Since 2007, when Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog was first published, the science—and the art—of Control Unleashed® has been guiding handlers all over the world as they help their “dogs with issues” learn how to relax, focus, and work off-leash reliably in stimulating or stressful situations. In her third book, Control Unleashed: Reactive to Relaxed, Leslie McDevitt discusses her exciting new additions to the Control Unleashed® training program, as well as new perspectives and revisions of the foundation behaviors and core games. The new concepts and techniques will support you in teaching your dog life skills and coping skills so that he is comfortable in the world, building relationships, empowering your dog, and creating a two-way system of communication between you and your dog.
Rather than being bound to a world where people are taught to think of training as nothing more than cue-and-response, the Control Unleashed® program boldly takes us even further into the realm of conversational training—a style of interaction where both the handler and dog can cue each other to perform a behavior and give feedback, and where the dog takes the driver’s seat and directs his counterconditioning process. Letting the dog make choices and actively participate not only gives the dog control over his own learning, but it also establishes trust and fosters a spirit of communication. And, it makes humans more humane.
This book will show you how to ask your dog yes/no questions rather than give commands; for example, you will ask the dog if the conditions he is in will help or hinder his ability to learn the most functional way to behave for that circumstance. If the answer is no, your dog is not wrong about anything; he is just giving you feedback, so you know if he is in the right learning situation. His answer helps you adjust your training plan or change the environment until you get a different answer. The flow of feedback is continual.
Voluntary behaviors have always played a role in Control Unleashed® games, and now more than ever Leslie is focused on giving dogs a “voice” through their behavior; a voice that handlers can easily recognize and respond to. In all Control Unleashed® training, your dog gets to make choices and actively participate. Not only does this give the dog control over his own learning, but it also establishes trust and fosters a spirit of communication.