Schedule

31 March

01 April

02 April

31 March

01 April

02 April

Speakers

Sponsors

Back

Eva Bertilsson

Eva Bertilsson has a master’s degree in behavior analysis and a passion for all things related to behavior, learning and animal welfare. She grew up with horses, rabbits, and other animals, and ventured into dog training in the early 1990s. For many years Eva spent most of her time on the agility field, earning top merits with phalènes Misty and Soya. She has always been most fascinated by the processes of learning and teaching. For the past ten years Eva has been working full time as an educator in a wide variety of settings—from puppy classes at the local dog club to husbandry training in zoological settings to seminars for teachers on the science of behavior.

Together with business partner Eva Bertilsson, Emelie runs their collaboration Carpe Momentum. Emelie and Eva’s goal is to help people acquire knowledge and skills in science-based, modern, humane and empowering teaching strategies for the benefit of learners of all species. They teach seminars on the general principles of behavior and learning, and coach trainers in the art of structuring great training sessions regardless of the venue or the species.

“E&E” are the first Level 3-certified TAGteachers in Europe, offering consultations and workshops about applying positive reinforcement techniques with human learners in all imaginable areas. The colleagues’ first book, Agility Right from the Start, was published by Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) in 2010. The book outlines Emelie and Eva’s philosophy and structured approach to training, making it a worthy read not only for agility enthusiasts.

Eva lives in the village Ljungskile, on the west coast of Sweden and north of Gothenburg, but spends much of her time travelling. Border collie Tizla makes sure Eva’s free time is filled outdoor activities and enriching training projects.

01 April

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Veronica Boutelle

Veronica is the founder of dog*tec. She is the author of How to Run a Dog Business: Putting Your Career Where Your Heart Is and the co-author of Minding Your Dog Business: A Practical Guide to Business Success for Dog Professionals. She also writes the business column for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers’ Chronicle of the Dog. Veronica is a sought-after speaker at conferences and dog-training schools across the country and internationally. She is the former Director of Behavior & Training at the San Francisco SPCA.

31 March

01 April

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Hannah Branigan

Hannah Branigan has been training dogs and teaching people for more than 12 years. In addition to being a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), she is a faculty member for KPA, a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT). She is also a popular speaker and teaches workshops all over the country. As the owner of Wonderpups, LLC, Hannah is committed to training both dogs and people with positive reinforcement methods.

She has titled her dogs in conformation, obedience, schutzhund, agility, and rally. Her dogs have multiple class wins, both AKC and UKC High in Trial awards, and scores that qualify for several Front & Finish Awards of Excellence (FFX).

31 March

31 March

01 April

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Lori Chamberland

Lori Chamberland is the director of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA). KPA offers online and blended-learning courses for aspiring and experienced trainers. Lori oversees all of KPA's courses and programs, curriculum development, faculty, and staff.

In her prior position as curriculum development manager for KPA, Lori was responsible for leading the development and launch of three new KPA courses: Dog Trainer Foundations, Puppy Start Right for Instructors, and Shelter Training & Enrichment.

Lori taught group dog-training classes for several years. Currently, she offers private, in-home training lessons on a limited basis. Lori enjoys educating pet owners and fellow trainers about the joys and benefits of clicker training. She has a special passion for helping new puppy owners set up their puppies for a lifetime of success.

Lori lives with her Labrador, Zam, and her border collie, Blink. She enjoys participating and competing in canine sports, including Treibball, agility, and K9 Nose Work, and has many titles on her dogs in those sports.

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Aaron Clayton

Aaron Clayton has been president of Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) and a business partner with Karen Pryor for more than a decade. He is a management executive with approximately 25 years of experience growing service-based businesses. Of all his experiences, Aaron's involvement with teaching and learning as the president of KPCT has been the most fun and reinforcing (pun intended!).

Prior to partnering with Karen, Aaron helped found and fund a human resources company and was a partner at a business strategy consultancy focused on improving the market position and performance of Fortune 500 companies. He is a board member of TAGteach, LLC. Aaron holds a bachelor's degree from Brown University and an M.B.A from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

31 March

31 March

Back

Susan Friedman, Ph.D

Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. She has helped pioneer the cross-species application of behavior analysis to animals, using the same humane philosophy and scientifically sound teaching technology that have been so effective with human learners. Susan has co-authored chapters on behavior change in four veterinary texts, and her popular articles have been translated into 13 languages. She offers seminars on animal learning at conferences and zoos around the world, is a member of Karen Pryor Clicker Training’s ClickerExpo faculty, and teaches yearly hands-on animal training workshops with Steve Martin at Natural Encounters, Inc.

The Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the American Humane Association (AHA) Film and TV Unit, Susan is a member in good standing of ABAI, AZA, ABMA, IAABC and IAATE.

This year Susan was included on the Vet Tech College’s list of 15 Animal Professors to Know. Her acclaimed online course, Living and Learning with Animals for Behavior Professionals, has provided even wider dissemination of effective, humane, behavior-change practices to students in more than 30 countries.

31 March

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Peggy Hogan


Through her business, The Best Whisper is a Click, Peggy Hogan provides clicker training lessons, clinics and online coaching, all focused on horses.

A horse-lover since the age of three when her sister put her on a pay-per-lap pony ride, Peggy loves all animals and has a passion for training. She has studied natural horsemanship in depth and immersed herself in the teachings of Peggy Cummings, founder of Connected Riding. With inspiration from Alexandra Kurland, Peggy fully embraced clicker training and positive reinforcement.

Learning from clicker trainers of other species, Peggy has investigated ways to add more shaping, capturing, luring, and targeting to her clicker training for horses program. Horses offer complex behaviors freely if given the choice, behaviors that apply to environments that range from agility to freestyle to medical procedures. All of these freely offered and shaped behaviors create wonderful riding horses. Peggy has worked with clicker training techniques in the area of horse rescue as well.

01 April

02 April

Back

Mary Hunter

Mary Hunter earned a master of science degree in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas in 2013. She has trained a wide range of species, including dogs, horses, cats, rats, raccoons, Patagonian cavies, macaws, and more. Mary is interested in how behavior analysis can be used to improve human-animal interactions; she believes that an understanding of the science of behavior can help us discover smarter and more humane ways to train animals.

Currently Mary serves as the president of The Art and Science of Animal Training, a non-profit organization in Denton, Texas. The organization offers educational programs, including an annual conference, for both pet owners and animal training professionals. Mary also owns and operates Texas Animal Training, which provides training and consulting services to dog and horse owners in the North Texas area. In addition to training animals and their owners, Mary is involved in research about animal learning. Her main interests include studying the process of shaping and developing better methods for teaching people to train animals. On a regular basis, Mary shares about her training adventures and about the science of training on her blog, StaleCheerios.com.
Back

Emelie Johnson Vegh

Emelie Johnson Vegh began training dogs as a teenager, after many years of involvement with horses. Her first dog was a mixed breed that competed successfully in both agility and obedience. Emelie's first Border terrier came into her life in 1994; all together she has had three terriers. The Border terriers have been involved in agility primarily, but also in some freestyle and ground work.

