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Welcome To Glacier Dog Training!

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

So...who and what is Glacier Dog Training???

My name is Erin Kelly and I have been involved in dog sports for most of my life! I have competed and titled in obedience, agility, rally, nosework, barnhunt, trailing and locating and trick dog. Although training and competing are fun, my favorite dog activities with my dogs are hiking and kayaking!

Most people think that dog training is obedience and skills, but I have learned that teaching a dog to learn, and then teaching them that learning is fun, is far more important and that this is actually the best starting place for all dogs AND people!

Here is my training pyramid for all dog sports: MOTIVATION.....then CONFIDENCE....then SKILLS...and finally ENDURANCE. If you start trying to teach a dog skills, but the dog has no drive or confidence due to fear or confusion, whatever skills they learn will not be retained, enjoyed or polished. (I.e. have you ever tried to learn a new skill when you were afraid or confused??? Think public speaking!!) The dog eventually associates training with those yucky feelings of fear and confusion and starts to dread training or working with his handler. (I.e. think of that class or teacher that you hated as a kid!)

However, if you teach the dog to learn first, and the dog only experiences positive experiences and fun while learning, then you have built a solid foundation for ALL dog sports, for the life of the dog! Also, you are improving your relationship with your dog and their trust in you!

So...where does obedience come into the picture??? Once dogs know how to learn, and they want to work with their handlers, it is so easy to encourage the right behaviors and stop the wrong behaviors, no matter what the problem is! This is the reason I encourage ALL dog owners to start with trick classes. Tricks teach the dogs (and people) to learn without any pressure, while having fun!

Dogs are the best and most loyal friends we will ever have and to have a relationship with a dog is something that should be cherished. My goal is to help my students have the absolute best relationship that they can have with their dogs, regardless of the sport or activity that they choose!

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