Organising your Private Junior sessions

As part of the Junior School – Plus you are entitled to some private coaching to help you with any issues you may be having working through some of the exercises with your puppy.

This takes the form of either:

Three 30-minute online coaching sessions


One 60-minute face to face coaching session held outdoors at the CANINE Pawsibilities training ground near Huntly, Scotland * (subject to Covid 19 restrictions)

To organise your private sessions please e-mail Agnès directly at, please provide information if you have specific restriction when the session can not be held.

Please note that the the private sessions must be held within 12 weeks from enrollment. If you are opting for the 3 online sessions I advise that you spread these 3 sessions regularly over the 12 weeks

Venue for the Junior School – Live

We currently use a number of different venues for our Junior School – Live classes.

Outdoor Venue – Inverurie

For the Junior School – Live classes that are being held outdoors we use a securely fenced field just outside Inverurie. The Post Code to the field is AB51 5JJ. If you enable the Satellite layer on the map below, it is the rectangular field to the rear of the two cottages in the centre of the map.


  • From the Blackhall roundabout on the A96 at Inverurie take the exit on to Blackhall Road signposted Burnhervie & Highclere Business park
  • Follow Blackhall Road for 300m to the next roundabout. Take the second exit continuing straight on for 350m until arriving at another small roundabout. Again, take the second exit and head straight on.
  • After 600m you will come to a junction located at the apex of a sharp left-hand bend in the road. Take the single-track road signposted to East Aquorthies Stone Circle
  • Follow this road for approximately 200m past the cottages on your right. The entrance is on your right-hand side.
  • Turn in to the property using the driveway between the two cottages and the neighbouring house and head to the parking area by the farm building to the rear of the field. Please use the button below to open a Google Street View of the area.

Indoor Venue – Pitcaple

The Puppy School – Live Classes that are to be held indoors will be at Logie Durno Village Hall. This is located just off the A96 approximately 5 miles North West of Inverurie. The Post Code for the hall is AB51 5EB


  • From the Blackhall roundabout at Inverurie take the A96 North.
  • After Approximately 5 miles take the left hand turn signposted “Whiteford 1/2” and “Durno 1 1/2”
  • Follow this road until you arrive at Logie Durno School
  • Take the left turn next to the school.
  • Logie Durno Hall is approximately 500 metres on your right.

A final thought before we begin

The two of the most fundamental things you will need to when teaching your dog tricks are not tangible objects, but without them you will not succeed or enjoy the training experience. These are ‘Motivation’ and ‘Patience’. Each dog has a different character, some dogs will understand what you are trying to teach them very quickly, for others, it will seem like they just do not understand the plot. Stay motivated and be patient, the rewards are worth the effort.

When working through the topics in this course it is important to remember that just because we may have been able to demonstrate several steps in a short video does not mean it will only take a few minutes to teach the Trick. To show you the key aspects to training a trick there may have been many hours training that have been distilled down to a few minutes. Please do not get disheartened if you find it takes a long time to work through some of the tricks with your own dog.

How to reward

How and when should you be rewarding your dog?

  • The click or/and the Yes command marker should happen right at the time your dog is performing the correct/desired behaviour or is making the correct choice.
  • To start with, the reward should arrive very quickly after the click. It does not have to be exactly at the same time as the marker, there can be a second or two of delay. With time, a longer delay can be used between the marker and reward.
  • To give value to a behaviour/object/position/zone always give the reward in the area/object/ zone or position you would like to reinforce. For example, reward a sit behaviour whilst the dog is sitting, do not reward it once it has stood up again.

Joining the Facebook support group

It is now time for you to join the Facebook CANINE Pawsibilities Tricks for Treats School community

Joining the CANINE Pawsibilities Tricks for Treats School Facebook Support Group

  • Follow this link, it will take you to the Facebook support group page:
    Tricks for Treats
  • Send a request to join the group; you will be asked about the email address you have used to register to the class.
  • You will be also asked for the group password when sending the request which is: CPT4TS (please do not send your login password!)
  • Before being able to access the group, you will have to wait until we have accepted your request. This is not an automated process so please be patient as it may take a day or so for us to do this.

Et voila, that was easy! You now have joined our community and I am looking forward to meeting you within the Facebook support group.

Advice for posting videos and asking questions

If you post a video or a question that requests my special attention please add the tag #FEEDBACK so I can easily identify these posts.

Please keep any videos that you post to under 3 minutes in length and add the week you are currently working on in the description.

