Dr. Amy Cook (she/her) has her PhD in Psychology from UC Berkeley, where her research focused on the dog-human relationship and its effect on the problem solving strategies dogs employ. She is an International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, a longstanding professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), and was one of the first trainers nationally to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through independent evaluation (CPDT-KA). Dr. Cook is the founder and creator of the Play Way here at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, and also teaches her active management system for reactivity, and her sound sensitivity protocol, all aimed at the reduction of stress in dogs. She has been training dogs for over 30 years, and has specialized in the rehabilitation of shy and fearful dogs for over 20 years.
FDSA Training Camp 2023
Amy Cook, PhD
About Amy Cook, PhD
2023 camp sessions
In this lecture session, I’ll be going over the Play Way system itself, beyond just the how-to of the play itself, and into why we want it to be a conversation, what doors that opens for both reducing stress and pressure and allowing you to know a lot more about whether you’re over threshold or not.
We’ll also look at the principles of Look and Dismiss (LAD), and the ways we practice it on simple things so dogs get fluency in the skill and have it as a strategy!
Come learn how to apply Play Way in setups to facilitate new learning!
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 (and maybe yours!). Additionally, playing with food raises its value and introduces dogs unfamiliar with play to the the kinds of body language play has. Come play with us!
Every consequence we choose in training is there to motivate behavior change, but did you know it also inspires emotion at the same time? In fact, that’s why they work! Emotion underlies all of your training, and that’s not optional – Pavlov is always sitting on your shoulder!
In this lecture, I’ll go over Conditioned Emotional Responses (CERs), what the quadrants feel like, why that matters, and how to keep your dog in the “happy bucket” and out of the “yucky bucket.” You have heard me say “every time you teach your dog what to do, you’re teaching them how to feel,” right? What emotional responses are you conditioning?
Being in a trial environment often means being in a novel location with a lot more stimulation and distractions than you might usually see. Even the most seasoned dog can sometimes need your support and advocacy! You’ll need to be able to navigate busy, high arousal environments, prevent their social engagement with others, and keep their boundaries maintained so that the stress stays low.
In this lab we’ll practice some movement strategies and mental-game techniques to keep your dog able to cope with higher stress situations or close proximity to others, while staying connected to you. Join Amy to learn some tricks to traverse crowded areas with connection (magnet moves!) and games to keep their attention as other things pass by!
It’s a fact of life that things happen suddenly, and for your dog, even the more experienced and well socialized, those sudden events can sometimes be distressing!
Whether your dog is often pulled off center by events around them or it’s only occasional, when it happens to your dog, they need your help to recover.
It’s a great idea to have a plan in place before that happens, so you and your dog both have something to rely on! The startle to recovery framework involves simple, non-scary practice events, and parties that’ll convince your dog she won the lottery! Come see how to turn surprises into surprise parties!
You’ve trained hard, have your heeling all set, your dog is engaged … uh oh. Where’d that judge come from? Why is she 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 lab, 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, and help those greeters learn that judges are boring, and you are best!