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Easy to teach, force-free, effective foundation skills that make a profound difference for reactive dogs.

Trainers around the world face the challenge of helping reactive dogs find a more comfortable way to be in the world. It is a complicated challenge that requires a trainer's toolbox with a variety of techniques. 

Designed for trainers or shelter and rescue professionals, this course provides trainers with the Relationship Centered Training tools to make a difference in the lives of reactive dogs and their handlers while deepening the dog/handler relationship in a humane and effective approach. 

Dogs and handlers both build skills that go far past CC/DS (counter-conditioning and desensitzation) to create new options of response and practical coping skills.

Each of these foundational RCT skills promotes improved handler observation skills, awareness of the dog's thresholds, recognition of body language and behaviors that signal arousal shifts, and identification of training situation vs. management moments.


For the dog, these skills are based in volition and agency, with the benefits of self modulation, authentic relaxation, social interaction and clear communication carrying into real life application. 

Additionally, each skill can be practiced using positively arousing stimuli to develop fluency prior to the presentation of triggering stimuli.  

Do any of these warnings sound familiar?

  • Just don’t look at him
  • Don’t look into her eyes
  • Don’t try to touch him  
  • Let her warm up to you  
  • He doesn’t like hats/glasses/shoes/men/women/you

With each warning phrase - “He’ll be fine as long as you don’t . . .” handlers of dogs with aggression issues try to guard against another incident, another bite. But unfortunately, they do not realize they have built a house of cards that is fragile and likely to collapse under the stressors of life. 

The RCT Skills for Reactive Dogs course helps you build a solid foundation for your clients and their reactive dogs.

From House of Cards to Solid Foundation: Practical RCT Techniques for Reactive Dogs

Five Relationship Centered Training techniques help create a solid foundation of skills that are invaluable in the resolution of reactivity cases. Including worksheets and tips for curriculum building this course is designed for the professional trainer.

  • Auto Check-in (ACI) This foundation RCT skill focuses on voluntary attention even in the presence of triggering stimuli. Easy to teach, the ACI is ideal for building connection, and a must-have skill for any dog, but particularly for shy, fearful or reactive dog.

  • Really Real Relaxation (RRR) Learn how to help create authentic relaxation for handler and dog. Volitional behavior, social modeling & the power of intrinsic reinforcement make Really Real Relaxation a powerful tool. Easily taught, RRR offers reactive dogs a way to make profound shifts in self-regulation.

  • Attentive Cooperation The thoughtful use of real life rewards, clear communication and consistent expectations helps dogs and handlers find their way to cooperation. Useful for teaching dogs self control, this technique helps rebalance the relationship in humane, effective, force-free ways.

  • Go Say Hi 1-2-3! This win-win technique is as suitable for the socially awkward dog as for the over-the-top exuberant greeter! The dog remains in connection with handler, learns self control, and receives the reward of social interaction plus rewards from handler for disengaging from the greeting. Structured greetings help reactive dogs successfully navigate social interactions with people.

  • Go Hunt! A management tool that is ideal for reactive dogs, Go Hunt! uses social and sensory engagement to bring the dog’s full attention and focus to searching with the handler. Fun and easy to teach, Go Hunt! is surprisingly effective and practical in a wide range of situations.

