Training tips

Generalization Journey — Part 4

Welcome to the fourth post in our series about helping your dog learn to perform behaviors reliably and fluently in all sorts of circumstances and environments. Click Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 to read the previous entries in this series. Variation 4: Environment Make sure you practice exercises indoors and outdoors, on a hardwood surface, on tile,…

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Generalization Journey — Part 3

This is the third post in our series giving ideas for helping your dog learn and practice behaviors in all sorts of circumstances and environments. This is a crucial aspect of making sure your dog’s learned behaviors are fluent no matter what, no matter when. Click Part 1 and Part 2 to read the previous entries in…

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Generalization Journey — Part 2

This is the second post in the series Generalization Journey, which gives systematic ways to make sure your dog knows trained behaviors in lots of different environments and circumstances. Click Part 1 to read an introduction to generalization, and to read about one way to vary things. Variation 2: Your Orientation to an Object This…

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Generalization Journey — Part 1

Have you ever noticed that your dog will perform a behavior in one context but then not in another? This can seem like a puzzling phenomenon in dog training, but is actually a common and expected response. Dogs need lots of practice in order to generalize trained behaviors: that is, to be able to perform the behaviors anywhere and in any…

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Dogs Are Always Learning

Our dogs can surprise us in many ways. Have you ever seen your dog do something and thought, “How does he know that?” Trainer and author Nicole Wilde has written a fabulous post on her blog about the predictions dogs can make based on the patterns they’re so good at observing in our lives with them. Click…

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Out and About

Are you and your dog ready for some challenges in the real world? A store is a fabulous spot to train your dog. The following is a compilation of some ideas to help you practice. Use them as a springboard for your own creative training ideas. Your instructor can help you determine if you and your dog…

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Fun and Frugal Mental Games for Your Dog

Dog owners know the importance of regular physical activity for their dogs. Walks, a run at the dog park, a game of fetch, various dog sports, and many other activities are enjoyed by dogs and their owners and are important for dogs’ health and well-being. But what about that doggy gray matter? Engaging a dog’s…

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The Catch Your Dog Being Good Game

At times we dog owners tend to focus on what our dogs are doing “wrong” (by our definition) rather than what they’re doing right. This game with a purpose is great practice in paying attention to your dog and reinforcing behaviors you like. Day 1: Count out 5 nonperishable treats and place them in a…

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Our Clients Say

“Kay (our instructor) is terrific in helping people understand their canine friends. She has a real understanding of dog behavior and is able to quickly tune in to what is going on in a human-dog relationship.” —Pamela H. and "Molly"
“The Savvy Canines trainers are knowledgeable, consistent, and competent and love dogs. Phyllis provides a flexible schedule, comes to my home, and the cost is reasonable and well worth it. The classes twice a month are great for Molly to meet other people and dogs and to show off what she has learned. Molly and I are very pleased with the training from Savvy Canines.”—Diane and “Molly”
"Working with Sarah is the most important thing in my life. The gentle, positive training of Savvy Canines continues to increase the amazing bond between us. As my disabilities increase, Sarah is learning new ways to help me, both at home and out in public."—Susan N. and “Sarah”
Our trainer has helped us establish a fantastic rapport with our dog! The clicker training has been great. Our dog is attuned to our needs and anticipates my commands for helping close doors on the cabinets and the refrigerator, and thoroughly enjoys adjusting the pedals on my wheelchair! We have been especially pleased with our trainer's willingness to work around our schedule because of my medical problems.—Mr. and Mrs. Larson
“Minnie and I have worked with Savvy Canines since its inception. From the first day Minnie has loved Phyllis and the training sessions with her. Minnie loves the challenges, the games (and the attention). The one service that sets Savvy Canines apart from other training programs is the individual attention to each client. They work around your schedule, find creative ways to get tasks accomplished, and do it all in a professional, caring way. Minnie and I LOVE the trainers and the time spent learning new tasks. Thank you Savvy Canines. You are pawsitively the BEST!”—Reva and “Minnie”
“The positive reinforcement we get from trainers at Savvy Canines of Arizona is exceptional, always so patient and helpful. Chloe is a work in progress, but she does make life easier by picking up dropped objects. We could not have done this on our own.” —Susan and "Chloe"
“The clicker training technique Savvy Canines teaches is very simple, yet powerful. Dogs actually enjoy learning tasks their partners want them to do when the clicker is used properly.”—George and “Rover”
"We own and train Australian Shepherds, and when I became disabled, my wife thought I might benefit from a Service Dog. She made a call, and I was surprised when Phyllis Allen (whom I had seen on a TV program about service dogs) came to my house to tell us about the Service Dog training program. She explained the program, assessed my needs, and met the dog I intended to use for training. I was impressed that she would come to my home to meet us and to explain how the program worked. Phyllis is a superb teacher. Savvy Canines uses a positive training method called “clicker training.” Before I met Phyllis I had never used the clicker method, and I am now convinced that it is one of the best training tools for teaching a dog complex tasks. It is definitely a thing of beauty when your dog “gets it” and accomplishes a new skill."—Bruce and “Elwood”
“Our instructor helps both human and animal understand and accommodate to one another. We were also impressed that Kay carries out her training sessions with a kind, gentle approach—even with the pet owner!” —Pamela and Roger H. and "Fred" and "Molly"
"I am slowly getting back into the world as I recover from my neurological disorder, and this journey toward recovery has been greatly accelerated by training and living with my Service Dog. I spoke with people who had been devastated by their illnesses and had become virtual shut-ins, and I observed how training and living with a Service Dog changed them. Their lives were transformed by getting back into the world; these folks now have the confidence to “fight the good fight.” Then one day I saw that same confidence in myself. I now go just about everywhere with my Service Dog. I want to thank Phyllis Allan and Savvy Canines for being so amazingly kind and patient with me and my dog. I would definitely recommend Savvy Canines of Arizona to anyone who is considering training a Service Dog."—Bruce and “Elwood”
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