FE180: Drives and Control 1 - Imprinting a Balance

Instructor: Shade Whitesel

Course Details

June 2016 will be the last time this class is offered! We'll have the same skills in future classes, just re formatted to make concepts more clear, and more accessible.

Using play in training is all the rage these days, but doing it in an effective manner can be challenging. Some dogs get so high that their handlers feel like the training session is out of control. Other dogs could really benefit from an infusion of excitement and attitude to their work. Either way, this class will help you understand how to incorporate the concept of play into your training.

We'll start by teaching your dog to play by the rules. Gone are the days of leaping on the handler or playing keep away! We'll discuss how to channel prey instinct in a useful way, whether it's by introducing greater control or building more drive. We'll also work on specific skills like sit, down, stand, stay, and heel, as well as concepts like rear-end awareness. We'll practice switching between types of reinforcement, from tug to ball to food and back again.

We'll also work on your skills, whether it's luring, capturing, or shaping. By the end of the class, you'll have a good sense of the pros and cons of each method, and when you should use one over another. It is essential to work with each skill so that you have more tools in your toolbox!

While this course was originally formed with IPO dogs in mind (it was formerly titled the Fundamentals of IPO), it has since been redesigned to be taken as the first course in the Drive and Control series. This class contains exactly half of the play skills contained in the Toys: Developing Cooperation and Play class and exactly half of the behavior skills covered in the High Drive Fundamentals course. Read the syllabus for more clarity.



This class has been retired. You can purchase the lectures only from the last time this class has been taught.


week 1: Eye contact/2 ball (1st step)/Sit/Jumping

week 2: 2 ball (2nd step)/Tug (1st step)/Hand target/Game over

week 3: Shaping/Tug (2nd step)/Cuing

week 4: Stand/Down/Imprint moving heel/Marker words

week 5: Down stay/Rear end on Bucket/Switching Reinforcers/Ball Hoarding

week 6: 2 ball (3rd step)/Rear end off bucket/Behaviors on all sides/Placement of reward

Prerequisites and Equipment

Equipment needed (working participants only): toys or treats, video camera/access to YouTube upload

We'll be using a platform that the dog can comfortably put his front feet on for rear end awareness. I like to use a feed bucket but a phone book, or a brick or anything raised and of appropriate size is fine.

Space required (working participants only): none specified

Prerequisite skills or classes:  None

Course Testimonials 


I enrolled in this course just prior to bringing home a pup, and I'm so glad I did! It really helped me to get him started properly. I can see tangible results from what I learned in this course. It was material dense, which allowed me to choose my focus and get feedback on the specific foundation skills I was looking to build. I was very happy with the content, material and instruction, and continue to work on what I learned. I'll definitely be back for more! Emily F.                

Drives and Control 1 was my first class with Fenzi Academy.  Our instructor offered clear and concise training critiques and suggestions for next steps forward. She was very positive and encouraging throughout the entire course. I can hardly wait for the next course. I am hooked.              

I thought the class was fantastic and I got a lot out of the exercises we practiced on and off video. I will absolutely be back for more when my schedule permits. Erica Pytlovany             

Exceeded expectations. I was particularly pleased with how much additional information Shade was willing to share, including answering more general questions that were on students' minds but not necessarily totally on topic with the material presented. A very well-rounded course and exceptionally knowledgeable instructor. So glad I enrolled!             

Training my adopted border collie Maverick was so hard in the context of play, in fact we really couldn't get past his tendancy to get stuck in herding mode. After just six weeks of working through Shade's foundation Drives and Control class we are finally playing and training together. This is our last video submission to the course that shows how far we've come in such little time, Thank you Shade for making training and playtime go so smoothly together:)          

Wow! What a great time I had with my dog during the online training course I just took from the Fenzi Academy. The behaviors were explained clearly by the instructor and the videos helped me understand exactly what I needed to do. I was a bronze student and it was just like auditing a seminar. The format of the class was excellent and I was successful at learning what I needed to do to teach my dog new fun things! Thanks Fenzi Academy!!! Tammy B.             

Drives and Control 1 is a great foundation class! I took it at bronze and knew some of the skills, but it was still very useful and was a good intro to shaping behavior. I learned how to teach some new behaviors, and how to improve on our two ball and tug play and make work more fun! I'm very excited for Drives and Control 2, and the other IPO classes offered at FDSA!               

While the two ball game is ubiquitous to sport dog folks, I have never seen it parsed/discussed/analyzed the way that Shade does in the course. Terrific discussion and well-worth the price of the course. I can see how this foundation with two ball would lead to conflict-free clean outs.           

Beyond money's worth, got much more than expected.  Thank you Shade!