Episode 4 of the Fenzi Dog Sports Podcast was released on Friday and I wanted to share a few of my favorite excerpts from my interview with Shade Whitesel.

Shade Whitesel has been training and competing in dog sports since she was a kid.

Always interested in how dogs learned, she has successfully competed in Schutzhund, AKC obedience and French Ring.

What started out as an experiment, competing at the national level in IPO without the use of an e collar, has now turned into a firm commitment to positive training and the desire to teach other trainers and dogs how to be successful in bitesports with as little punishment as possible.

Her focus as a trainer is on clear communication with your dog — as we discuss in the podcast, she believes this relieves frustration and improves the overall quality of the dog’s work.

A few great takeaways from our interview:

“Right now, I feel like I haven’t said no to any of my dogs for like four years. No. Seriously, I’m really currently most interested in what the dog is feeling about our training session and what their emotional state is.”

“No matter how you train, communicating as clearly as possible is so important, because 99.9 percent of our problems are due to the unclarity of our teaching. And all of our problems with dogs — I mean it’s really our problem it’s not theirs — go away when you look at the clarity, or more accurately the ‘not clarity’ of your teaching.”

“…listen to the dog. I’m so into listening to what the dog says at this point. It holds me accountable in my training, it holds me accountable in their reinforcement and I feel like many people say, “Listen to the dog,” but I think we could be doing a lot more of it.”

Click here for the Podcast site, with the full transcript and videos on how to subscribe if you’re new to podcasts.