FDSA Training Camp 2020

Amy Cook, PhD

Amy’s Bio and Sessions

about  Amy Cook

Amy Cook, Ph.D. has been training dogs for over 25 years, and through Full Circle Dog Training and Play Way Dogs in Oakland, CA, has been specializing in the rehabilitation of shy and fearful dogs for almost 20 years. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the IAABC, a longstanding professional member of the APDT, and was one of the first trainers nationally to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through independent evaluation. She is a graduate of the SFSPCA academy for dog trainers and has attended all 4 “chicken camps” in Hot Springs, Arkansas, taught by Bob Bailey. Amy also owns the “shy-k9s” list on yahoo, a 4000-member group dedicated to the rehabilitation of fearful dogs, and has moderated there since 2001.

Amy has worked for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, the San Francisco Animal Care and Control, and has provided behavioral evaluations for shelters and rescues throughout the Bay Area of California. She currently works with the Anti-Cruelty team at the ASPCA doing behavioral evaluations and psychological enrichment of the dogs seized in dog fighting, puppy mill, and hoarding cases.

Amy returned to school in 2006 to get her Ph.D. in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Her research focused on the dog-human relationship and its effect on the problem solving strategies dogs employ. She has also studied causal inference in dogs and toddlers with Anna Waismeyer and Alison Gopnik, and currently works with Lucia Jacobs on dog olfaction. She has extensive experience as a graduate student instructor, having taught sections of Introductory Psychology (both in person and online), Human Emotion, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Stigma and Prejudice, Statistics, Animal Cognition, and has taught Fundamentals of Psychology and Developmental Psychology as a full instructor.

Her dogs have trained, participated, and titled in Rally, Obedience, Agility, Flyball, Nosework and Barn Hunt — and her young whippet loves agility best!

2020  camp sessions

Day 1: Friday

9:15AM – 10:45PM

Dealing with Judge Pressure! Lab

Experience Level: All 

You’ve trained hard, have your heeling all set, your dog is engaged … uh oh. Where’d that judge come from? Why is he following us? Lots of dogs are proximity sensitive and aren’t comfortable with being directly approached, followed, or crowded by strangers (especially strangers with clipboards and hats!). Some dogs want to rush to greet anyone within a 10-foot radius! In this class, we’ll go over things you can do to help your dog be comfortable with these “strange” judge behaviors and not feel the need to keep an eye on them. We’ll also help those greeters learn that judges are boring, and you are the best!

Day 1: Friday

1:40PM – 3:40PM

The Play Way: Playing without Toys Lab

Experience Level: All

Play is your best stress reliever! Have you ever thought about what play would look like if you didn’t have a toy to play with? Have you ever thought about playing with your food instead of handing it over? Play, especially play that doesn’t involve toys, is often something we don’t explore with our dogs, but it’s really a useful skill for making your dog feel better! Developing a good personal play relationship with your dog will allow you to play anywhere and reduce your dog’s stress levels. Playing with food raises its value and introduces dogs unfamiliar with play to the idea. Come play with us!

Day 2: Saturday

9:00AM – 10:40PM

Emotional Caretaking: Predict and Prevent Stress – Lecture only

Experience Level: All

Fitting a dog into a human world sometimes requires that we look out for the places where what dogs want and what humans want may clash. With clash comes stress, and we can prevent all that! What are some of the key places where being proactive can make a big difference? Come learn new ways of thinking about socialization to the world and to people (puppies and adults!), fear prevention, and importantly, how to soften the blow when you can’t give them the choices they want! Let’s be the best emotional caretakers we can be!

Day 3: Sunday

9:00AM – 10:40AM

Raising a Well-Adjusted Dog – Lecture only

We would all like to think raising dogs is a simple matter of including them naturally in our lives, raising a mentally healthy dog often means anticipating and preventing common problems, and seeing the challenges through their eyes. While some dogs handle life with us just fine, others do have predictable stress from living in our human world. The good news is that we can predict the areas that are most likely to inspire behavior problems for dogs and prevent them with a little forethought! In this talk we’ll cover the areas that can be potentially stressful for dogs as they grow with us, and you’ll learn strategies for navigating those rough spots!

Day 3: Sunday

1:40PM – 3:30PM

Connected Ring Transitions Lab

Experience Level: All

Moving from exercise to exercise in the ring without deflating your dog’s energy and losing connection or ricocheting them up into the stratosphere can be a real challenge! This is your time to stay connected and move together while keeping your dog ready to work. Don’t know what your dog needs? Come learn your options!