has a safe place to settle anywhere! You can send your dog to his mat while you are cooking, eating dinner, or even while you are out on the town. Your dog always has a safe place to lie by your side.

Dog Saves Valentine’s Day

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Dogs make the best Valentines—today and every day! They love unconditionally, are faithful and unselfishly devoted, and can always make you smile! In this video, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Shelly Brouwer tells the story of how her dog Bert saved Valentine’s Day!