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Our Expectations to Graduate New Gold School

All the GMs have been granted the privilege and responsibility of properly coaching students through hands on application of NePoPo® philosophy. Bart and Michael allow us to teach it in our own way and each teacher/student should see NePoPo® as ‘learning to cook’ vs ‘follow a recipe’. We all have our own style - both to working dogs in the system and teaching! What we want for YOU is a similar learning journey. It’s important to learn the ingredients, to learn the alphabet, to learn the bigger picture on attitude, ignition and toughness and how to best bring those ingredients together for THAT dog or client. 


Joe and I have been close friends and peers since we attended Silver school together. We realized early on we both LOVED this stuff…we were both analytical nerds…but we also learned we practiced/applied and taught NePoPo® differently. Not dramatically differently, but in our own style. Same religion - different church so to speak. To that end, we decided teaching as a duo would be great to do as often as we can to make the learning experience more complete for students who have different learning styles and backgrounds as well. Not to mention it's just more fun to teach this way too (I mean how am I supposed to slap my own ass when talking about activation pressure with football players!?!?)


Gold School, unlike Silver, is all hands on. You will not be asked to take written tests. You will also not be asked to train anything to a specific level…instead what we want to see is you grasp the concepts. You begin to see how all these foundations/languages and philosophy can be applied and played with. Whether you bring your.own dog, or we supply one for you, it’s about seeing the big picture and proving you are ready to take the next steps at home with your dogs or your client’s dogs. 


We also want to discuss the practical application of NePoPo® for the pet industry. Understanding this art form can also come with confusion on how best to break it down for the non dog trainer world. We set aside an entire evening dedicated specifically to NePoPo® based small business development and project management in the dog industry. All students also get access to my video course library on workyourpack.com for reference on how I like to break this down in a palatable way for handlers/clients new to these concepts. 


LASTLY and in our opinion, most important, we hold a standard of good culture required to graduate. The dog industry can be nasty and venomous as we all know…Culture (or lacktherof) is everything. The NePoPo® philosophy is all about the dog being invested in the process and not being afraid to be creative or make mistakes…and, well, we want the same for our human students. A safe, fun, uplifting environment is everything when you are learning. Joe and I have zero tolerance for over inflated egos, rudeness and/or disrespect: towards dogs, other students or instructors. 


We don’t plan on failing anyone at our schools (that comes with ignition, curiosity and a willingness to learn)…that being said, if we ever felt the need to not pass a student, it would be because they didn’t meet the expectations of what we want to see in the community of forever students/teachers in NePoPo®. 


Here is our bullet point list of what it takes to graduate New Gold School with us. We will read it first thing day 1 and last thing day 5 and have everyone answer whether they think they should pass.


  • Students must illustrate a mastery of ALL dog training systems : Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement training systems and how NePoPo® combines the advantages of BOTH systems with the primary goal of a dog that executes behavior on cue every time with heart and soul.

  • Students expressed understanding of NePoPo® as it relates to both the pet and working dog industry in an effort to help as many dogs as possible while also being fully aware of the legal framework of animal welfare and proper husbandry. 

  • Students illustrated how to be an ideal E-collar user within the NePoPo® system : fully understanding Martin System® gear and how to best implement into practice to achieve enthusiasm and harmony in training. 

  • Students were exposed to ideas and concepts on how to incorporate NePoPo® philosophy into aspects of working dog practice : detection, tracking/trailing, bite work and retrieve. 

  • Students engaged in small business discussion learning about the triple constraints of project management : (Scope, Schedule, Cost) so they can effectively deliver on expectations and grow as entrepreneurs. 

  • GOOD CULTURE. Most of all, every individual that graduated exhibited ignition to be forever students taking the skills learned during their time here in Montana and continue to practice and grow throughout their career. They all engaged in a humble, curious and supportive learning culture and proved that they are industry leaders committed to helping clients/students grow in the language of modern dog training : NePoPo®.


Bart Bellon and Michael Bellon and BCBB are the owners of the NePoPo® trademark, the teaching concept and the Know-How and intellectual property related to it. All trademarks used with permission. 

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