From 0 to 60 in One Launch Day! My new bestseller.

Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out

If I sound a little dazed or in shock as I write this, it’s because I am.

Monday morning my non-fiction book Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training Crazy Dogs from Over-the-Top to Under Control released. I hadn’t really prepared much in the way of release; a number of people knew I was working on the project, I had mentioned it once, I think, to my KPACTP discussion list, but I hadn’t

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5 Comments

  1. Pingback: From 0 to 60 in One Launch Day! My new bestseller. - CIA's Agent Files

  2. I really enjoyed reading your book and will be posting a great review on Amazon (which is where I purchased the book from). After reading the book I was left with a few questions that I am hoping you can answer for me.

    1) Should I continue to teach him other things during the weeks/months we are doing targeting and mat work? For example, I am training “sit” and “stay” using a combination of luring, shaping, and positive reinforcement. Is it confusing for him to learn multiple things at once? I would break each specific task/command/activity into different training sessions, but I still don’t know if that is too much.

    2) My puppy gets extremely excited (and probably a bit nervous) around other dogs. Our local animal shelter has free training classes, which I initially wasn’t planning to attend because of his reactivity. However, the trainers there encouraged me to attend and allowed my puppy to go into his own private room to train. But, he still gets fairly worked up and often doesn’t listen to commands he normally listens to. The trainers seem to think it is a good idea to keep bringing him because he will “get used to it” over time. After reading your book I am not so sure… I am now thinking that I should slowly build up to going to the shelter using the techniques you describe in your book. Is this what you would recommend?

    3) My puppy already has a towel that he lays on in our living room; he automatically goes to the towel when he is out of his crate and he definitely sees it as his “spot” in the living room. I am tempted to use this towel for mat training, but I am concerned that the towel (a) looks like every other towel we have in the house and also looks like the one in his crate and so he may not be able to distinguish the “relax” towel from other towels he sees regularly and (b) although he is generally relaxed on the towel, he likely has lots of other associations tied to the towel as well. Would you recommend using a new mat that is distinctive from other things we use around the house? Or is it ok to use the towel he is familiar with?

    Thanks so much for your help! I am so excited to use your training techniques with my puppy!!!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! and thank you in advance for the review. (R+ for me!)

      Most of my behavior stuff happens over at http://www.CaninesInAction.com, so check that out as well, but in order of your questions:

      1) Absolutely continue to teach other things as well. Just work on one behavior per session (you can switch to another with a short break in between).

      2) I haven’t seen your dog, obviously, but I think you’re right, usually I’d build up to going. You don’t want him to think that wrapped about the axle is the “norm” for being in those places! Definitely work in your own room, if you have the choice, and at your own pace. Maybe your first visit is just a few minutes — go in, settle on the mat in the room, get fabulous treats, and then go home before it has a chance to go bad — perfect! (I’ve done that myself!)

      3) That’s great! It’s not wrong to use that towel, but if I really want the mat to be solid and reliable, I’d keep one that *only* means “chill and be calm.” Maybe a small blanket, so he can immediately tell the different texture but is still portable? Ultimately, the mat itself will be less important, and you can use any towel or mat, or none at all.

      Hope this was helpful! If you have more questions, please email me through my training site (www.CaninesInAction.com) or even check out the consults there. Happy training!

      • Thank you so much for your speedy reply and for your helpful tips. I will definitely check out your other site, which I was previously unaware of. I am so excited to put your training into action! I have a PhD in psychology and am very familiar with the types of learning you are using in your book, so your training technique makes so much sense to me. Thank you!

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