In 2009, a Kelpie made an entrance into the family. With her, Emelie is working in rally obedience, obedience, and freestyle, and they also enjoy urban mushing. Emelie and her dogs have won medals at the Swedish Nationals, both as youths and as adults, with a silver team medal as the best placement.

Together with business partner Eva Bertilsson, Emelie runs their collaboration Carpe Momentum. Emelie and Eva’s goal is to help people acquire knowledge and skills in science-based, modern, humane, and empowering teaching strategies for the benefit of learners of all species. They teach seminars on the general principles of behavior and learning, and coach trainers in the art of structuring great training sessions regardless of the venue or the species.

“E&E” are the first Level 3-certified TAGteachers in Europe, offering consultations and workshops about applying positive reinforcement techniques with human learners in all imaginable areas. The colleagues’ first book, Agility Right from the Start, was published by Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) in 2010. The book outlines Emelie and Eva’s philosophy and structured approach to training, making it a worthy read not only for agility enthusiasts.

Emelie lives in the very south of Sweden, in the country's third largest city, Malmö. She shares her life with her husband, two sons, a daughter, and Kelpie, Scout. In addition to dog sports, she enjoys training in general, and is very interested in sports psychology, running, multisport, and yoga. Emelie is also an author of fiction novels.

01 April

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Alexandra Kurland

Alexandra Kurland began her instructional career as a dressage rider and teacher and as an accredited TTouch Practitioner. In 1998 she launched the rapidly growing field of clicker training for horses with the publication of her first book, Clicker Training for Your Horse. Alexandra teaches clicker training geared to any horse need or sport—including developing a gentle and companionable riding horse, halter training foals, training advanced performance horses, and reforming difficult and unmanageable horses. She travels widely, giving clicker training seminars in the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. Several years ago, Alexandra trained a miniature horse, Panda, to serve as the guide animal for a blind owner.
A graduate of Cornell University, Alexandra has written The Click That Teaches: A Step–By–Step Guide in Picturesand has also produced The Click That Teaches DVD lesson series and is presently at work on new books and videos.

01 April

02 April

Back

Laurie Luck

Laurie Luck has been involved in the dog world for more than 20 years. Her formal education includes a M.A. in psychology, but she credits dogs for teaching her the most important concepts of behavior and training.

An entrepreneur (Smart Dog University) and social media enthusiast, Laurie delights in sharing her knowledge and experience with dog owners across the country. She is committed to helping improve the lives of dogs through education of the humans at the end of the leash. Laurie's YouTube channel offers free dog-training videos, and her blog details training experiences and ideas that every dog owner will find helpful.

A member of the ClickerExpo faculty, Laurie is also a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy. She teaches the Dog Trainer Professional program at various locations in the United States. Laurie has spoken at regional and national conferences about both dog behavior and social media.

Laurie has been a volunteer puppy-raiser for a service-dog organization since 2001. She has had a hand in raising and training more than 16 service dogs, and enjoys being involved in the education of dogs that go on to do so much good for their human partners. Laurie and her Labrador retriever, Tango, are a certified R.E.A.D. therapy-dog team and enjoy working in the classroom with elementary school students to improve the students’ reading skills.

31 March

31 March

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Debbie Martin

Debbie is a licensed Veterinary Technician in Texas, as well as a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behavior (VTS-Behavior). Debbie received a bachelor of science degree in human ecology from The Ohio State University and an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology from Columbus State Community College. She has been a fulltime registered/licensed veterinary technician since 1996, and worked in private practice for 14 years.

Since 2005 Debbie has been the animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC. She assists Kenneth Martin, DVM, DACVB, during in-home behavior consultations.

Debbie is the co-owner of TEAM Education in Animal Behavior, LLC, a business focused on providing education on humane training and behavior modification and fostering collaboration between various animal behavior professions.

She is a contributing author and co-editor of the textbook Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses by Wiley-Blackwell. Debbie and Dr. Martin have also authored a book on normal development and training for dogs: Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog . The pair also authored the Karen Pryor Academy course, Puppy Start Right for Instructors. The course provides not only the thorough knowledge necessary to provide puppy socialization classes, but also a complete curriculum with supplemental materials.

Debbie’s combined experience in general practice and behavior specialty has fueled her passion for preventive behavior medicine and the Fear Free initiative. Debbie is honored to be representing veterinary technicians and animal trainers on the Fear Free executive committee.

When she is not seeing clients, writing, or speaking, Debbie enjoys spending time at home with her husband, three Belgian Malinois, and a beagle/Jack Russell mix on their 5-acre property, aptly named the Malamo, in Spicewood, Texas. She took up a new hobby recently, motorcycles, and is enjoying learning a new skill!

31 March

01 April

02 April

Back

Theresa McKeon

After more than 30 years as a national-level gymnastics coach, Theresa was determined to find a way to speed up skill acquisition for her athletes while simultaneously decreasing stress and fear in the learning environment. Her search for behaviorally sound techniques, clean instructions, and the proper timing of feedback and reinforcement, led to the development of the TAGteach methodology. Theresa teamed with Joan Orr, Beth Wheeler, and Aaron Clayton and Karen Pryor of Karen Pryor Clicker Training, to found TAGteach International, LLC.

Since then, TAGteach has evolved into an entire teaching protocol benefiting an endless variety of human applications. The success of the methodology has been accented by the wide range of applications embracing it. Theresa now consults and designs TAGteach programs in business management, industrial safety, medical and surgical training, sport coaching, family communication, and, of course, training for those who teach people to train their companion animals. She is a sought-after speaker around the world, including in Europe, the U.K., Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Back

Laura Monaco Torelli

Laura Monaco Torelli is the founder of Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago, Illinois. She began her career in 1991 at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, where she trained beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins. After nearly a decade at the Shedd, she moved on to the San Diego Zoo and then Brookfield Zoo as a lead supervisory trainer. During her time in the zoo community, Laura worked with a wide variety of terrestrial animals, including primates, large cats, birds of prey, horses, parrots, tree kangaroos, giraffes, red pandas, and dogs.

Laura serves as a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) and a staff trainer with Dr. John Ciribassi at Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants. She and her team at Animal Behavior Training Concepts offer private in-home training as well as group classes at Medical District Veterinary Clinic, an extension of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Laura has presented at many professional conferences, including those held by the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association, the Animal Behavior Management Alliance, the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association, the Society for Veterinary Behavior Technicians, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and the Interdisciplinary Forum for Applied Animal Behavior. She has appeared on various broadcast media, including WGN and NBC 5 news and WCIU’s You & Me This Morning. This is her fifth year speaking at ClickerExpo.

31 March

31 March

01 April

Back

Sarah Owings

Sarah Owings, KPA CTP, is passionate about reaching the difficult dog. She specializes in using clicker training principles to help transform the lives of fearful or shy dogs. As the owner of Bridges Dog Training, co-creator of Cyber Dog Online, and a regular contributor to online training forums, Sarah is known for her innovative approaches to tough behavior problems, and her compassionate and insightful teaching.

