Zero to CD
Complete Blueprint for Earning Your First Obedience Title
The only totally integrated system to get you competition-ready using +R methods
You’ve read books and blogs, listened to podcasts, watched everything on YouTube, attended seminars, and even taken classes… And you still don’t feel like you know how to put it all together into a clear path to take you from where you are now to bringing home that sparkly ribbon. If anything, all that information just makes it worse, and you feel confused and maybe even paralyzed.
You can earn an obedience title with positive methods! Even if…
You have no experience competing in obedience.
You are the only +R trainer in your neighborhood, city or state.
You don’t have your own building or formal competition equipment.
There is a big misconception out there that positive reinforcement-based methods like clicker training “don’t work” for competition obedience. And you know that’s total hogwash! You know that all it’s going to take to change that myth is enough skilled, +R trainers to get out there with their own dogs and show the world actual results.
+R trainers can succeed and thrive in obedience competition. And you have the skills to do it.
But you still have that nagging voice in your head telling you that you don’t know enough or you don’t have the right kind of dog, and every time you start thinking about competing in obedience you get stuck figuring out where to start, how to spend your time, and how on EARTH to put it all together… It’s overwhelming!
Enter Zero to CD…
It’s more than a course… it’s a program.
It’s an interactive learning experience that will guide you through the entire process of applying your hard-earned training skills to the sport of competition obedience. Giving you a complete, step-by-step blueprint for earning that first level obedience title, and most importantly, the support & accountability you need along the way.
Competing successfully in obedience has a lot of moving parts. We have to pay attention to all the different elements required for a confident, joyful performance… and it can be a tough balancing act.
Zero to CD gives you a system to put the pieces together, avoid pitfalls, and make sure all your i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, so that you can walk into the ring confident and prepared.
Is Zero to CD for you?
Are you committed to training with positive reinforcement?
Are you experienced using clicker training concepts like shaping and targeting?
Do you believe a sport should be fun for both the dogs and the humans?
Do you want to compete in obedience, but don’t know where to start?
Are you afraid that you have to use corrections (you don’t!) to be successful in competitions?
Do you love your dog and love training together?
Are you comfortable with learning online?
“I think the biggest change [since joining Zero to CD] is that I joined for professional development reasons but I am seeing how it’s changed our relationship for the better…. There’s something special about that.”
– Kaitlyn Dunagan
“Yes, now I’m hooked on obedience and I do want to win ribbons, but the truth is, I would do this program regardless the sport or focus because good training is good training and the people here are wicked smart.”
– Annie Michelson
What is the Zero to CD Program?
A comprehensive mentorship program that covers everything you need to know to earn a Novice-level title(CD) in AKC or CDSP obedience. From foundation skills to proofing and polishing, handling skills and ring procedure.
On the surface, it’s about training your dog to compete (successfully!) in obedience. But really, it’s about building a relationship with your dog based on clarity, cooperation, and most importantly… FUN!
Zero to CD Objective
To provide support, structure, and accountability for positive trainers who are new to competition obedience and looking to earn their Novice level title
To prove that competition obedience is accessible to all dogs and handlers through force-free, positive reinforcement-based methods
What you’ll learn:
Why simply training MORE isn’t the answer (thank heavens!). Train smarter by using your time efficiently.
What to prioritize, which skills to train and when to train them.
How to effectively integrate skills training, motivational exercises, confidence building, and ring prep work into your training schedule.
What you really need to know about the rules and scoring (in plain English!)
Nuts and bolts of how trials work, what to expect, and strategies to handle possible challenges.
What you’ll get:
- A complete, step-by-step blueprint to take you from teaching foundation skills to polishing your performance for the ring
- A system to methodically build your dog’s confidence in the show environment
- Step-by-step instructions for teaching exercises
- Checklist of equipment, props, and recommended gear
- Templates for planning sessions and record keeping
- Private, high-quality online support group (on our new platform!)
