All posts by 3badbullies

Jaxxy Doing Work.

This video has two purposes. Well, 3.

One is celebrating my little idiot. God dammit I love that dog.

Two, is showing progress to anyone following his little story.

And, last, but not least….. Showing training doesn’t have to feel like this piece of shit chore. There was only about a third more of these activities that weren’t on film. This really is indicative of the amount of time I “worked” him.

Embed the training throughout the day. Train through game play.

Make it fun for YOU. And then you may do it.

Anyway….. Here’s Jaxxy doing some work. Enjoy:

Conditioned Relaxation Is NOT Massage.

OK……. Conditioned Relaxation is one of those hot topics going around. And, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 6 months…… you’ve seen it. Or, at least heard it described. The typical view of CR goes like this:

“CR is using massage to get a dog relaxed.”

Massaging a dog until they relax IS NOT putting relaxation on cue!

I mean….. Yes……. you do need to use massage to get the dog relaxed. But that shouldn’t be the way it stays forever.

Look at Sit. I can push the butt to the floor to “create” sit. But if someone says “Did you teach your dog to sit?”, you wouldn’t say “Sure, watch.”, then push their butt down.

If you’re still pushing their butt down…… That dog don’t know sit!

There in lies the rub (pun).

People see the massage wrong.

The first mistake people make in CR with “touch” is they pet, scratch, or stroke the dog. And that might be “relaxing”…… But not on a Therapeutic level. If I went to a massage therapist and they gently stroked my hair…… Not what I need.

Then, once people realize the therapeutic benefit of touch, they begin to go to “work” on their dogs.


Then comes the second mistake.

Since it works, they keep using it.

Like people that say “My dog knows sit”, but they have to have food in hand!

You can get your dog relaxed but you’re still relying on the inducting method.

You’re still pushing on the butt, or grabbing a cookie for sit!

Like all solid obedience commands….. You want to wean of needing to induce, or coerce!

Have had a number of conversations over the past couple of weeks that has made me realize that people don’t “get” the idea that it’s an “obedience command”.

Some examples:

Woman dreads the toll booth, cause her dog blows up.

I, after suggesting crating the dog till they’re past the issue, said “Cool, work his CR until you can use it a the Toll Booth”.

She asked, “How am I supposed to massage him from the drivers seat at the toll booth?”.

Last night, I was doing a little clinic for a local rescue. Several of the volunteers were clients. And I was talking about dealing with difficult dogs. CR came up. I got a gut feeling the above example wasn’t a lone misunderstanding. And, I said…. “You guys know that CR isn’t just massaging your dog till they relax”.

And, holy shit……. almost every single one of the people that I HAD TAUGHT were shocked. Like…. kinda upset.

Like…… “What the fuck do yo mean it ain’t massage?!?!??!”

Now I know break things down well. And, I know that I am very careful in my teaching to avoid misguided learning. And, if my own clients, I taught myself, are confused about that…….

There’s no way folks out on the interwebs trying to self teach aren’t fucking that up.

And there’s no way the skeptic “CR is bullshit” crowd isn’t using that as reasons to dismiss.

Hell, that WOULD be bullshit.

You can’t give your dog a 10 minute deep tissue massage every time you drive through the toll booth!

But…. you have to induce it to “capture” it.

Food goes up- butt goes down. Once that’s reliable you name it sit. Once they “know” it….. you fade off the food.

CR is the same…. Massage to induce relaxation. Name it. Fade off massage.

Both are oversimplified….. there is more to food luring & CR but, you get the point.

Anyway, if you’re still reliant on food lures, leash pressure, or butt pushing…… Your Sit isn’t “finished”.

If you’re still breaking out the massage table for a long session…… Your CR isn’t finished.

Yeah…. It’s kinda the defining feature.

But it’s not the “END”.

For more info on CR:

Go directly to the source. Kayce Cover!

Chad Mackin covers CR in his Dogmanship Workshop.

And I do it in several of my workshops as well!

Non Verbal Training

So…… I’ve been going on and on about Kayce Cover’s methods. And, if you;ve been following along then you know that involves a lot of talking. Like a TON of it. In fact…. in all of her method it’s the part that catches the most objections. I even wrote an article trying to explain how I think it might work.


I also believe that there’s value in training with the old school “Koehler Duct Tape” over ones mouth. I’ve realized the impprtance of body language fluency for a long time. But, lately it’s REALLY been bubbling up to the front of my brain.