A regular speaker at ClickerExpo for the past four years, Sarah was selected to serve as a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member in 2015. She has presented webinars for the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians (SVBT) on emotions in training and shy dogs, and co-presented seminars with KPA faculty member and author of Chill Out Fido, Nan Arthur. Sarah’s popular YouTube channel features videos that showcase clicker training, exotic-animal training, life enrichment, as well as her clients’ success stories. She has written articles for Clean Run and veterinary technician magazines, and blogs regularly about what she calls Brave Learning and the Art of Loving Dogs.

In addition to a lifetime of working and living with a wide variety of animals, Sarah has had many years of experience as a kindergarten teacher where the joys and challenges of the classroom have fueled a passion for teaching, learning, and human connection. She lives in Los Angeles with her amazing and supportive husband, Fred, her mom, Morgan, three rescue dogs, Zoë, Maya, and Tucker, four house rabbits, three cats, one dove, a tortoise, and an iguana named Spot.

31 March

01 April

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Emma Parsons

Emma Parsons has been training dogs for more than 20 years and specializes in managing and rehabilitating the reactive and aggressive dog. Emma is a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA), as well as a ClickerExpo faculty member. She gives Click to Calm seminars around the world, teaching others how to manage and rehabilitate reactive and aggressive dogs. Emma is the author of Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog and Teaching the Reactive Dog Class, as well as some best-selling DVDs. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).

Emma holds a B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and shares her life with her husband, Greg, and their four clicker-trained dogs: three Goldens, Lizzie-Taylor, Kayden-Blue, Austyn-Roque; and a Papillon, Wylie-Rae.

31 March

31 March

01 April

02 April

Back

Gina Phairas

A central force behind dog*tec, the dog pro industry’s leading business consultancy, and a former instructor at the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, Gina now develops products that help trainers succeed and works one-on-one with dog pros to help them build their dream businesses. She is a dynamic speaker who teaches business workshops across the country. Gina previously ran a successful dog training business of her own and consulted nationally for shelters and rescue groups.

31 March

01 April

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Michele Pouliot

Michele Pouliot began her animal-training career through her love of horses. She attended the Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm, studying under the tutelage of Linda Tellington and Wentworth Tellington. After graduating at the school’s highest level, Michele remained there as an instructor, until her next position, in North Dakota. There, Michele acquired her first dog—a move that would change her life and career. With dog-training pointers from a former riding student, Michele became fascinated with her dog’s willingness to learn; she spent all of her spare time training him. It was then that Michele’s path changed toward a career in dog training, which progressed to guide dog training.

Michele Pouliot began her 42-year career as a licensed guide dog instructor when she joined Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), the second-largest guide dog school in the world. In addition to personally training more than 350 guide dog teams over 20 years, Michele contributed to major change in the organization by leading the adoption of clicker training in the formal training of guide dogs and in the development of puppies raised for guide dog work. Michele also developed the education program for GDB’s blind clients learning to clicker train their own guide dogs.

Since 2005, Michele has been a pioneer in the guide dog industry worldwide. GDB and Michele actively support and assist other guide dog schools in crossing over from traditional training methods to positive reinforcement and clicker training techniques. In order to provide education to more individuals worldwide, GDB and Michele have offered four International Guide Dog Clicker Conferences for professionals in the guide dog field. Recently, Michele was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award from the International Guide Dog Federation for her innovation, creative development, and service to blind clients and guide dog programs around the globe. She leads seminars and workshops around the world, for guide and service dog organizations and for dog sport training. Michele is known as a very clear and enthusiastic teacher who demonstrates her love for animals and people every time.

Michele has also been very active and successful in canine dog sports. She was heavily involved in competition obedience for 20 years, winning four Obedience Trial Championships with her personal dogs. Michele has also competed in tracking and in the sport of agility. In 2005, Michele discovered the new sport of Canine Musical Freestyle; she is now a leader in the sport, with help from her dogs Cabo, Listo, Déjà, and Saké. Michele and her dogs are winners of multiple national and international competitions; they are known for creative behaviors and entertaining routines. Michele and Listo made history in the World Canine Freestyle Organization as the first team to ever receive perfect "10" scores in both Artistic and Technical categories! They repeated this incredible achievement 23 more times with six different routines.

Michele loves to spend time at home, in Oregon, with her dogs and her horses. A member of the ClickerExpo faculty since 2008, Michele partnered with Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) to create an online Canine Freestyle course. The course has received rave reviews from students and is popular even with clicker enthusiasts who are not involved in the freestyle sport.

31 March

31 March

01 April

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Ken Ramirez

Ken Ramirez is the Executive Vice-President (EVP) and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training. There he helps to oversee the vision, development, and implementation of training education programs for the organization.

Previously, Ken served as EVP of animal care and animal training at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, where he developed and supervised animal care and animal health programs, staff training and development, and public presentation programs for more than 32,000 animals. Ken worked at Shedd Aquarium for more than 25 years and continues as a consultant to this day.

A 35+-year veteran of animal care and training, Ken is a biologist and animal behaviorist who has overseen or consulted on training projects for many zoological organizations throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and has maintained a close affiliation with pet training throughout his career. Ken hosted two successful seasons of the pet-training television series Talk to the Animals that compared pet training to the important work done with training and caring for animals in zoological facilities. Recently, he has also recently worked closely with several search-and-rescue-dog organizations and service-dog groups, as well as with bomb and narcotic dogs.

Ken has been active in several professional organizations, including the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA), of which he is a past president. He has been actively involved in the creation of a certification process for animal trainers in zoological settings. Ken has written for numerous scientific publications and authored countless popular articles. He authored the book ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement, published in 1999. Ken teaches a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University.

31 March

31 March

31 March

01 April

01 April

01 April

02 April

Back

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. He obtained his Ph.D from the University of Kansas in 1995 under the direction of Dr. Donald M. Baer. He serves on several editorial boards, including the European Journal of Behavior Analysis and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. His areas of interest include antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, animal training, and rule- and contingency-shaped behavior.

31 March

01 April

01 April

02 April

Back

Terry Ryan

Terry Ryan, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, KPA Faculty, Founder and President of Legacy Canine Behavior & Training, has been a dog training class instructor since 1968. Through Legacy, Terry teaches pet dog classes, writes books, presents national and international seminars and workshops, hosts interns, and offers consults. She was the Coordinator of the People-Pet Partnership, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, from 1981 until 1994. An American Kennel Club competitor and judge, Terry was on the American Humane Society’s advisory board for humane dog training. She is a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.

01 April

01 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Kathy Sdao

Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She has spent more than 30 years as a fulltime animal trainer, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. Kathy received a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of Hawaii. The United States Navy then hired her to train dolphins for open-ocean tasks. Kathy next worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Later, Kathy co-created Tacoma’s first dog-daycare facility, where she began teaching clicker-training classes.

Since 1998, Kathy has owned Bright Spot Dog Training. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs, teaching private lessons, and mentoring professional trainers. Kathy is proud to be an original faculty member at Karen Pryor Clicker Training’s ClickerExpo conferences.

