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Zen and the Art of Impulse Control

May 25

4:00 pm PT


Most people would agree that we’d like our dogs to have the ability to be zen; to chill out and relax when the situation calls for it. In addition, we’d like them to think before they act. Mindless reactivity can be difficult to live with and manage in our dogs.

In this presentation Dr. Deb Jones is going to discuss her views on zen and the concept of impulse control. She will talk about the common usage of such terms as well as her working definitions, and issues with the terminology and application.

She will talk about the advantages of teaching a dog to be zen and demonstrate specific exercises that can encourage thought before action. In particular, Deb will focus on both the art and the science of zen work. A clear understanding of the major underlying scientific principles will be very helpful to excellent application and execution of the techniques.

Deb will discuss the importance of designated markers, introduce her foundation “bowl” games, and demonstrate the place/drop/toss technique to build fluency. She will talk about developing control around food and toys, and also consider broader generalization issues and applications.

Presented By:

Deborah Jones, Ph.D.

Deborah Jones is a psychologist who has been training dogs for 25 years. Her academic background in behavioral & social psychology has provided a strong foundation for her understanding of learning and behavior. In addition, her experience with a wide variety of breeds in a wide variety of dog sports and activities has given her comprehensive hands-on experience. Deb has successfully shown her own Retrievers, Papillons, Shelties, and Border Collies in obedience, agility, and rally. She has also worked both in person and online with thousands of students with a wide variety of breeds, issues, and goals.

Over the years Deb has written 12 training books. In the late 90s, she wrote and helped to produce a series of videotapes for Canine Training Systems called Clicker Fun, and more recently a series of In Focus DVDs for Clean Run Productions. Her books include Clicker Fun, In Focus, The Focused Puppy, and the Dog Sport Skills series of 4 books co-written with Denise Fenzi. The first three books in the Dog Sports Skills series won the Maxwell Award, given by the Dog Writer’s Association of America, for best training book of the year. She recently published a book titled Cooperative Care: Seven Steps to Stress Free Husbandry. This book won a special award from Fear Free Pets for promoting fear free veterinary techniques. Her current project is the development of a Cooperative Care Certificate program in partnership with Fenzi Dog Sports Academy and the TEAM titling program.

Deb retired as an Associate Professor of Psychology after teaching a wide variety of psychology classes at Kent State University for 20 years. Since 2013 she has taught a variety of courses, webinars, and workshops online at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Her special interests include focus training (an approach she developed with Judy Keller in the early 2000s), zen impulse control training, and cooperative care for husbandry work.