Leader Dogs for the Blind Inc. in Rochester Hills, Michigan was one of six locations in the U.S. who partnered to host a special live broadcast in March of some of the most popular sessions held at ClickerExpo 2014. This event was well attended and participants got a taste of of what is available at the main conference site and were able to see the presentations and submit questions and comments to speakers from each remote site.
Featured speakers from the live broadcast included Michele Pouliot on Strategic Reinforcement Delivery, Ken Ramirez on Myths and Mantras to Keep You Training on Track, the Art of Practice with Kay Lawrence, Modification of Food Guarding with Lindsay Wood and the program wrapped up with an excellent panel discussion of the Clicker Expo Faculty on training and behavior issues.
Key points from featured presenters
Michele Pouliot – Pace, Place and More Strategic Reinforcement Delivery
- Dogs value things differently. Food, play and toys are not all the same to every dog.
- Be aware that if you are using high value rewards to begin with you don’t have anywhere to go. Use the lowest value reward with sufficient value to the dog to make progress toward your goal.
- Be considerate of the dog, the complexity of the training task and the environment when choosing a reward.
- Speed of delivery is important. If you go too fast can startle the dog; if you deliver too slowly you may not be relating the reward to the event and the dog loses interest.
Kay Lawrence – the Art of Practice
- “I hate practice” is the mantra of someone who selectively practices the bits they like.
- People who dislike practicing with their dogs are often unprepared; are not clear about the goals for the training session, they may work in an environment distracting to the dog and person as well as may be using poor technique.Poor technique is 90% of the reason that dog training doesn’t work.
- If your technique is solid and the behavior science you are basing your work in is sound you and your dog will get what you want.
- Training should be a game for your dog. The dog doesn’t know the outcome. He just knows “she likes it with I go retrieve the funny rubber thing”.
- Train in bits and batches. The emotion and sincerity behind things affects how it is received. Be specific about the behavior you want to click.
- Mistakes are just opportunities to learn more and training is an experience between you and your dog.
- Practicing is very much about focusing on one thing at a time and working gradually toward the experience as a whole.
ClickerExpo 2015 is coming to Michigan!
Unparalleled interaction between you and our top teachers sets ClickerExpo apart. Sixty insightful sessions, hands-on learning labs, lunchtime roundtable discussions, and special dinnertime events give you the greatest opportunity to learn from the world's best trainers.
- Portland, Oregon, January 23 – 25, 2015
- Dearborn, Michigan, March 20 – 22, 2015