Kathy has traveled extensively across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and to Australia, Israel, Japan, and Mexico, educating students about the science of animal training. Her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace was published in 2012.

31 March

31 March

01 April

01 April

01 April

02 April

Back

Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Laura VanArendonk Baugh operates Canines in Action in Indianapolis. As a crossover trainer, Laura is particularly interested in the science of more efficient behavior change. She became a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) in 2008 and returned to the Academy as an instructor, teaching certification workshops around the country. She is also certified in TAGteach.

Laura blogs on clicker training and behavior frequently, writes articles on various behavior and training topics, and is the author of the bestselling Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training Crazy Dogs from Over-the-Top to Under Control.

31 March

31 March

02 April

02 April

02 April

Back

Lindsay Wood

Lindsay Wood, KPA CTP, ACAAB, currently serves as the Director of Operations for Lynchburg Humane Society (LHS), an open-admissions animal shelter located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her role at Lynchburg Humane includes the oversight of all shelter operations, with a strong focus on behavior and behavior modification to increase the number of animal lives saved and successfully rehomed.
Prior to her current role at LHS Lindsay served as the Director of Animal Training and Behavior for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado. She developed Boulder Humane's Training and Behavior Department, including the curriculum for a wide array of positive reinforcement, clicker training classes for community members. Lindsay also developed the organization's comprehensive behavior modification program that focuses on rehabilitating dogs with specific concerns, including food guarding, fearful behavior, body-handling sensitivities, separation anxiety, and dog-dog aggression.
Lindsay joined the Karen Pryor Academy faculty in 2012. With a master's degree in psychology and a concentration in animal behavior from Hunter College, Lindsay also received the Hunter College Graduate Certificate in the Advanced Psychology of Animal Behavior and Conservation. Her graduate thesis research project assessed the benefit of clicker training shelter dogs to facilitate learning, and is featured in Karen Pryor's book, Reaching the Animal Mind.

31 March

01 April

02 April

Back

Bravo

Conference Sponsor
Bravo is a family-owned business located in Manchester, Connecticut. Our parent company has been providing high quality meats to fine dining establishments throughout New England since 1942. Leveraging our expertise, we pioneered the raw pet food category by introducing our Bravo Blends line in 2002. So you might say our focus on super-premium nutrition runs in the family.

Today, Bravo offers over 125 different products for dogs and cats. All are made from the finest, most nutritious ingredients such as antibiotic-free poultry, responsibly harvested fish and select cuts of meat. And you can rest assured that our multi-step process meets strict food safety guidelines while keeping our food as close to natural as possible.

As our pet parent fan club continues to grow, our commitment to quality and purity will remain the simple idea at the heart of every Bravo product. Because we firmly believe in giving pets the best so they can be at their best. That’s what our make good happen™ slogan is all about.
Back

Kong

Toy & Recreation Sponsor
ONG founder, Joe Markham, loved his trained police dog, Fritz, but did not love his destructive chewing habits. Where other dogs might have chewed your shoes or favorite purse, Fritz loved to crunch on rocks, sticks and other harmful items. Fritz’s teeth were wearing down and his need for stimulation and play was not being met, and Joe was frustrated.

One day, while working on a VW Bus, Joe began throwing out car parts to Fritz to lure him away from those rocks. Fritz was immediately taken with a rubber suspension part and dropped it in Joe’s lap to play. The erratic bounce and toughness of the rubber inspired Joe.

We’ve been making KONGs from our own proprietary, pet-safe, built-to-chew rubber ever since. Dogs love KONG. The way it bounces keeps them engaged and ready to play. It has a soft mouth feel for a satisfying chew and, of course, it’s super durable. Owners love KONG too; they can stuff it, throw it, leave it out in the yard — KONG keeps coming back for more.

Dogs and their owners choose the original KONG and all of our other favorite toys because they’re fun. KONG toys are the best of the best in quality, originality, variety, safety, and value. Give a dog a KONG. They’ll be the first to show you: it’s not just a toy, it’s a KONG.
Back

Rally Freestyle Elements

Performance Sport Sponsor
Rally-FrEe is a unique sport combining trick behaviors of Canine Musical Freestyle with the format of Rally-Obedience. It emphasizes the precise execution of fundamental freestyle and obedience skills while encouraging creative and novel behaviors on a Rally-Obedience style course.
Back
Session
All

Newcomer Orientation

08:00 AM 08:45 AM

This Session is STRONGLY recommended for first-time attendees. It will also be useful for Expo veterans who need a little refresher.

First time here? Welcome to ClickerExpo! Aaron Clayton will help you make the most of your experience in this Session designed specifically for newcomers to ClickerExpo. He will cover topics that include how to maximize your chances of winning the big daily raffle, navigating ClickerExpo with your dog, choosing courses and changing your schedule, and attending special events.

This practical but humorous 45-minute introduction to ClickerExpo is a "must" for those experiencing the magic of ClickerExpo for the first time. The Session is a wonderful refresher for Expo veterans, too!

Attend this Orientation and then follow up with the general Opening Session at 9:00am!

Course Type: General Session
Experience Level: All Levels

Speakers

Back
Session
All

Opening Session: The X-perience Factor

09:00 AM 10:00 AM

We talk about trainer experience levels frequently, and use the terms novice, intermediate, and advanced. But what do those labels really mean? There is no universal agreement on the difference between each of these levels, and they are used for very different purposes. Levels can sometimes be beneficial in guiding learners toward appropriate level courses, but they can also become divisive categories that make trainers feel uncomfortable with such vague, generalized groupings. However, we all agree that experience is important in becoming a great trainer. So how do we define experience, and how should experienced be evaluated and used?

Ken will explore this common question and give his own perspective on the topic of experience. While this discussion may aid some attendees in selecting the right level of courses for this ClickerExpo, the Session will go beyond Expo and talk about the role of experience in the larger training community. Ken will also share some thoughts about why experience is important and why it has relevance to improved training and better animal care.

Course Type: Plenary Session
Experience Level: All Levels

Speakers

Back
Session
Intermediate

Triple Planning: Enhance Your Teaching

10:30 AM 12:30 PM

Is lesson planning confusing and stressful for you? It doesn’t have to be!

We usually know what we want to teach the dogs, but often get stuck accounting for the human portion of the equation. To be effective, we need all three pieces of the learning team working together: dog, handler, and instructor. With that many variables and moving parts, planning ahead can mean the differences between a screaming success and a total disaster.

But writing lesson plans for class is about as unsexy as it gets. It’s difficult and boring, and nobody ever compliments you on your amazing lesson plans. (Are you sold yet?) But by applying solid clicker training techniques, we can break down the skills you need to build efficient, effective, and well-organized lesson plans. And have fun!

Triple planning helps you create lesson materials, planning for what you, your students, and their dogs will be doing at every step.

This interactive session will combine learning and practice to make your job easier and your clients more successful through the triple planning method!

You won't just listen, You will DO IT! Learn to organize your content efficiently and create a plan to get your client involved and participating effectively. Get concrete tips you can take home and start using in your business Monday morning!

