FDSA Training Camp 2020

Denise  Fenzi

Denise’s Bio and Sessions

about  Denise fenzi

Denise Fenzi has competed in a wide range of dog sports – titling dogs in obedience (AKC and UKC), tracking (AKC and schutzhund), schutzhund (USA), mondioring (MRSA), herding (AKC), conformation (AKC), and agility (AKC). She is best known for her flashy and precise obedience work – as demonstrated by two AKC OTCH dogs and perfect scores in both schutzhund and mondio ringsport obedience.

While a successful competitor, Denise’s real passion lies in training dogs and solving the problems that her own dogs and her students’ dogs present. She is a recognized expert in developing drive, motivation, and focus in competition dogs, and is known internationally as an engaging speaker and an expert in no force training for sport dogs. She has consistently demonstrated the ability to train and compete with dogs using motivational methods in sports where compulsion is the norm.

In addition to training and speaking, Denise is a prolific writer. You can find her at www.denisefenzi.com where she maintains an active blog on all things related to dog training. She is also an active writer on facebook; follow her there to learn more about her range of interests in addition to dog training. Denise and Deb Jones have recently finished a four book series, “Dog Sports Skills,” which has received widespread acclaim in the dog sports community. In addition, she has written numerous books on her own, including “Train the Dog in Front of You,” “Beyond the Back Yard; Train Your Dog to Listen Anytime, Anywhere!” and, for the younger audience, “Blogger Dog, Brito!” Several of these books have won Maxwell awards for Best Training and Behavior book from the Dog Writers of America.

Denise thoughtfully and persistently works to break down the barriers that prevent people from obtaining a truly interactive and mutually enjoyable sport relationship with their dogs. Fenzi Academy is the culmination of her efforts as a forward step in providing progressive information to any trainer who wishes to learn.

2020  camp sessions

Day 1: Friday

8:30AM – 9:00AM ET

Welcome Session

Welcome from Denise and announcement of this year’s camp theme!

Day 1: Friday

11:00AM – 12:30PM ET

Ring Confidence Lab

Experience Level: All 

If you don’t make a conscious effort to make the competition ring a fantastic place, it’s very easy to inadvertently teach your dog that outside the ring is where the food and toys are and inside the ring is pressure and stress! The purpose of this lab is to show you how to reverse that so that your dog is practically dragging you into the ring, ready and eager to begin work and play with you!  Denise will also introduce the handler to several skills that they will want to teach to make their future in competition both productive and rewarding.

Day 1: Friday

4:00PM – 6:00PM

Engagement 2.0 Lab

Experience Level: All

Do you feel like you’re working hard to make training exciting while your dog gives nothing back? Do you fight to keep your dog’s attention when you’re not holding a cookie or dangling a toy? Have you been told that you need to be “more exciting”? If this sounds familiar, then your team needs Engagement training; a process that transfers responsibility for the start of work from the human to the dog. Now, instead of talking your dog into working with you, your dog will talk you into working with him; no visible food or toys required! The solution to a distracted dog is NOT to be more exciting; it’s to change the power dynamic to one where the dog understands that work is a privilege! While this lab will be similar to Denise’s prior Engagement training approach, she will introduce additional steps and concepts that will be useful for dogs that need more structure along with a lecture to address the advanced steps of Engagement. The final goal is to create a trial ready canine partner who will not explore the competition space before being asked to work there.

To participate in this lab, your dog should have the ability to hold a short stay without reinforcement (example: 15 second down stay without cookies); in addition, if your dog has some play with you then that will be helpful, but it is not required.

Day 1: Saturday

9:00AM – 10:40PM

Pocket Hand Heeling

Experience Level: All 

Pocket hand is a way of teaching heeling that allows your dog to use the angle and position of your hand to develop and maintain an exceptionally precise heel position. You’ve heard people talking about “pocket hand” for heeling, and now you get to see it in action! This technique will work just as well for retraining a 10-year-old dog as starting an eight week old puppy. If you’d like to learn more about using pocket hand, join Denise in this lecture and lab and have your dog heeling with finesse in no time!

Day 2: Saturday

1:40PM – 3:40PM

Obedience Problem Solving 

Experience Level: Novice and Above

Having a problem with an Obedience exercise or part of an Obedience exercise? In this session, Denise will address any Obedience handling or training issues that you might have.

Day 3: Sunday

9:00AM – 10:40AM

Are you Ready for Obedience Competition? Lab

Experience Level: See Description

Ring readiness isn’t just about the exercises. It includes getting into the ring, setting up and waiting for the judge, moving between exercises, handling the loss of food and toys in competition and a plan for leaving the ring. In this lab, each team will complete a formal run through for the individual Novice or Open exercises.

However, the focus of Denise’s feedback will not be the actual exercises; instead she will focus on the un-judged elements that can make or break a team’s run. For example, Denise might comment on the need for more connection entering the ring, along with some simple ways to get it, rather than providing advice on improving the team’s heeling skills. This lab is appropriate for teams that are close to being ready to compete at either the Novice or Open level.

Day 3: Sunday

1:40PM – 3:30PM

Toy Play

Experience Level: All

This lab will help you develop excellent toy play with your dog. Denise will introduce both the mechanics and the qualities of the dog-human interaction that can make toy play either highly enjoyable for both parties or an absolute misery. Toy play is not simple! It is fascinating and complex and subtle and, best of all, it can be learned! Whether your dog shows absolutely no interest in toys or is a rabid tugger who simply refuses to return to re-engage, Denise can improve your game.

Day 3: Sunday

5:40PM – 6:00PM ET

General Closing Session