- Lots of carrot (and maybe a little stick, but mostly carrot) to keep you on track and making progress toward your goal
- Live Q&A video sessions to get your questions answered
- Implementation Workshops to help you put the concepts into practice in real time (and with support)
- Live weekly “Study Hall” chats to help you make your training plans and stay on track
- Guidance from Hannah and support from our “Flock Guardians”
- The opportunity to take part in small topic-specific groups available only to Zero to CD members
- Profuse support and copious encouragement! (Humans need +R, too!)
Monthly Online Events
Our online community is the heart of the program and offers opportunities for support and feedback during every part of the process. From Live Q&As to Implementation Workshops to Study Halls and more, members of the Zero to CD community have many opportunities each month to interact with Hannah, our “Flock Guardians,” and other Zero to CD members.
“This program would be a steal as an annual fee rather than the life access it provides. The integration of progressive lessons, videos to watch, opportunities to get feedback and support and live sessions is amazing. Augment this with the meet ups and the structured training progression and the entire team behind Z2CD that are present and involved in helping you succeed. Success is measured in whatever way you set it – video titles? Awesome! Trials? Fabulous! Being the best trainer you can be? Also, a laudable goal worth celebrating. My dogs are better trained, and I am a better trainer because of Zero to CD. I have made wonderful friends I would not have met elsewhere. Talk about winning!!”
– Andrea Harrison
Zero to CD FAQs
What kind of support and feedback will I get?
Our online community is really the heart of the program. You will find opportunities for support and feedback for every part of the Think, Plan, Do, Review process.
As part of the program, you receive resources and templates for planning. Every weekend, our Flock Guardians host guided chats to go through the planning process together and offer support, brainstorming, and guidance as you put together your training plan for the following week.
Inside the community, you can post questions any time and video clips of your training for feedback from more advanced members, Flock Guardians, and me. Check on your mechanics, identify trouble spots, and double check your criteria. It’s always helpful to have another set of eyes on your training!
We also have monthly live “Implementation” workshops to dig deeper into important concepts, give you a scheduled time to work on specific exercises and do some troubleshooting while I’m right there to guide you and answer questions.
If you would like additional support, there is also an option to upgrade to the premium “Eagle’s Nest” level of membership once you’ve gotten settled in the community. Premium “Eagle’s Nest” membership is available to community members that are already working in the program. They have a special section in the group to submit videos and receive targeted feedback on their training directly from me. I am deliberately limiting enrollment at each level, so that I can focus on personally supporting you on your journey to earning your CD.
Are there any prerequisites?
I designed this program specifically for experienced dog trainers committed to positive/clicker training techniques, but absolutely NO knowledge of competitive obedience. You’ll get the most out of this program if you and your dog already have proficiency with training concepts like shaping, targeting, and stimulus control. Trainers who have already taken classes with me, read my book, Awesome Obedience, and/or watched the Obedience FUNdamentals DVD will be ahead of the game.
While no competitive experience is required, this program is not a good fit for people who are brand new to clicker training or dog training in general.
How long does the program last?
Short answer: Until you get your CD!
Long answer: The process is broken into 12 stages that systematically guide you through the progression from teaching the skills, building drive and motivation, increasing confidence and fluency, chaining them together to build your performance, and final polishing for the big day! The stages are designed to take a committed team with good shaping and reinforcement skills about 2-4 weeks to complete, with the majority of the hard work being in the first 6 stages.
However, since everyone comes to this program with a different starting point in their training journey, the stages are all designed to be self-paced. Some teams with a strong foundation already on board may take less than 2 weeks to complete a unit, and others may take a month or more.
There is no set schedule to the training units, but we will keep a schedule for the Think, Plan, Do, Review process. We have scheduled check-ins and coaching sessions, where we’ll light a fire under you and get you on the right track (too many metaphors?). You’ll have lifetime access to the material and the community.
How much does it cost and what do I get?
Your membership includes (but is not limited to!):
- Complete Blueprint for Novice Obedience
- Step-by-step instructions and example videos for training exercises
- Lifetime Access to Training Library materials
- Lifetime Access to Online Support Community
- Live Q&A video calls
- Monthly Live Implementation Workshops
- Weekly “Study Hall” chat sessions
- Small group Zoom training meetups
- And more!
$1800 or $330/month for 6 months
Please note: October 2022 enrollment is the last time the program will be offered at this rate.