Attendees will leave this session:
●Able to successfully reach their client’s “pain point”
●Having experienced the Triple Planning process as the learner
●Understanding how to apply the Triple Planning method to their own group classes and private instruction
●Able to apply shaping principles to their own creation of an improved Triple Planning lesson plan
So come plan with Laurie and Hannah and experience how satisfying - dare we say fun? - lesson planning can be!
Note: If you enjoyed Triple Planning at least year's Expo and want to learn more, the 2017 Session is a great opportunity to review the concepts and practice the implementation

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
Session
ABM
Intermediate

The Anatomy of an Aggressive Dog-Training Plan

10:30 AM 12:30 PM

Now that you have decided to see clients whose dogs have aggression issues, what should be included in that type of lesson? Are you going to focus directly on the behavioral issue that the client is calling about or will you provide enough additional information to help the client stabilize this dog’s life? Will you give all of this information in one visit or will you spread it over the course of three? And how will you check up on the dog and client? Will you charge for this service? All of these questions will be answered in this Session.

When I treat dogs that have aggressive tendencies with both people and other dogs, I see the solution as a big puzzle where pieces such as dog parenting, diet, clicker training foundation behaviors, and management fit together perfectly. Although I am not going to teach the Click to Calm method per se, I am going to give you some training plans that have been used successfully to help treat dogs that have these issues.

In this Session, I will take you through my thought processes as I deal with aggressive dogs. We will walk along the continuum: everything from the first date of contact to the training session itself to the follow-up. Real-world, current case histories will be used as models to learn from.


Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate
Topic:Aggression & Behavior Management

Speakers

Back
Session
SCI
Foundation

A Moment of Science: Clicker Training 101

10:30 AM 12:30 PM

If you have been using a clicker but are not fully familiar with the science behind it, you will find this Session to be highly worthwhile[deleted text here].

Are you new to clicker training? Or are you using it, but are confused by the terminology and the reasons behind what we do? Here's an introductory course on learning theory and the important scientific principles that govern clicker training. The information you'll learn here will inform the many choices you must make as a trainer and will improve your application of clicker training techniques.

Kathy Sdao, associate certified applied animal behaviorist, former marine-mammal trainer, and dog professional, is a gifted teacher who enjoys sparking her students’ interest in the science of animal training. Start your ClickerExpo experience on Friday with this Session and you will have the foundation and vocabulary to help you understand, enjoy, and benefit from the rest of the program.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Foundation
Topic: Science

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
ABM
Advanced

Dr. No: How Teaching an Animal to Say "No" Can be the Right Prescription

10:30 AM 12:30 PM

Positive reinforcement trainers try to create a safe and nurturing learning environment for animals. When done properly, this makes the learning process fun, and the animal will participate in sessions eagerly. It is common for trainers to point out that their animals have the choice to participate, and that the lack of the use of punishment creates a stress-free working environment. Ken believes these statements to be true when everything is done correctly.

Choice and control have been proven to be powerful reinforcers for most learners. Trainers in recent years have explored how to provide more options in their training. Over the course of Ken’s career as a consultant and problem-solver, he has encountered situations where the relationship and trust between trainer and animal appears to have become strained for various reasons. In a few of the more extreme situations, Ken initiated a protocol in which the animal was taught how to indicate that it did not want to do a particular behavior. In essence, this was teaching the animal to say “no!” In all four cases where this protocol was used, it resolved the problem behavior and moved the animal and trainer back to a good working relationship.

In this Session, Ken will explore these case studies, describe the training process involved, and discuss the broader significance of this protocol. The Session will also compare and contrast the protocol to other types of training that are about teaching the concept of “no.” These other types of training will include intelligent disobedience work with guide dogs and “the all clear” signal in scent-detection work. These latter examples are very different protocols, and the differences will be discussed.

Ken will conclude the Session with a broader discussion of whether his “say no” protocol should be implemented with all learners. It is a unique protocol that is not widely used in the training community. After Ken shares the details of this protocol and his opinions about its use, there will be some time to engage in a discussion with the attendees.


Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Skill, Aggression & Behavior Management

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Intermediate

Tricky Motivators

10:30 AM 12:30 PM

Participant notes:
We will have approximately 5 dog/handler teams. Dogs should already understand the click/treat relationship, be comfortable with normal handling, and be able to work in close quarters with other dogs. Handlers should have some experience with shaping. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab. To participate in any Lab, you are expected to attend the prerequisite Session.

This is a combination Learning Session and Learning Lab, mixing lecture with-hands on training for working participants. This Session will include PowerPoint presentation, video demos, and hands-on training exercises with working teams.

This Lab will focus on clicker training a variety of trick behaviors, with a goal of discovering new and useful motivators for your dog. Tricks are entertaining and fun to train, but they can also be applied as rewards and motivators for performance. In addition, trick training can continue to expand the handler and dog’s abilities in shaping behavior.

Course Type: Session and Learning Lab
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
All

Play it Forward: Using Cues to Make Play Fun Again

10:30 AM 12:30 PM

Participant Notes:
This Lab will accommodate 6 dog/handler teams. It will be especially appropriate for dogs that lack motivation to play, and for dogs that tend to struggle with self-control around toys. Please do not bring any fearful dogs or dogs that have resource-guarding issues! Dogs should be able to work in close quarters with other dogs around food and toys, and be able to comfortably offer attention to their handlers around other dogs playing. You may participate with your dog, or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab. There is no prerequisite Session for this lab.

We will be working with food tossed on the ground, as well as a variety of toys. Some toys and balls will be provided, but if your dog has any favorite tug or fetch toys, or you have toys you wish your dog would enjoy playing with more, feel free to bring them.


The only thing more exhilarating than playing with your dog is knowing how to play skillfully. In this special two-hour, Lab-only Session, we will focus on teaching and handling strategies that can transform run-of-the-mill fetch and tug games into a fluent vocabulary of play-related cues. Although each exercise will be adapted to meet the needs of participants, we will have two specific types of players in mind: 1) the so-called “hard to motivate” dog that seems too inhibited to fully enjoy play with humans, or shuts down when asked to play in new environments; and 2) the more “over-the-top” or “toy-crazy” dog that plays with such abandon, it can sometimes be difficult to use toy reinforcers in training sessions effectively or safely.

For the more play-inhibited dogs, patterns of reinforcement that build anticipation, and shaping for enthusiasm incrementally, can work wonders. For dogs already over the top about toys, instead of “impulse control,” our goal will be to clarify the exact meaning of each play-related cue via consistent handler communication, improved trust, and better stimulus control.

NOTE: The exercises covered in the Lab may change depending on what each dog/handler team teaches us in the moment, but here are a few examples we may draw from.