I have been a Koehler Long Line Foundation fan for a long time. And, that involves a bit of “shuttin up” to have the desired effect.

Score 1 for non verbal.

Then….. although a huge fan of Kayce’s Conditioned Relaxation, I have run into some resistance on some more gamey combative dogs. One of her long time students. and most vocal advocates, Mark McCabe reminded me of an old protocol I had gotten away from, once I found Kayce’s more “direct” method. This method sometimes called “Sit On The Dog” (the worlds stupidest name) essentially, is sitting with your dog and teahing them to be calm and still when you’re calm and still. Although I don’t stay with it forever, and want to get to the more direct, communicative, active conditioned relaxation that Kayce teaches…… It turns out to be a good, simple first step.

Score 2 for non verbal.

Then……. On the way to teach a Tug Seminar last week, I was deep in dog training thought. I was watching an Ellis DVD that I have watched a 1,000 times. And, I heard him say that “If we were really taking our time, we would do a non verbal out UNTIL they’re fluent THEN name it. Just like we do positions with food” (paraphrase)

That struck something.

I have made my little contribution to the dog training world by suggesting that instead of fading the “dead toy” signal off the verbal command for out, that we just “separate” them. Keep a verbal only out, of course…… But, also keep a non verbal, body language out. This is a lifestyle training thing. I like to help the dog remember that a sudden stillness from a being is them asking for the cessation of activity. That makes a dog much more fluent in interactions with other beings!

But, I always split them AFTER teaching the out with both a verbal AND dead toy.  Ive always said if your game was good, you don’t need words.

As I was teahing that workshop I kept hearing myself say “The words don’t matter till you teach them”, and “Body language drives the game, till they learn the words”. And, as always….. Spent a LOT of time trying to get people to match their words to their actions.

Then, it hit me…..

Teach it non verbally FIRST.

Then, all the person has to do is focus on the movement. And not get distracted with a bunch of other stuff. Get your game clean….. THEN…. name everything.

Score 3 for non verbal.

I always felt like when I meet a dog, i just want to hang out. Observe. Not ask them for a ton. Just let them be. And be “with”.

Everyone has heard the old “No touch. No talk. No eye contact” rule. But a lot of other trainers are stating to suggest things along the same line. Cesar Milan. Suzanne Clothier. Nelson Hodges. Margot Woods. Bill Koehler. Mark McCabe. All different trainers from different backgrounds, suggesting a non verbal approach.

But….. How does that gel with the other big influences in my world view that are leaning towards MORE cognition? MORE language?

I think I have reconciled it in my head.

I’m not ready to commit to it as being “My official protocol” or whatever. But…… It’s really starting to gel in my mind that way.

First- Be with your dog. Learn how your body language and behavior effects them. Become observant. Learn to speak THEIR language. (I have been experimenting with this and getting HUGE results!)

Then- Teach them your language. Teach them the words that name and explain the interactions you are already fluently having.

After you are BOTH fluent in each others language…… Then, you can get to a level of communication that will seem unreal.

Whether that’s using so many words people think there’s no way it’s possible.


In complete silence!

Experiment for yourself.

I still am.

It Rubs The Lotion On It’s Skin…..

Jay Jack’s recipe for making a basement toy. :

(Strap in…. shit’s gonna get uncomfortable)

First…. Find a random person. Pick one that you like. You’re gonna be spending a bit of time on this project.


Break it down. Take away access to ALL resources. Control if and  when they move. When they go to the bathroom. EVERYTHING!

You become the ONLY source of ANY comfort.

Anything good ONLY comes from you.

For the really tough ones…..

Stop feeding them.

You can put them in complete isolation. Even “Black Box” containment unit.

You make them perform totally arbitrary tasks with super harsh punishment for mistakes.

This is all done IMPERSONALLY. It’s really important that you not get personal.

That’s the trick to making them really “love” you.

That’s the magic of Stockholm Syndrome.


See….. When you just hold someone hostage and are mean to them. without giving them an “ally”…. They hate you.

But….. If you play it right, they come out the other end LOVING you.


There’s cases of hostages that have been allowed to roam in the outside world. But they return to their captors.

So, to pull that off, you have to make it feel like YOU are the one RESCUING them from this predicament they “happened” to find themselves in.

You want to help them (if they would only just help you do that and cooperate).

You don’t want to have to keep punishing them.

YOU are their way OUT of the lock-down.

The “Moving Center Of Their Universe”.

So….. What the fuck does this have to do with dog training?