What about Beginner Novice?
The skills you learn in Zero to CD will also prepare you for Beginner Novice. We’ll primarily be focusing on preparing for the Novice routine, but the skills covered completely overlap those required for Beginner Novice. Many members choose to complete their Beginner Novice title first before going on to compete in Novice, and we provide support every step of the way.
What about Open and Utility?
I designed this program specifically for folks who are working toward earning their Novice level title, either for the first time or with a new dog. However, the concepts and principles covered will apply to all levels of obedience. Additional skills and exercises will be needed if the team decides to continue on to higher level competition that are not included in this program.
I do offer a continuation group within Zero to CD to support students who have finished the program and achieved their CD. The Awesome Open/Utility Circle is an opportunity to be part of a community and to receive support and feedback from me while participating in higher level competitions. (Note: Zero to CD is a prerequisite for acceptance into the Awesome Open/Utility Circle.)
What about scores? Do I have to be a perfectionist? What if I DO want a high score?
Our underlying goal is ALWAYS to train for a confident, joyful performance that you can be proud of. For each exercise, we can discuss criteria needed for a strong qualifying performance, a respectable high score (190s), and also for those handlers with their eyes set on a High in Trial ribbon (also known as obsessive perfectionists), and decide what is the best approach for your individual dog and your specific goals. Part of my job is to keep you working on those aspects of the program where you will see the greatest payoff. So our focus will always be on confidence and motivation first, and obsessive details second. Perfectionism is always optional, and sometimes not recommended!
What if I'm in another country or in another titling organization?
This program is intended for those working towards the AKC or CDSP novice titles. Many of the training principles will still apply, of course. But I am not really qualified to advise on the specifics of scoring in other organizations. You are welcome to join us, but you will need to check on the rules and differences that apply to your situation on your own.
Is this program appropriate for puppies?
Yes, although we do recommend giving your pup plenty of time to reach physical and social maturity before formally competing, even if you have all the behaviors on board. All of the exercises and behaviors are safe and appropriate for any age puppy. However, you’ll get the most out of them if your pup already has a strong foundation of shaping and motivational skills on board.
What technology will I need to be comfortable using to participate in the program?
Our most-used apps and platforms include YouTube, Zoom, Mighty Networks, and Crowdcast. You’ll also want to be comfortable using a tripod and your phone or camera to record your training session and have the ability to upload those videos to share with our community. While you don’t need to be an expert in any of the platforms we use before joining Zero to CD, you’ll want to be comfortable with and adaptable about learning to use new technology. Our “Flock Guardian” team is always available to provide guidance about the content of Zero to CD, but they are not here to be tech experts!
Do I have to share video of my training sessions with the community?
While you aren’t required to share video to be a part of the program, we believe you’ll get the most out of Zero to CD if you’re interacting with and receiving feedback from others members of our community.
One of the most unique and valuable aspects of the program is our ability to learn from and alongside one another!
Hannah Branigan, the author of Awesome Obedience, is a self-proclaimed training nerd. With the belief that everyone (dogs and humans alike) learn best in an environment free of criticism, Hannah breaks down complex skills into bite-sized, accessible pieces, and develops practical techniques that leave her students with a sense of achievement and success.
She is on a mission to make training fun and enjoyable for dogs and their handlers, which means optimizing positive reinforcement techniques across species. She is fascinated by behavior and learning, and passionate about bringing innovative, science-based solutions to the dog/human learning space.
Hannah has a background in both human sports and biology. Now she applies that knowledge and experience to the world of animal training and canine competitive sports. She enjoys training and competing with her own dogs in a variety of sports. Her competition obedience DVDs, Obedience FUNdamentals and Beyond FUNdamentals, have received rave reviews from trainers all over the world, and her students have earned advanced titles and in multiple countries.
Hannah is the host of the popular dog training podcast, Drinking from the Toilet, which focuses on the (often inconvenient) intersection between positive reinforcement philosophy and reality. Her mentorship program, Zero to CD, gives trainers a complete, step-by-step blueprint for earning their first level obedience title with curated support along the way.