CUES FOR PLAY-INHIBITED DOGS:

1.“Touch!”—using a fun, fast nose touch to a toy in place of tugging or fetch
2.“Love that Glove”—meatballs in a glove (plus targeting) to inspire fast runs to a tossed toy (credit: Helix Fairweather)
3.“Kill it!” —shaping for enthusiasm while tugging
4.“Whoo hoo!”— a conditioned Jackpot signal, great for dialing up excitement while playing
5.“Get-it!”—a fun movement cue taught with food tosses

CUES FOR TOY-CRAZY DOGS:

1.“Drop” / “Out” / “Give”—improving latency on toy release to hand
2.“Go!”—conditioned fetch cue that means you are throwing long
3.“Tug!”—improving stimulus control on your dog’s strike to a tug
4.“Catch it!”—conditioned movement cue that means you are throwing high
5.RELEASE—to toy on floor or Zen bowl
6.“Trade!”—accepting food for a toy without conflict
7.“All done”—how to end the game without punishing desirable responses (such as giving you the toy back when you ask for it)

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
Advanced

Retrieve Reboot: Unfreeze Your Retrieve

02:00 PM 03:30 PM

Clicker training the retrieve is the way to go, of course, whether for business or leisure. But what about when things don’t go as planned? Sometimes, despite best efforts and intentions, the dog just doesn't follow the recipe! Why is it not working, and how can we fix it?

This Session will look at the common problems encountered training retrieve behaviors, such as:

●Reluctant dogs—“I only open my mouth for food.”
●Dogs that actually avoid the dumbbell—“Oh no… not that thing again!”
●Overly enthusiastic dogs that chomp and chew—“OMG! DUMBBELL! GIMME!”
●Dogs that play “keep away” with the retrieve item—“Mine! Mine! Mine!”

We will peel away the layers of this complex behavior chain, identify complicating factors, and diagnose weak links. We will also explore strategies to problem-solve even the most challenging retrievers!

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Marketing 101 for Dog Trainers

02:00 PM 03:30 PM

To train dogs for a living you have to have clients. To get clients, you'll need a marketing plan. And if the thought of marketing sends you running for cover or finds you snoring, this Session is just the trick. Gina and Veronica will share innovative marketing approaches designed specifically for dog trainers. Learn creative projects to get vets referring to you without having to sell yourself to them, fun projects to increase your local exposure without spending a fortune, and easy ways to increase business by staying in touch with current and past clients. The best part? You’ll be educating your community about positive reinforcement and clicker training all along the way.


Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
Foundation

Building Behavior: Shape the Future

02:00 PM 03:30 PM

Related Learning Lab:
Building Behavior: Shape the Future - In Action

Some of the most common questions about clicker training relate to getting a new desirable behavior to mark and reinforce. Luring, modeling, capturing, and prompting can take us only so far, and shaping seems like such a complex challenge. Let's talk about splitting a behavior into many tiny steps and progressing smoothly through a training plan to a goal behavior. In this way, animals discover their own creativity, power, and desire to work with a trainer faster. Shaping is fun for both trainer and learner. It builds a great relationship, but requires comprehension of the game by the animal, and both conceptual and mechanical fluency in the trainer. We will work on concepts in the Session first and then on mechanical and technical skills in the Learning Lab.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Foundation
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
SCI
Advanced

The Great Divide: Is it Operant or Classical?

02:00 PM 03:30 PM

Behavior consultants navigate multiple pathways in the course of planning treatments. At the top of our list of considerations is paradigm approach: the choice between an operant or classical conditioning treatment method. A thoughtful approach and clear behavior modification plan are essential for effective treatment. However, we often become fixed on our learning paradigm of choice, hindering our perspective and ability to harness both types of learning occurring simultaneously. This Session will explore both classical and operant treatment options when initiating a behavior modification plan. It will consider the role of emotions in changing behavior, the benefits and weaknesses of classical and operant conditioning, and how we can most effectively harness both types of learning for greatest success for our learners.

Course Type: Learning Session
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Aggression & Behavior Management, Skill

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Intermediate

Make the Transfer: Problem-Solving through Cue Transfer

02:00 PM 03:30 PM


Participant notes:
We will have approximately 14 dog/handler teams. Handlers should have intermediate or advanced training skills and be able to work their dogs effectively in a distracting environment with other dogs and people nearby. Dogs should be able to settle comfortably on a mat, and be comfortable with sounds being played over a microphone and sound system speaker.

Cue Transfer, a foundation behavior for active trainers , is too often overlooked as a tool to help clients address problems easily. When we teach the skill of cue transfer to clients, we can make a huge contribution to their harmonious relationships with their animals.

As professional trainers, we receive numerous inquiries from puppy or dog owners reaching out with common concerns. These concerns might be common for us as teachers, but are quite frustrating for the owners. As we advocate for their canine companions and relationships, we should also advocate for how easy it is to incorporate foundation behaviors into the problem-solving model. Does the dog bark when the doorbell rings? Does the enthusiastic puppy jump on the counter while a delicious meal is being prepared? Is an older dog aging into his/her Golden Years while demonstrating diminished visual or auditory acuity? Is your client not sure what to do? Teach these pet owners to transfer a cue!

Participants will learn how to set and quickly adjust criteria while transferring cues with a variety of basic behaviors.

This Lab will include lecture, video presentations, demonstrations, working-dog participation, and assistance from another team member attending the Lab.

In this Lab, you’ll learn:

●The process of transferring a cue
●Effective fading techniques
●How to incorporate practical applications into your teaching curriculum
●The value of foundation behaviors
●Cue variety: verbal, visual, non-verbal auditory, and scent
●Engaging exercises to utilize in your personal training or course curriculum

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Advanced

How to Get Started with Concept Training

02:00 PM 03:30 PM

Participant notes:
In this unique Lab, approximately 6 dog/handler teams will learn the first steps of teaching your dog to participate in concept training exercises. Dogs should already understand the click/treat relationship, be comfortable with normal handling, and be able to work in close quarters with other dogs. Dogs should be fluent in cueing, be comfortable staying on a mat, and know how to touch/target a variety of objects with their noses when cued. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab. To participate in this Lab it would be helpful if you have attended one of Ken’s previous Sessions on concept training, although this is not mandatory.

In this Lab Ken will guide dog/handler teams through various basic exercises required to teach more advanced concepts such as Matching to Sample, Modifier Cues, Imitation, and Counting. Although the exercises are basic, the Lab is designed for experienced dogs and advanced handlers who want to get started teaching conceptual learning. The Lab will focus on how to set up your dog for success when you are training matching concepts. There will be four primary exercises:
●Targeting – Use of multiple targets; teaching the dog to make selections and indicate choices through varied types of targeting
●Pairing, Choices, and Repetition – So much of concept training is teaching multiple options at the same time, repeating trials over and over again, and teaching the animals a way to make choices
●Release cues – This concept may go by different names depending on you and your dog’s training history. For many types of conceptual learning it is important to teach the animal a way to receive multiple cues and wait to carry out the instructions until released.
●Cue transference (fading) – Most concepts are about teaching the learner a new or different type of cue. Learning how to fade to a new cue is a necessary skill for most concept training.
This Lab will focus on the tools needed for advanced conceptual learning. Because of the advanced nature of the task, participants will only be able to participate in the first steps of each exercise, which will set them up to continue the work and succeed when they return home. All exercises are basic, but are the essence to successful concept training.

