I can't say enough about how awesome this class is!!! Cindy Knowlton takes the theories from Suzanne's Relationship Centered Training and puts them into real life class exercises using her own twist, the puzzles. It is amazing how much those simple puzzles motivate the dog to connect with their person.
Whether your issue is pulling on the leash, darting out the door, disconnecting from the handler around distractions, or any number of other difficulties, Cindy uses positive methods to help your dog realize that teamwork and getting permission to do something feels better than doing "your own thing".
If you are familiar with Suzanne Clothier's "Think & Learn Zone" concept, Cindy's use of puzzles in training is an excellent way to both keep your dog in thinking mode (they must think to solve one of 4 different puzzles in order to get their treat reward) as well as a way to gauge exactly how close they are to being too "amped" to think. You can visibly see them easily open the puzzle once and then if they get too excited you can see them struggle to open that same puzzle. The dog learns to self calm so that they can get their reward from the puzzle.
I have an easily excitable 2 year old Border Collie and this class has done wonders for him. We have taken both the level 1 and level 2 class, and are working on talking Cindy into creating a level 3 class .
- Leanne & Ketch
This is a fantastic class. I am so fortunate to live close enough to train with Cindy Knowlton. I adopted a rescue dog and one month later, before he barely knew his new name and no obedience, we were in the Connection, Cooperation & Control class. We have now learned to relate to each other and communicate with words, movement, and respect. Pedro now has a sit, down, stay and we learned it together by making the right decisions before charging forward. Play and connect with your dog. it's a lot of fun!!
- Lori & Pedro
My young Sheltie and I have just completed our second Connection, Cooperation & Control class with Cindy. At first I thought that it was a lot of fun to teach my dog how to open the puzzle boxes but I soon came to realize the depth of what we were learning. My dog is very reactive to almost everything, and it has been very difficult for me to deal with. I am now able to have my dog stay connected with me (i.e., make eye contact) before we encounter something that elevates her arousal level. When we do encounter a moving car or other dogs, I can continue to ask her to stay connected with me and have her stay connected instead of reacting to the car or dogs. This class has made me a much more relaxed and therefore better dog mom. Cindy is a wonderful, very knowledgeable instructor. She likes all dogs and their owners and is very generous with her help and support. It is very moving to see how much progress students make by the end of the class with Cindy’s guidance.
- Margaret & Caris
I too am lucky enough to be taking this class and I heartily echo what has been said. What I'm seeing with my soft worried boy is a growth in confidence, an excitement and joy that lifts his skills as it lifts his spirits.
- Nan & Gordon
Highly recommend. Cindy's innovative approach in Connection, Cooperation & Control has done wonders. There are no words to express how grateful I am.
- Gail & Lily
When I registered for Cindy’s Connection & Cooperation class I expected that my dog Juliette would learn a lot, but what I didn’t expect was how much I’d learn about myself and my relationship with her. The class really helped me see myself (and our training) through my dog’s eyes.
- Kristina & Juliette
Enthusiastically echoing others' comments and experiences above. In the first class, my excitable youngster started learning to work the puzzles with her brain rather than by force. Throughout the later classes, we tested and practiced and refined our "real life" work enhanced by the puzzle boxes. Indeed - the best feature of the courses is that dogs learn that all the best things in life happen when they are settled and comfy in their skin. And the human learns that no matter how headstrong, distracted, over-threshold, and downright difficult her dog is - that same dog can become a willing partner who actually SEEKS to connect with the human. Best of all - we both had A BLAST getting to that Doggie Nirvana. Silver and I give this class and Cindy infinite paws up!!
- Deb & Silver
CCC improves relationship and quality of life in so many ways. Reznor's owner shares how CCC changed things for him at the veterinarian's office:
Before CCC: Reznor would walk into the office waiting room in a panic and anxiety, rapid breathing, frantically looking around, pacing, walking in circles, unable to maintain a sit or down even with his favorite treats. Any odd sound, coming from the office would trigger him into an even larger panic, him trying to pull me on the leash to get to the door. If another owner and their pet walked in he would be more interested in that situation then me. Pulling on the leash trying to investigate them. When I was able to get a sit, he would try to get behind me, almost hiding himself away. But then again that never lasted more then a min or so if that more like seconds. The same would happen when we entered the actual exam room: pacing around the door to get out. Not able to maintain a sit or down, with panic, anxiety and whimpering.
After CCC: From the moment we walk in Reznor is looking to me for guidance. We are able to walk in, walk next to other people/pets, without him really caring too much of his surroundings, a few glances to check out the area is all he needs now. We find a spot in the waiting room and he goes right into Really Real Relaxation without me even having to tell him! He is able to maintain this with all the background noise, people walking in and even people/pets walking past us. The best thing is he is making these choices himself from the very start. The wait can last almost up to 10-20 min in the waiting room, but after a few minutes he’s relaxing is head on the ground, calm breath, even closing his eyes a few times. He’s has even made the choice to lay on his side a few times, him asking for a belly rub. In the exam room he’s actually fallen asleep, regardless of what noises are going on in the background or people walking past the door. He is also able to maintain this once the tech or doctor walks in, as we discuss the situation and why we are there, where before he would try to hide behind me or try to get out the room pulling at the end of the leash.
It’s nice to have a dog that’s not in panic mode anymore, one who feels safe and knows what choices he needs to make or looks to me for that guidance.
It’s awesome to have this connection where he’s more interested in what we are doing together other than the surroundings or trying to run out the office.
It’s also helped my levels of anxiety when taking him there. We are both relaxed and just enjoying each other’s company the best we can.
- Lorene & Reznor
How has CCC helped you and your dog?
We'd love to hear from you . . .