Instructor: Amy Cook
Next session starts: December 1, 2018Registration starts: November 22, 2018Registration ends: December 15, 2018
To get a working spot in this class, you need to first contact Dr. Cook and make sure the class is right for you. Do not sign up for a gold spot without taking this step! There will be a special registration page given to people cleared to take the class.
Registration will begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 15 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Gold Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to post questions and videos to the course forums. Students will receive instructor feedback on written and video assignments.
Silver Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to participate in the discussion forum. Students may ask GENERAL questions about course materials and may submit two, one-minute videos for instructor feedback. Any questions specific to your dog MUST be accompanied by a video.
Bronze Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forums. Students will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.
For more details, refund policies, and answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Is your dog brilliant at home but shuts down at the show? Does he bark and lunge at people or dogs? Is she afraid of the teeter? Does he seem generally stressed, whether frantic or quiet and vigilant? All of these common behaviors can be addressed through careful use of Social Play! For a pet dog, dealing with behavior challenges is a good idea. For a competition dog, it is non-negotiable. Our goal is to make your dog enthusiastic about performance (and life!), and connected to you and confident in your relationship!
Dr. Amy Cook will address the issue of fearful and reactive dogs, both in and out of competition. Rather than teaching you the behaviors that are required for success in the ring of any specific sport, this class will teach you how to make your dog comfortable, confident, and focused in novel and challenging environments, which then can support your in-ring performances. Come learn about The Play Way!
Gold level participants will be individually coached on how to work through their individual issues, whether specific to a thing (fear of the teeter) or generic (fear of strange dogs or people). You'll spend the first part (or even half!) of class learning or improving your dog's personal play so he can relax and have fun, and then for the remainder of the class you'll learn how to apply that therapeutically to your dog's situation through setups. Your dog will learn to look at his triggers in a new way, and play his stress away! This level is ideal if you need plenty of support getting a plan in place and applying it correctly, and if your dog can play with you at least a little bit at home.
This class is focused on the Gold level students. To gain value from this class, silver and bronze level students should commit the time to follow one or more Gold level students throughout the class in order to create a workable plan for their own dogs.
Silver level for this class will be the new "working silver" design. Details available under the registration tab.
To get a Gold working spot in this class, you need to first contact Dr. Cook and make sure the class is right for you. Do not sign up for a gold spot without taking this step! There will be a special registration page given to people cleared to take the class.
Important note: The Bogeyman course is for dogs who either shut down when out and about, at a dog show or have a specific stress issue that affects an aspect of their lives. If your dog only has issues in the performance ring, the Ring Confidence series is to create confidence in the ring in all dogs but does not address specific fears or fearful dogs. Feel free to contact either Denise Fenzi or Amy Cook through their contact information in their instructor profile under the "Instructors" link for clarification on which class is the best option for you.
In this course you will get individual attention as a Gold participant, with material given that directly addresses the issues you are having. Most cases start out with assessment videos so I can see your dog and how you two are together, and then you'll be set on learning how to get relaxation and play in a variety of contexts, depending on your dogs' challenges.
Through lecture materials, you will learn:
--How to identify stress in dogs
--About relaxed play, and its important role in the rehabilitation of stress and fear
--Personal play, food or toys: which one should you use and when?
--Threshold management and what trigger stacking is
--How far away from your trigger is enough? How can you be sure?
--Classical conditioning applications, and why small mistakes can make a big difference
--Why letting dogs look at triggers instead of asking them to look at them is crucial
Coaching will consist of:
--Establishing a play dynamic between the dog and handler team that is rehab-specific
--Taking that interaction on the road, and seeing where your dog is comfortable enough to play
--Introducing triggers at manageable and appropriate levels
--Blending the play interaction into regular training, mixing it up
--Learning how to read your dog so you know what to do when
Lectures are put up in blocks of several lectures each, covering the above content, and are released early in the class so you can get all the elements in mind. Later, we discuss what to do for sudden environmental contrast issues, and concepts for working with dogs when you can't reduce threshold as far as you'd prefer. The lectures will give you general material to think about in learning about fear, reactivity and stress reduction approaches in dogs, and coaching will make sure your team has the practical skills to continue working after the class is over.
This is your chance to get one-on-one attention for you and your dog! Come join us and see what the buzz about "The Play Way" is all about!
There are no required prerequisites, but I highly recommend Denise Fenzi's play class either be taken or audited before you take the class or concurrently with it, where possible. We use as much play as we can in this class, and try to minimize the use of food, so having some experience playing with your dog will help you in helping your dog relax and focus. If you can't take the class, I'll coach you in playing, don't worry, and we'll find what works for your dog to help them counteract their stress!
NOTE: You MUST contact Amy through her profile contact info on the "instructors" link on this website before signing up for a Gold spot to ensure that this format will work for your situation!