Course type: Learning Lab
Experience level: Advanced
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
Intermediate

Collar Cues: Communicating through Touch

04:00 PM 05:45 PM

Related Learning Lab:
Collar Cues - In Action

Collar cues are valuable communication and training tools that are applicable for any service-dog work or dog-sport training. Clicker training your dog how to move via directional collar cues opens a gateway to faster, more efficient training, and provides an additional communication tool when training new behaviors or improving existing behaviors. Training young puppies how to respond to collar cues can provide a powerful foundation skill that supports many other goals.
Join internationally renowned guide-dog trainer and multi-time world champion freestyler Michele Pouliot as she shows you how clicker trained collar cue behaviors can become powerfully positive training tools to add to your toolbox.
This Session is recommended for anyone starting to train a new puppy, training service dogs of any type, competing in canine sports, or simply desiring an easily managed dog on leash.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
ABM
Foundation

Elimination Happens!

04:00 PM 04:45 PM

A top behavioral reason why dogs and cats are relinquished is inappropriate elimination. Pet owners do not care if Fido can do a 3-minute down stay on his bed as an adolescent if he is still urinating and defecating on their family room carpet. Acquire some quick tips for helping pet owners be successful with teaching appropriate elimination habits for dogs and cats. Find out what questions to ask to determine if the behavior is possibly related to a medical condition or lack of training, or due to stress or anxiety.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Foundation
Topic:Aggression & Behavior Management

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Camera-Ready: TV, Radio & the Trainer

04:00 PM 04:45 PM

There is nothing like the wonderful benefits that media collaboration can bring to the positive reinforcement animal-care and training community. With social media so prevalent, the media world can be a powerful ally and partner. But, like any relationship, our professionalism and the manner in which we convey important information is critical to our success. We represent ourselves as an individual, and as a representative for the animal-care community.

Television and radio have many dynamic and exciting variables. One thing is for sure, though: expect the unexpected! If you are prepared, and apply the top tips shared in this Session, you will tip the scales of success in your favor. Better yet, you will make new friends in the media community who are as enthusiastic and passionate about animals as we are.

In this Session you will learn:

●How to make contact with various media professionals
●The logistics of navigating live or recorded in-studio appearances and radio interviews
●How to identify relevant animal events that can be featured topics
●How to work closely with producers to plan for and convey concise, easy-to-follow, key points with the help of a booking sheet, call sheet, and pre-appearance guidelines
●How to prepare live animals and handlers
●How to maximize your message in a short amount of time
●How to use social media outlets to share your media appearances


Join Laura to learn more about her own exciting media experiences throughout her animal training career. Hear more about her collaborative opportunities with media professionals for NBC5 Weekend News, WGN Midday News, WCIU-You & Me This Morning News, The Chicago Tribune, The Bark Magazine, Steve Dale’s Pet World/WGN Radio, Karen Pryor Clicker Training, Clean Run Magazine, The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), dog*tec’s Monthly Minute e-newsletter, and about her media-training experiences working in the exotic-animal training community.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
Session
SCI
Intermediate

Ideas that Should Die: Outdated, Outmoded & Misunderstood Behavior Science

04:00 PM 04:45 PM

The inertia that results from so-called conventional wisdom about how behavior works is a big obstacle to the widespread adoption of positive reinforcement-based training. Discussions quickly devolve into rancorous debates based on little more than personal belief and political affiliations. One example is the intrinsic vs. extrinsic reinforcement debate. As a result of many myths and misunderstandings, learners fail to benefit from the wellspring of information that is the result of decades of application of the technology of behavior change known as applied behavior analysis (ABA). At the center of this problem is the deeply rooted belief that behavior exists inside individuals, independent of the conditions in which they behave. In this Session, common myths and misunderstandings will be discussed so that participants are better able to address them.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate
Topic: Skill, Science

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
All

If You Build It, They Will Come: Training a Reliable Recall

04:00 PM 05:45 PM

Participant notes:
We will have approximately 8 dog/handler teams. This Lab will have handlers and their dogs work on beginner, intermediate, and advanced recall exercises. All dogs must be comfortable working near and around other dogs that may be running near them. All dogs will be able to participate in the beginner exercises and probably the intermediate exercises, but only a few dog/handler teams will be able to participate in the more advanced exercises.

Many people struggle with teaching dogs to run to them on cue. Though a relatively simple movement, the recall is also a crucial behavior with several key criteria. This means trainers can easily make mistakes! Yet the power of clicker training is perfectly suited to this task. In this Lab, we’ll practice three specific training exercises (beginning, intermediate, and advanced). As a bonus, we’ll provide a list of 10 practical training tips for your use and to share with your students, if desired.
Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: All Levels

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Foundation

Building Behavior: Shape the Future - In Action

04:00 PM 05:45 PM

Related Learning Lab:
Building Behavior: Shape the Future - In Action

Some of the most common questions about clicker training relate to getting a new desirable behavior to mark and reinforce. Luring, modeling, capturing, and prompting can take us only so far, and shaping seems like such a complex challenge. Let's talk about splitting a behavior into many tiny steps and progressing smoothly through a training plan to a goal behavior. In this way, animals discover their own creativity, power, and desire to work with a trainer faster. Shaping is fun for both trainer and learner. It builds a great relationship, but requires comprehension of the game by the animal, and both conceptual and mechanical fluency in the trainer. We will work on concepts in the Session first and then on mechanical and technical skills in the Learning Lab.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Foundation
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
All

At Long Last! Creating Longer-Duration Behaviors

05:00 PM 05:45 PM

Related Learning Lab:
At Long Last! Creating Longer Duration Behavior - In Action!

One of the biggest challenges in animal training is to create a behavior, put it on cue, and have it demonstrated until completion is signaled. The behavior can be in the form of a moving behavior like heeling or backing up, or a stationary behavior like a sit, down, or stand stay. To accomplish all three parts of the challenge, the behavior must be reliable so that it can be replicated, or in the case of a static behavior, the dog must be able to maintain a certain position for a long period of time. The timing of the click has to be exquisite in order for it to mark the correct behavior, especially teaching a dog to hold an object.

Through the use of a PowerPoint Presentation and video, we will explore these training principles and how to implement them in your training plan.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic:Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
SCI
All

Poisoned Cues: Diagnosis, Analysis & Repair

05:00 PM 05:45 PM

Much is known about cues that are established using positive reinforcement and cues that are established using aversive events. However, much less is known about the effects when cues are established using a combination of positive reinforcement and aversive events (such a corrections or punishment). This phenomenon has been termed “the poisoned cue” by Karen Pryor, and Dr. Ruiz presented lectures on the subject at early ClickerExpo conferences. Understanding the poisoned cue is very important for animal trainers, especially working with cross-over animals that have been trained previously using traditional or balanced methods.