Reminder: Wait

Sometimes our dogs can be anxious to be away from us, their owner, so be patient and understanding with them.

“Stay” or “Wait” is much easier to teach when your dog sees their mat or raised bed as a good place to be. This is because the mat has become a comfort area, so your puppy will be less inclined to leave the mat to come to you.

These are the first steps to teach a reliable wait (or stay):

  1. Ideally ask your puppy to go to his mat
  2. Whilst your puppy is on it mat, take a step away from the mat and then quickly return
  3. Click and reward. At this stage, reward the puppy directly on the mat.
  4. With time try to take two steps away before returning. Always ensure that your movements are fast enough so your puppy does not have a chance to think about moving from the mat.
  5. When your puppy starts to understand to stay in position whilst you are moving away, introduce the word “stay” or “wait” whilst leaving your puppy.
  6. Do not forget to release your puppy with your chosen release word.

Tips and tricks:

We are not trying to test our puppies by making the game difficult, so they fail and break their wait. We are teaching them that it is OK if you move away from them and that you will come back with the reward.

 We are not recalling the puppy at this stage; the reward area needs to be where the puppy is sitting to reinforce the “wait”. If you start to recall too early in the process your puppy will start to anticipate this and will be more likely to break his stay.

 If your puppy is not paying attention to you whilst waiting, do not call your puppy by their name to get them to focus. This is a common mistake resulting in the puppy breaking its wait and running to its owner. The important point is that your puppy stays on the mat or raised bed.

If your puppy already has a good wait, try increasing the distance by moving further away or change the environment you are doing the exercise in, try outside.

Be patient, build the wait over with time. Make sure your dog is engaged with you before asking for the wait, or it is likely that they will default back to their preferred position. Engaging with you is not just about calling their name (which might actually encourage them to break the wait) it is about playing games to help them focus such as the say hello or giving a paw. Use any game, or tricks that your dog finds fun and easy. It is likely that your dog has a preferred position, and it will want to default to it when waiting, so change the difficulty of the exercise. For their preferred position you might be able to go further away from your dog or make him wait longer.

Final Words

Just a final quick word to thank you for your trust with your junior dog. I hope you enjoyed the class as much as I did. I have provided a lot of information in this school, remember to keep following up on what you learnt, build a strong relationship with your dog(s) and make your training fun! This is the most important advice I can give you. Too many people get frustrated when their dog does not understand what they want it to do. Remember, you are going through a lifelong journey with your dog and there will be learning components all the way!

If you really enjoyed the school and have a few minutes to spare, I would really appreciate if you could leave a recommendation on the CANINE Pawsibilities page under the REVIEW section. What people say and think can make a lot of difference to dog’s and puppies’ owners who are searching for a trainer:

If you could please provide us with a photograph of your dog so that we are able send you a personalised certificate of accomplishment for completing this course that includes a photograph of your dog.

What Next?

If you would like to continue the learning journey with your dog we have a number of other courses which you may well be interested in:


The Nose Works – Tracking

Teach your dog to follow its Nose with this comprehensive 8 week online training programme and Facebook support group.


The Tricks for Treats – Beginners School

Unleash the Genius in your dog! Start building your repertoire of foundation Tricks, using this 12-Week online training programme

Location Specific Reward Markers

Location Specific Reward Markers are an advanced topic, and you will need lot of practice if you wish to use them. They can be very beneficial with sports dogs as well as with dogs who tend to anticipate after a Yes or a “click” where the reward will come from.

Reward markers tend to indicate to a dog that the behaviour they have achieved was correct and that they are going to receive a reward. It is really like including a verbal cue in the marker. You can even be more specific with your reward marker and add a Jackpot marker.

Whilst teaching a new behaviour or when increasing the difficulty of a behaviour, I have two different markers that I use so that my dog can differentiate between the step-by-step learning process and the Jackpot when my dog has just made a very good choice or finally got the exercise right.

For example, I will use:

  • A low tone Yes or a click with one piece of food for a dog learning the say hello command for each time that it tries to touch my hand.
  • A “WAOOO” in a higher pitch tone and multiple treats if, in the same session, I manage to move further away and my dog recalls to a “say hello” with no hesitation; This is a Jackpot. The jackpot marker should be like a celebration for you and your dog.

In most cases these types of markers give no specific indication to where the reward is going to be presented from. This can build anticipation or even frustration in your dog

The Location Specific Reward Markers are used just for that; they provide information to your dog on where it should expect the rewards to be presented from. If you want to make it even more specific, you can also discriminate between food and toy rewards by having different verbal cues for each, but it becomes very difficult to keep consistent.

