This week we are focusing on how to inject more joy into our dog training. I believe that all dogs start off with an innate joy to be around us.

Our choices as dog trainers can either help to develop that joy, turning it into a focus for us and for work, or our choices can inadvertently steal our dog’s joy.

The good news is, we can all make the necessary changes to help bring the joy back even stronger than it was before! If you are a subscriber to my newsletter you would now have a list of suggestions to start that “Joy Injection” process.

One of the most important things to remember when aiming to create more joy for your dog is to always keep in mind that everything you want your dog to learn can be communicated to him in the form of a game.

Take a look at the video clip below. There was a time when all of the dogs in my household HATED to have their nails trimmed. Not so anymore! Turn the mundane (or in this case the feared) into a game and problem solved!

However my latest dog “Swagger” challenged the success of my nail trimming game, you can see my “work around” with him in this video.


As you can see, my challenge with Swagger was that he wouldn’t eat ANY treats when I was trying to trim his nails. I did start the game  with him as a very baby puppy (because he was born in my home I could) but after the first time I cut a nail too short for his liking, that was it, I lost his joy for the game. See even my choices can result in the loss of joy in my dogs.  I had to come up with a better game. As you can see in the video I used the value Swagger has for a game of tug to create value for both getting his nails trimmed and for taking treats while he was getting his nails trimmed.

Everything can be made into a game. What are your plans to inject more joy into your dog training? Let me know about the success and challenges of your plans for more “joy-injecting” in your dog training.

Today I am grateful that John comes home tomorrow. He has been visiting friends and family in the UK for the past ten days. Happy for him to get a well deserved vacation, but I am even happier to know he is coming home tomorrow:).

Update: There’s two vlogs on nails we recommend that everyone view.

And due to popular demand, we now have “Your Dog’s Pedicure Please Program” at our store for you to start immediately online. Your Dog’s Pedicure Please Program will create a positive emotional response for your dog to grooming in general and nail trimming in particular.