Teaching Engagement Skills

Engagement is the Foundation for ALL OBEDIENCE TRAINING

Skill Level: Beginner

Length: 2 Modules

Access Period: Unlimited

Price: $45.00

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Once you enroll, you'll be able to get access to the following:

  • 101 Videos - These videos include lectures from Forrest Micke, detailed training demonstrations, various examples of engagement featuring trainers just like you, and more.

  • Student Discussions - Talk to your peers on the forums about the course content and anything else related to dog training.

  • Course Tests - Ensure your knowledge of the course content with our tests. After you pass, you'll receive a Course Certificate which will be sent to you via mail.

When a dog is engaged with its handler it desires to be with the handler, and understands and looks forward to who the handler is and what he or she has to offer. The dog is an eager student who pushes the educational process and feels empowered to make things happen within the training. The picture of an engaged dog is a happy dog that is willing to do what the handler asks because it's learned to trust and crave interaction with the him or her through the use of various high value rewards, interactive play, proper management, and clear communication and expectations.

In this course Forrest will teach you how to promote engagement, how to maintain engagement, and how to make engagement work for you as you move forward in your training relationship with your dog.

Packed with rich information, this class will prepare students with both the why's and how's of making and maintaining engagement as a central attitude, mental state, and defining feature of any and every training program.


Module 1

The first module of this course exposes students to terminology, necessary handler mechanics, and underlying concepts that define and help us create engagement between the handler and his or her dog.

Students who complete the first module will understand:

  • What engagement is

  • The benefits of prioritizing it in their training

  • How to begin encouraging it with their own dog.

There will be a heavy focus on handler education and mechanical skill-building which will prepare the student for the hands-on emphasis that they will find within the curriculum of the second week.


Module 2

Module 2 of this course focuses on the practical application of hands-on training. Students will begin inviting their dog into the training sessions with the goal of creating a strong and confident work ethic. Handlers will learn how to take engagement from the sterile training environment into the increasingly distracting environments that define every day life.

Working through distractions, overcoming outside temptation, and creating a thick and robust attitude of effort and assumed responsibility from your dog is a central focus.

Every pet dog owner should understand and practice engagement skills with their dog, the same is true for every dog sport competitor. Day one of every training program should begin with the trainer working on engagement skills with his or her dog.




We recommend a sterile training environment, a canine training partner, appealing food reward/training treat for dogs, bait bag/training pouch, leash and collar/harness, and 30 to 45 minutes a day for learning and training.


"Outstanding course, fascinating and very educative. On walks it makes me observe my dogs and the surroundings much better than before, although I will still have to work on it. It is sometimes difficult to recognize well the thresholds. Of course my own fault. But thanks to the course I am on the way of learning it.

Sometimes I am not aware, that a surrounding has too many distractions, sometimes I realize too late, that an annoying competing motivator is approaching. But thanks to this course I have become much more attentive, can feel much better how a dog might feel in the same situation. This is for me already a big progress.
My LabMix for example used to freak out completely, when we met horses. Then I went further away from them, made a little engagement session and gradually - every day a bit - I approached the horses. Within only one week I could go to the fence, without the LabMix barking, and three days later, dog and horses put their noses together. I could hardly believe my own eyes.

Now I dare to go slowly into regions with a bit more distractions. My work is not done yet, but I am very optimistic. And last but not least I learned a new English word "threshold". By the way Engagement Skills work with humans too, if practised correctly, I guarantee."

- Christina Stockinger on 05/07/2016

"Ok now that I know what timezone I live in in relation to GREENWHICH mean time!! I thought the course was great!! Engagement skills. I teach classes on Canine life and social skills and have had people ask me.."Is it necessary that your dog makes eye contact?" I said "Well hell yes" so I was able to share some techniques. Thank you. "

- Jody Harpel on 04/13/2018


What's the difference between this course, the DVD, and the stream?


DVD:  2 hours 22 minutes (physical copy)

Stream:  2 hours 22 minutes, lifetime access, stream from anywhere

Online Course:  101 videos (194 minutes), additional text content, discussion board,  lifetime access, stream from anywhere

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