Irith Bloom

Give Them a Choice! How (and Why) Giving Dogs Options Improves Behavior

Dogs often have little choice and control in their daily lives.  This causes them stress, which can lead to problem behavior as well as stress-related ailments.  In other words, while it sounds paradoxical, over-controlling your dog’s life can make your dog harder to live with (and less healthy, too).  Join Irith Bloom to learn how (and why) providing choice to your dog can actually improve behavior.  She will explain the science behind the use of choice in animal training, discuss training techniques that increase choice for dogs, and give you tips for creating a choice-rich life that works for both you and your dog.

If you would like to know more about Irith Bloom click HERE.


After this two-day seminar, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain why choice matters and how it relates to stress and behavior.
  • Analyze training techniques and real-life scenarios and evaluate their choice-richness.
  • Apply a variety of choice-rich training and management tools.
  • Create environments that promote greater choice.


    The seminar will consist of lecture sections interspersed with discussion and applied practice. Working teams will go through a variety of practical exercises with their dogs while auditors assist and observe.  Both auditors and working teams will also take part in interactive exercises without dogs.


    Day 1:

  • Stress and how it works
  • The effects of stress and arousal on behavior
  • Helping the brain cope with stress
  • Understanding your dog
  • Foundation behaviors for a choice-rich life

    Day 2:

  • Emotional management skills
  • Key behaviors for difficult situations
  • Walking the dog: a new paradigm
  • Useful skills for over-the-top dogs (and any dog)
  • Agency-rich training and care

    With the exception of service dogs, only dogs who are registered as part of a working team are welcome at the seminar.  This is to help ensure everyone’s comfort and well-being.  Please leave your pets at home if you are not registered for a working spot!

    Should I audit or apply for a working spot?

    If your dog shuts down or gets overexcited in group settings, growls or barks when people or dogs approach him or his stuff, or acts distressed when you are out of sight or interacting with another dog, an auditor spot is the perfect choice for you.  Auditors will observe and assist, and also participate in many of the activities.

    The following organizations have approved this seminar for CEU:

  • KPA – 14
  • CPDT-KA – 14
  • CPDT-KSA – 9
  • CBCC-KA – 8
  • IAABC – 8.5
  • Two-day auditing Early Bird $250, After May 15th $275

    Working spots are limited at $325


    Date/Time Event
    Friday, June 23rd, 2023 - Saturday, June 24th, 2023
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Irith Bloom
    D.O.G. Obedience Group – Blue Springs, Blue Springs Missouri