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