Animal Trainer's Comprehensive Handbook (PDF)

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Agnieszka Janarek
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Agnieszka Janarek

Before teaching our dogs complex behaviors and advanced concepts, we must show them how to learn. This e-book focuses on one of the most important skills our dogs need during training: FOCUS.

However, let’s take a moment to think about it.

• What is FOCUS?
• What does it look like?
• Is it tangible?
• How do you know you have it?

After reading this e-book, you will be able to answer all of the above questions. We will operationalize attention and define its component parts. I will show you how to prepare an errorless training session, define your dog’s focus, measure it, and add more elements to your training.

In my experience, most caregivers experience issues during training because they have not taught their dogs the attention contingency – our “focus bubble.” We can’t teach anything if our animals don’t have the necessary skill of how to learn.

If your dog looks around during training, sniffs, doesn’t respond to your recall, looks at you instead of circling the cone, or is interested in everything around them but you – this e-book is for you.


• Your dog quickly gives up working with you, easily gets distracted, and appears to be “unmotivated to work.”
• You want to learn and understand why this is happening and what you can do about it.
• You want to use only positive methods, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.
• You want to be the best trainer your dog can have!


• How to start a training session;
• How to end a training session;
• How to define focus behaviors;
• What are clean loop and errorless progression and how to use them in training;
• How to teach your dog to wait for a cue;
• How to build easy and more complex training scenarios;
• What is a behavior chain;
• How to prepare the environment to make it work for you;
• How to teach your dog to focus;
• How to teach your dog to choose to work with you, even when there are people and animals around;
• You will learn exercises to help improve your pet’s skills.

If you are considering competing, you will find perfect exercises here to start working in that direction.

Although my students are primarily dogs, the exercises in this e-book are multi-species friendly!

I have had the pleasure of working with cats, goats, horses, pigs, hamsters, and ferrets. The examples will apply to dogs, but you can just as well use them to work with other species.