Course curriculum

    1. How to use this course

    1. Intro RCT Skills for Reactive Dogs

    2. Arousal and the Think & Learn Zone (TLZ)

    3. The TLZ and Reactive Dogs

    4. MINIMIZE, MANAGE & TRAIN Worksheet

    5. Sensory Awareness Worksheet

    6. Behavior Difficulty & Active vs Stationary Behaviors


    8. Chills & Thrills Worksheet

    9. Attention 101

    10. QUIZ Basic Concepts

    1. What is the Auto Check-In?

    2. VIDEO HOW-TO: Teaching the Auto Check-In

    3. Auto Check-In 101

    4. Auto Check-in & the Reactive Dog

    5. ACI - An Arousal Barometer

    6. Teaching the Auto Check-In Step-by-Step

    7. Auto Check-In Handouts

    8. ACI Troubleshooting

    9. Auto Check-in - Test your learning

    1. An Introduction to Puppy Politeness Poker

    2. Using Puppy Politeness Poker in Aggression Cases

    3. Understanding Real Life Rewards

    4. Why Not Just SIT For Everything?

    5. Why Not Just SIT? video

    6. Testing the Brakes

    7. DOWNLOAD: Attentive Cooperation Worksheet & Can Do Deck Cards

    8. What are Real Life Rewards and "Will Work For"

    9. What is a CAN DO?

    10. Creating CAN DO and WILL WORK FOR Decks

    11. Creating Your CAN DOs and WILL WORK FORs

    12. Setting the Bar for the Individual

    13. Making the Offer

    14. PPP - Step by Step

    15. Putting PPP to work

    16. Sample PPP Plans

    17. Puppy Politeness Poker in Action

    18. Working with Multiple Dogs

    19. Watch the Puppy Politeness Poker Webinar

    20. BONUS Attentive Cooperation E-Book

    21. QUIZ Attentive Cooperation & PPP

    1. The Goals of Really Real Relaxation

    2. The Benefits of Really Real Relaxation


    4. DOWNLOAD RRR Protocol Handout and RRR Troubleshooting Guide

    5. Step One of Really Real Relaxation

    6. Step Two of Really Real Relaxation

    7. Step Three of Really Real Relaxation

    8. Step Four of Really Real Relaxation

    9. Sue and Jinx Learn Really Real Relaxation

    10. Is it working? Or needs adjusting?

    11. Building Really Real Relaxation

    12. Practicing and Perfecting - Kirby with Cricket

    13. Case Study - Foster dog

    14. Case Study - Remy

    15. Working RRR in Public - Lowes

    16. Downloadable Troubleshooting Guide

    17. QUIZ Really Real Relaxation

    1. GO HUNT Basics

    2. Using GO HUNT for Management

    3. GO HUNT Teaching the Concept

    4. GO HUNT STEP 2 Fading Visual Target

    5. GO HUNT STEP 3 Prepared Hunts

    6. GO HUNT STEP 4 On the Fly

    7. GO HUNT Step 5 Here & Now

    8. GO HUNT for Car Chasing

    9. DOWNLOAD GO HUNT - How-To

    10. QUIZ GO HUNT

About this course

  • $395.00
  • 108 lessons
  • 12 hours of video content


  • What is the course format?

    This course is made up of videos as well as text, webinars and multiple downloadable worksheets and handouts.

  • When does this course start?

    NOW is a good time! This evergreen course is open for enrollment whenever you are ready. It is a self-paced course, so you work at your own speed. You will have access to the material for a year.

  • Who is this course for?

    This is an intensive pro level course intended for anyone working with reactive dogs. You do not need to be a professional trainer, but you should have a solid grasp of learning theory, understanding of canine behavior & body language, and the training skills to be working with reactive dogs in a safe and humane way. This course provides the how-to as well as the theory grounding each skill.

  • How long is the course and how long does it take to finish?

    This course is self-paced and can be done in a few weeks or a few months. You will have access to the materials for a full year. BONUS: complete the course within the year, and gain lifetime access to the material (as long as you are a student in good standing).

  • Are CEUs available?

    CEUs are available. IAABC - 16, KPA - 16, PPAB-16, and CCPDT - 16 (for trainers, none available for behavior consultants),

Bonus material

FIVE additional webinars chock full of critical information for working with reactive dogs. You'll get both the Intro to CARAT, and Intro to RAT (Relationship Assessment Tool) webinars for free! AND the three listed below. Total additional value $149.75!

  • Treat-Retreat: Help for the Socially Shy Dog

    $29.95 value

    This powerfully effective technique is used to help socially shy dogs master the intricacies of feeling comfortable interacting with and being around people. This is a dog-centric technique that is force-free, and one that does not use negative reinforcement. Instead, respect for the dog’s boundaries, arousal and abilities are combined with nuanced observation and engagement of SEEKING to help build the dog’s skills. Using thin slices, Treat-Retreat helps the dog develop skills in comfortable ways that are readily generalized.

  • Quick Hit PAUSE - Using Controlled Set-ups for Reactive Dogs

    $29.95 value

    If you’ve ever wished for a PAUSE button on life to help your dog, this webinar is for you. The practical information provided will help anyone create successful training moments. Find out why so many clients and their dogs have benefited from this sensible approach to thin slicing for success.

  • Thresholds, Transitions and Triggers

    $29.95 value

    Understanding transitions, thresholds & triggers helps you assess & meet the dog’s need for specific skills to help them safely negotiate their “icebergs.” Learn how to find your dog’s sweet spot where learning is easy & fun.

Special Introductory Price!

Act now! This price is only for a limited.

Developed by Suzanne Clothier

Assistant Instructor, Alissa Mosier CPDT-KA

SUZANNE CLOTHIER has worked with animals professionally since 1977, with a background includes obedience, agility, puppy testing, breeding, Search and Rescue, conformation, instructing, kennel management and AAT. She has presented seminars & at conferences throughout the world.

Her Relationship Centered Training™ approach blends science and heart to create humane, effective and practical solutions for dogs and the people who work with them, whether professional working dogs or couch warming companions.

ALISSA MOSIER CPDT-KA has been working with Suzanne for over five years, in addition to working with her own clients and running her own business, Old Dogs New Tricks Dog Training, LLC.  Alissa has a passion for rescue and spends a lot of her time working with adolescent dogs, and has come to depend on Relationship Centered Training™ for her dogs and clients.