Abundant Life Dog Training
Allow Dogs To Enjoy Life ~ Empower Them To Be Their Best
with Andrea Dugan, K9 Coach, International Speaker
Reinforcement Based Canine Traning And Behavior

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Introduction

What is dog training?  For me, it is setting up questions for my dog and make them easy enough for him to answer them correctly


How do you tell your dog that he guessed wrong?

By reinforcing him when he is right!

~ Andrea Dugan ~

Champion Hawk du Josar

'Thunder Paws'


Abundant Life Dog Training empowers dogs to be their best as companions as well as competitive partners.  With my training methods, dogs are always emotionally balanced allowing them to learn quickly and perform accurately. 


Dogs have been in my life for over 40 years, and in that time, I have been a student, a competitor, and a teacher. My dogs have been my companions, competitive partners, my protectors and my life helpers, but most of all, my teachers. I am an advocate for humane training.  


I am a non-aversive positive reinforcement trainer.  I do not use physical or verbal corrections of any kind.  Why?  Because dogs base their responses solely on:

~ The information we give them.
~ The opportunities they are given to rehearse the response until it becomes habit.
~ Proofing correct responses to insure they are confident in distracting situations.
~ Our making it reinforcing enough for them to want to offer the correct response again.

Understanding How To Communicate With Your Dog

By learning as much as I could about what is behind the beautiful eyes of dogs, discovering and implementing the laws of learning, and studying the science behind training, my unique dog training program is extremely effective, and I have been using it with my dogs and teaching it to my student's for 40 years.  We have all had amazing results.


Dogs are not born with the ability to understand vocabulary.


How dogs respond to training questions provides you with extremely valuable information. If he offers a behavior other than what you are looking for, that behavior often has a stronger positive reinforcement history. Since he is only performing a behavior that he thinks will earn reinforcement, the onus is on you to figure out what you did that caused him to answer your question that way.  It is your job to figure out a better way to ask the question, so he is correct the next time.


Having a dog that does not respond is very different than offering the incorrect response. Two of the reasons why a dog does not respond are:


  1.  Something in the environment is affecting his emotional balance.  He is in survival mode.
  2. He is so distracted by something in the environment that your signal/cue does not stand out?

They offer incorrect responses because:

  1. They really do not know what response to offer to that signal/cue.
  2. They are confused in what we are asking them to do.
  3. You have mutated the signal/cue so much they no longer see it as a signal/cue.
  4. They have not been given enough opportunities to rehearse the response until it has become habit.
  5. The response has not been proofed.  
  6. They are not confident what to offer around distracting circumstances.


And the list goes on and on.

Wildland's Indiana Jones

Canadian TDX


My dogs and I have competed and earned numerous titles in 9 different venues:


  • Agility - AAC, USDAA, NADAC
  • Conformation - AKC/CKC 
  • Herding - AKC/CKC 
  • Obedience - AKC/CKC/UKC/WKC 
  • Rally - AKC/CKC/CARO/WRCL 
  • Scent Detection - AKC
  • Schutzhund - USCA
  • Tracking - CKC/AKC
  • Trick Dog - AKC/DMWYD

They have passed their Canine Good Citizen, Virtual Home Manners, the American Temperament Test as well as being registered Therapy Dogs.  Indiana received the JET Award of Merit for heroism from the Belgian Sheepdog Club Of America.
Dogs have been my best teachers.  Each one has taught me something different about them, about dogs, and about training.  However, I have also learned from some of the best of the best in their specific sport.  The following are just a few of the many wonderful dog trainers and competitors that have influenced my training and philosophy:

Chris Bach - Click to see her 199 in Utility B - Multiple OTCh & 200's  
Elicia Calhoun - Click to see her and Tobi - Elicia is a 5 time National Agility Champion, and 3 time World Agility Champion.
Jo Gauthier -  National, and World Agility Competitor (Canada)
Lucie Desserault - National and World Agility Competitor (Canada)
Kathy Sdao - Marine Mammal Trainer 
Michelle Pouliot - Canine Musical Freestyle 
Workshops

I present workshops across the US and Canada in the following.  Each workshop includes Problem Solving And Proofing and is specifically based on the needs of the participants.
($250 per day + travel expenses)

AGILITY
  • Introduction To Obstacles
  • The Course - Reading And Strategy
  • Advanced Handling And Strategy

TRACKING
  • Training For A TD And TDX

OBEDIENCE/RALLY
  • Developing A Strong Foundation
  • Novice ~ Utility/Rally Novice Excellent

Help Me Cope! - A Unique Approach For Emotionally Unbalanced Dogs
  • Turning A Trigger Into A Cue
  • Understanding Drives And Sensitivities
  • Program Planning

Workbooks


OBEDIENCE STUDY GUIDE

Some topics include:
  • Understand The Science Behind
  • Teaching Techniques
  • Building A Reliable Cue System
  • The Science Of Choosing Cues 
  • Teaching Foundation Skills
  • Understanding Focal Points
  • The 'What If ...' Theory
  • Proofing & Problem Solving

TRACKING STUDY GUIDE (Getting ready for publication)
  • Foundation Skills
  • Environmental Influences
  • Leash Handling Skills
  • Proofing & Problem Solving

DOGS IN NEED OF EMOTIONAL SUPPORT (Getting ready for publication)
  • Understanding Emotional Instability
  • Teaching Foundation Behaviors
  • Using Reinforcement Appropriately
  • Developing A Game Plan

AGILITY (Out of print)
  • Introduction To Obstacles
  • Obedience For Agility
  • Handling Skills
  • Course Strategy

RALLY-ON (Out of print)
  • Negotiating The Signs
  • Handling Skills

THERAPY/SERVICE DOGS (Out of print)
  • Training Skills
  • Proper Interaction With Clients

I have written articles for Front & Finish magazine for over 10 years, and had numerous articles published in UKC Bloodlines as well as various breed-specific magazines.  The topics ranged from competing in Agility, Obedience, Tracking, and Rally to understanding and working with dogs who are emotionally affected by their environment.