I have no idea how I came across Silvia Jay and her training methods, but they are beautiful...very much in line with Suzanne Clothier. Check out her website when you have time http://www.voice4dogs.com/.
There are a couple quotes that I would like to share with all of you that I found on her website...simply beautiful.
The First Quote:
"Don't ignore your dog when you are out together. Connection within a group is mutual. Attention reciprocal. Practice to stay connected to your dog while you walk. Changing directions often teaches your dog that he has to stay attentive if he wants to know where you are going.
Be fun and reward offered attention and voluntary spatial closeness. Not by shoving a food treat in your dog's mouth, but by playing a game, for example a short chase in which the dog chases you, or throw the ball once, or have her target a stick, or jump a creek. If you use food, throw the treat out for your dog to find. Make your dog walk together an experience and you don't need a rope, or choker. " ~ Silvia Jay
The Second Quote:
"Don’t compete with the environment; exploit it.
Free learning should be applied in conjunction with structured learning, because a dog also has to learn to follow cues and commands. And it takes skill to decide when it is safe for the dog to make the decision. But done right, the relationship and learning benefits are incredible. If dogs are allowed to free learn, to problem solve, the cerebral cortex is trained; cerebral pathways are build.
Dogs have a thinking brain, like humans. Not to the same degree, but more convoluted than a cat’s. The more cerebral the dog, the easier it is for her to remain in her thinking brain, the more responsive and owner connected she is when there is a conflict, the less emotional, reactive she is; and if charged up, she can be easier redirected.
Free learning and patience are part of mindful leadership. Waiting for 20 or 30 seconds to give your dog the opportunity to respond correctly to a request is patience, and also strengthens the cerebral cortex." ~ Silvia Jay