If you take the word people/person and replace it with dog, you have a lot of folks idea of dog training. I’m not exaggerating.

Yep….. Almost everything on that list is a verbatim recommendation of how to handle training your dog.

And, what’s worse is, they will say they’re all about the relationship.

And, sure…… On the surface, they “appear” the same.

A real relationship, and a capture bonded relationship will both display “love”. They both “choose” to be there. And want to make the other person happy.

But, if you can’t tell that they are fundamentally vastly different…..

Then I’d hate to be your significant other.

Sure, it’s harder. Yes, it takes more work.

I can turn you out in my basement and “make” you love me in a month or two.

But to develop a true relationship and actually earn your love. That may take a lot longer.

Saw something today where people were recommending this “capture bonding” as a dog training idea, and was just too irritated not to write something. So there it is.

For fucks sake. Take the dog out of the “hole” and develop a real relationship.

Or……If you still think that’s the way to go…..

Maybe, come over to my place and let me show you my lovely collection of lotions, I could use a new “friend”.

Rant Over.

Selective Attention & Behavior Modification

Watch This…. Then we’ll talk:

Ok….. So……. What does that have to do with Dog Training?

Well, there’s a lot of attention on Kayce Cover’s method lately. And with good reason…… It’s pretty damn effective.

But….. (and I love you Kayce) the amount and style of communication just flat puts people off.

It put me off. I was right away fully into a lot of her method. But, man, that naming everything……. And the staccato style of intermediate bridging she does…… I just couldn’t do it.

Then, I worked with her and her instructors in person. And, it totally worked. I don’t care who you are….. You can’t say that shit doesn’t work. I SAW it. And, believe me…. I was trying not to. I really didn’t want to change my position on it (aka start doing something new).

So…. now I know for sure it DOES work. But…. WHY?

I felt I needed to figure that out.

The obvious argument against it, is that the dogs don’t know what the hell you’re saying. And….. To a point…… I think they may be right.

Look, I think dogs do understand WAY more than the joke in that video. Clearly. I think they can learn a ton of words. And easily make Binary choices. Hell, I’m seeing dogs now giving cognitive feedback now that blows my mind.


I don’t think they fully understand entire soliloquies.

I think sort of like in that Frazier video, they “get” portions of what we are saying. But, I think they know we are trying to get something across to them.

And THAT brings me back to the basketball video.

Us giving a stream of feedback that they partially understand but know is supposed to be more meaningful, gives them a task to focus on. Figuring out what we are trying to say!

You know how people give “Incompatible Behaviors”? You know, if a dog’s sitting they aren’t jumping on you sort of thing.

Well, I think this may be a sort of “Incompatible Thoughts“. As in, if the dog focuses on trying to understand me, they may miss their own gorilla!

I don’t really know. I just process thoughts like this.

Hell, maybe it’s just totally distracting white noise?

But it sure didn’t feel like it. Felt like more. But how much?

I’m not ready to say they got the full English version.

But, I think I am ready to say it’s inducing “Selective Attention”.

Feels right.

We’ll see.

But, don’t take my word for it. Hell, don’t take anyone’s word for anything! Go test.

And learn some shit!!!!!!

(if you haven’t been exposed to Kayce yet, you owe it to yourself to investigate. It’s paradigm challenging for sure, but worth looking into!!! )



Mackin/Muto Seminar

After 5 days of Kayce Cover. And, 3 days of Chad Mackin, and Tyler Muto….. Not to mention 20 hours of driving…… My brain is fried.

I feel like that scene in The Matrix where all the info gets downloaded into their brains directly, and they worry about it killing them!

Actually, that makes it sound bad. And it’s not. Not at all. I LOVE learning. But…. My brain is FULL. Gonna take me a week or so to “process” this info. But, it’s already starting to seep into my work. So, expect some interesting adjustments to the training/concepts.

Keep your eyes peeled!



Heading To Boulder CO!

Gonna be in Boulder CO the weekend of Dec 6th to teach a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu seminar. If anyone in reasonable driving distance wants to do a workshop on Thurs the 4th, or Mon the 8th I’d be willing to squeeze it in. Or work some privates in around my BJJ itinerary. No sense in wasting travel on just teaching one of my passions! Gonna start letting you guys know when I’m on the road for BJJ in case anyone wants to work dogs! (totally selfish. Can’t go a whole weekend without dogs) Also, if you dog folk in the area ever wanted to try BJJ, now’s your chance! Everyone should mix these two passions!