Look and Dismiss (or why we don't teach dogs to look at things!)
It can be difficult to know what your dog is really feeling. We only have behavior to look at, and it isn't always clear to us, especially in dogs that have had a lot of experience in training. Sometimes dogs are obvious in their signals, but just as often this isn't the case, and we have to look for more subtle signs that confirm for us whether our dogs are concerned or really feeling ok about what's going on around them. One thing we use in this class is the quality of their play. The other thing we use is how much looking away from you they are doing.
The extent to which your dog has to look at things is a direct way to measure how they're feeling about those things. Looking at something you're concerned with is a natural behavior; indeed it's quite difficult to teach someone *not* to look at something they're concerned about!
So this natural signal is one we can use! Your dog will just do it because she has to, and you can use how much she has to as a gauge for how she's feeling, and you can use how much her need to look is reducing as a gauge for how she's changing her feelings.
When your dog no longer looks at his trigger any more than a very occasional glance, we can say that theyre "dismissing" it. It's not a big feature in their mind any longer, and they are concentrating on their time with you. Over time, this process will happen more quickly, and they will be able to "look and dismiss" with just a glance or two, or one longer look, and just be done with it! This is your ultimate goal. Imagine your dog just looking at a stranger, another dog, or a new object and then being done with it entirely, preferring to move onto the fun things you're offering!
A SAMPLING OF WHAT PRIOR STUDENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS COURSE ...
I am going to miss this class! I feel I got to know the other participants, their dogs and their struggles. Amy's lecture materials and basic premises were reflected again and again in the homework forum. The concepts of behavioral change just aren't easy to grasp. We have been working for years now in our attempts to affect change in our easily aroused Aussie. I felt I was quite familiar with the concept of "threshold" as an example. In this class I feel I am finally starting to get it! Amy's analogy of the traffic signal (green/yellow/orange/red) when talking about thresholds has been invaluable. I use it daily. Thank you, Amy, for your thoughtful input and your support throughout this class. Sandy H
The "Dealing with the Bogeyman Course" is extremely instructive. All the "exercises" suggested during the course are aimed at helping dogs overcome their fear and they really work. The most valuable thing, to me, was the reminder about keeping under threshold. Also extremely valuable was that I was able to arm myself with good information to be able to tell people that I knew what I was doing when I "comforted" my scared young dog instead of "making her snap out of it". Sarah G
Bogeyman has given us a renewed focus and energy for our obedience competition. Amy has such a great knowledge and ideas to help you work through any type of issue. You could see the dogs transform over the course of the class, as well as a plan for moving forward after the class. Melissa C
While working under Amy's guidance, I started to feel more confident about any potential triggers that we could come across. We started to enjoy our relaxed (!) walks together opposed to my dog being frantic looking for things to sniff, stare or pounce at. We learned so much in this class and will continue to practice our skills and grow confidence and appropriate behavior. Thank you, Amy! Anya K.
I am very pleased with the value of my course Dealing with the Bogeyman. I felt like I was achieving something each training session. What a relief to finally have someone see what I see, and give me a unique training plan. Cheers Tracey M and Wallace
Bogeyman is the approach to helping fearful dogs that I have been searching for. It isn't just about managing your dog, Amy's methods enable your dog to get comfortable with their triggers and learn for themselves that it is no big deal, Stacey M.
I am amazed at how much I have learned in this class. I now know what my dog's comfortable with when interacting and playing with me, and I can better assess her stress level around things that scare her (and I don't need food to do this!). I am understanding my dog better and I am already seeing signs that the class has helped her be less worried around her triggers. Amy is nothing short of amazing -- her analyses of her student's videos, her responses to their questions, and her encouragement and support are beyond what you would expect for an online course -- she really wants her students to succeed (and they are doing just that!) I am definitely going to take this class again, thanks Amy!
I took Amy Cook's Bogeyman Course as a Bronze, and I learned so much from Amy's lectures and watching the other students. We definitely hope to return as a gold or silver. My dog Daisy and I have been working on her dog reactivity for 4 years. Using other protocols, we had made a lot of progress but had reached a plateau. The main takeaway I got from Bogeyman was my change in attitude toward my dog. I have tried to control/treat her "problem" for a long time. After this class, we have shifted to having fun (PLAY!) and accepting her emotions as just that -- her emotions. Instead of controlling her, we now use play as a check in to see if she is okay with the world at that moment. We find this MUCH more effective than trying to prevent an outburst. Just this morning, I made an error in judgement and instead of beating myself for the rest of the walk, I focused first on soothing Daisy and then bringing her energy back to light and fun with play, and it worked! In the past, the incident would have colored the rest of the walk -- if not my whole day. I found this class transformative for both myself and Daisy. I can't recommend it more highly. Linda F and Miss Daisy