Location specific rewards markers can really help in your training. How do we teach a Location Specific Reward Marker?

Well just as with the Yes marker, say the Location Specific Reward Marker whilst you are clicking:

  • Be clear and consistent: write down the LSRM you want to use and the location where the reward should be, learn them so they become second nature for you and use them consistently with your dog until he understands.
  • Start with some games that your dog is good at so both of you can concentrate on the neuroplasticity of using the LSRM rather than the game, because it is more difficult than you think!
  • When your dog achieves the behaviour your asked for, click and add the new LSRM cue at the same time, you can potentially use the verbal cue without the click, but you will need to be very consistent
  • The LSRM is an indicator of where the reward is going to be positioned, for example in your hand, in a pot, in front of your dog, behind them
  • To start with your dog might orientate itself towards the wrong place to get the reward, that’s normal, you still need to reward him, just orientate them towards the right location.  This is where people tend to go wrong the LSRM is a REWARD marker, not a command. Reward your dog, even if they move towards the wrong location.

Think of your training strategy and start with the markers you feel may to be the more useful for you. I suggest starting with no more than 2 or 3, 3 is already a lot! 

I have suggested below multiple options for some potential LSRM, so you can choose the word you prefer.

  • YES or CLICK: none specific
  • GET / GET IT / CATCH / SNAP: catch the reward that I am going to throw at you
  • CHASE / FIND IT / TREAT: Chase the piece of reward that I am going to throw on the floor
  • POT / DISH / CUP / PLATE/TAKE: pick up the reward from within the specific object
  • MARK / NICE / CALM / HOLD: hold the position and I will come to you to reward you whilst you remain in the position (I would not use a click or yes for this marker as the dog needs to be calm) – This would be a reward for calm behaviour such as relax or chin on your hand

There is a good podcast discussing LSRW for agility handlers that you might be interested to listen to:


Have you ever noticed that your dog is good at some games at home but will not play them when you are outdoors at the park for example?

If so, you are witnessing a common problem. As a trainer I often hear owners report something like “but my dog can do it at home”. The issue is that when learning a change of environment can have a huge impact on your dog’s behaviour.

When I train dogs, I work under what I call the D.U.D.E principle: Desire / Understanding / Duration and Accuracy / Environment

  1. To train a dog you first need to develop the dog’s desire to learn:  without this desire you will struggle to train a dog. It is the desire to please you, to work with you (Note that Work = Play and Play = Work), that will make your dog engage with you.
  2. When the desire is created, you need to develop the understanding of the game, with practice and training. Only raise the criteria for providing the reward with the increased understanding of the game.
  3. When your dog has understood the game, you can then develop Duration and Accuracy. For example, for loose lead walking I first develop the desire to work and focus on me. Then, before rewarding, I gradually increase the duration of the position as well as the accuracy in the position.
  4. Finally, you must transfer the game to various environments. Dogs do not generalise behaviours as humans do, so if you teach them a behaviour in one specific environment, it may take them time to generalise this behaviour to another environment. This means that when a dog starts to understand a behaviour you will need to work this behaviour in multiple environments to strengthen the understanding. Do not be frustrated, it is all part of training your dog.

For certain exercises Speed may be also required, but Speed of execution can usually only happen when the dog has understood the exercise and can perform the task with a certain amount of accuracy.

Contrafreeloading, Free toy and Play at Home

I just would like to remind you the principle of contra freeloading that I already introduced you to during the puppy school.

The concept highlights that most living beings prefer food that requires effort to obtain as opposed to food that is given to them for free. It is an important concept that should change the way you are interacting and feeding your dog. It will help you build a stronger relationship and increase your dog’s focus on you. Do not hesitate to take some food away from your dog’s food bowl and use this food as rewards when playing games your dog instead. Your dog’s training, your relationship with your dog and your dog’s mental wellbeing will all benefit.

In the same line of thought, I usually do not leave free toys lying around at home for my dogs. I use toys as a way of instigating interaction and getting my dogs to play with me. I use toys to bring value to our relationship.  If you leave too many toys around the house, your young dog will be much less incentivised to play with you and the toys by themselves will also lose their value.

My final piece of advice, if you have multiple dogs make sure that you spend time training your young dog on his own. I have seen too many cases where the young dog in a household has been bonded more with the older dogs than the owners. This creates problems in the future, with recalls for example. Make sure that with the use of toys, games and food that you are becoming the centre of attention for your young dog.