For those familiar with the concept of a poisoned cue, the beginning of the Session will be a review. Then there will be new material demonstrating what has been learned about the poisoned cue in recent years. We will review some experiments demonstrating the effects of the poisoned cue with both animals and children. We will also discuss ways to identify if a cue has been poisoned. Sometimes, trainers blame poor performance on distractions or lack of motivation, when the culprit is actually a poisoned cue. Finally, we will discuss ways to overcome a poisoned cue if you discover that you have one.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Science

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Get (Buy) In or Get Out! How to Get Clients to Adopt Your Training Plan

05:00 PM 05:45 PM

Getting clients to buy in to your training plan can make the difference between success and failure. Client buy-in can also be good for your business bottom line—repeat business and referrals depend on it. While we all agree buy-in is a good thing, it's hard to know exactly how to get from “I don't know if this is going to work” to “It worked! You're amazing!”

Attendees will leave the Session knowing:

●Why buy-in is important
●What buy-in looks like
●The steps necessary to achieve buy-in
●How to troubleshoot roadblocks to buy-in
●Which words and phrases will help you build buy-in

Course Type: Session
Course Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
TEACH
All

Teaching & Training at the Next Level: Karen Pryor Academy

08:00 AM 08:45 AM

No matter how long you’ve been training, there is always room to improve! Perhaps you’re an experienced trainer who is looking to kick it up a notch by becoming an expert in concepts such as fluency, using cues as reinforcers, and constructing solid behavior chains. Maybe you’re looking to grow your training business, or become part of a global network of certified trainers. Maybe you want to add or improve puppy socialization classes using a top-notch curriculum, learn the sport of Canine Freestyle with ClickerExpo’s own Michele Pouliot, or improve the training and enrichment program in your local shelter. Or maybe you’re rather new to clicker training and would like to find an online course that brings all the basics together for you in one place. Wherever you are in your training, this Session will show you how Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) can help. KPA Director Lori Chamberland will give you a taste of content from KPA’s courses and discuss the benefits of a KPA education. There will be plenty of time for you to ask questions as well!

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Websites That Work: Keys to a Successful Trainer Website

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Your website is your ultimate marketing and sales tool, and it’s a shame to have it firing on anything but full cylinders. A good site doesn’t just exist—it works for you. Your website should answer client questions and make sales, so you don’t have to. Imagine phone and e-mail inquiries from clients ready to hire you, instead of working to convince potential clients who are full of questions that you’re the right choice. Gina and Veronica will share examples of website “do’s and don’ts,” best and worst practices, and before-and-after case studies to show you what makes a website really work. They will provide inspiration and an action plan for building or improving your own most important marketing tool.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels

Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
COMP
SKILL
Session
All

The Fab Five: Concepts That Will Make Your Training Rock!

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Visiting from Sweden, Emelie and Eva bring a unique training style to ClickerExpo. As readers of their book, Agility Right from the Start, already know, the ideas these two trainers present transfer extremely well to training venues other than agility just as well. In this Session, Emelie and Eva will connect the dots for you, condensing their principles and procedures into “five favorites”—five concepts that will bring your training to new heights.

Are you curious about what “Good Agility Practices” look like when applied to obedience training? Can you see the similarities between heel-work and weave-pole exercises? And, what’s up with those spontaneous starts, anyway?

Everyone committed to reward-based training will enjoy learning from this Swedish duo. If you are looking for a competitive edge or simply for more joy and confidence in your training, this Session is for you!

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Skill, Competition

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
Foundation

What a Cue Can Do: Developing Cueing Skills

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Related Lab:
●What a Cue Can Do - In Action with Sarah Owings

Effective cueing is essential for achieving reliable responses. The process of adding cues in clicker training is different than in other training methods. Getting behaviors on cue is often the most difficult concept for new clicker trainers to understand because the process is somewhat counterintuitive.
This Learning Session is about choosing and maintaining effective cues for operant behaviors as well as about understanding how cues are integral to more advanced training applications. Kathy Sdao will show you how to use cues to gain control of operant behaviors. You'll learn what a cue is—and isn't—and how cues differ from commands. We'll discuss how to choose cues to maximize clarity, how to transfer a known cue to a novel cue, and how cues function in behavior chains. You'll also learn how cues can be transferred and combined to produce complex and flexible behaviors, and how to avoid the “good enough” syndrome.
Course Type: Learning Session
Experience Level: Foundation
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
ABM
Advanced

Full House? Working & Living with Multiple Animals

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Often we teach training by focusing on working one-on-one. But how do we train and work with multiple animals at the same time? In this Session Ken will share techniques and knowledge he gained from working in the zoological community, where working with groups of animals was the daily norm. He will translate that knowledge to working with animals of any type.

Some of the key concepts that Ken will focus on include stationing, fairness, clicker use, and new-animal introductions (a new puppy, shelter dog, a cat to a dog, or any species of animal). The first half of this Session will include helpful information for trainers at all levels, but the Session will progress to an advanced case study during the second half.

From 2013 through 2015, Ken was involved in a project where he and his team adopted several very aggressive and reactive dogs. The goal was to use the same techniques Ken has taught to his students for introducing animals (techniques that will be covered during the first half of this Session) with the problematic dogs rescued from a shelter. Ken will share the step-by-step process in a detailed case study of this special project!

Course type: Session
Experience level: Advanced
Topic: Skill, Aggression & Behavior Management

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
All

At Long Last! Creating Longer-Duration Behaviors - In Action

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Related Learning Lab:
At Long Last! Creating Longer Duration Behavior - In Action!

One of the biggest challenges in animal training is to create a behavior, put it on cue, and have it demonstrated until completion is signaled. The behavior can be in the form of a moving behavior like heeling or backing up, or a stationary behavior like a sit, down, or stand stay. To accomplish all three parts of the challenge, the behavior must be reliable so that it can be replicated, or in the case of a static behavior, the dog must be able to maintain a certain position for a long period of time. The timing of the click has to be exquisite in order for it to mark the correct behavior, especially teaching a dog to hold an object.

Through the use of a PowerPoint Presentation and video, we will explore these training principles and how to implement them in your training plan.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic:Skill

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
ABM
Advanced
ADOPT

On Guard! Resource-Guarding Lab

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Participant notes:
This Session/Lab will accommodate approximately 12 dog/handler teams. Teams should have advanced clicker training experience. Dogs must be comfortable working in close quarters with other working dogs. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab.

In this Learning Lab and Session combination, Lindsay will use the first 30 minutes as a learning session to explain her resource-guarding protocol. After that, she will show participants how to practice the steps to modify food-guarding, based on a statistically successful protocol that she developed. The protocol applies force-free, scientific principles of desensitization and counter-conditioning to modify a dog's existing negative association with food-bowl interference and removal.

Lab participants will develop their treatment skills by practicing the steps within the protocol, learning to assess behavioral criteria for progressing through the treatment plan, and troubleshooting complexities that may arise as dogs move through the protocol.

Course Type: Learning Session/Learning Lab
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Shelter & Rescue, Aggression & Behavior Management, Skill

Speakers

Back
COMP
Session
Advanced

Fail-Safe: Cracking the Code for Ultra Depend-Ability

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

Related Learning Lab:
Fail-Safe: Cracking the Code for Ultra-Dependability - In Action

For a winning (or even qualifying) performance in the ring, we need accurate, precise behaviors, but we also need those behaviors to be highly reliable. We can’t just train until the dog gets it right; we need to train until he can’t get it wrong!

In this Session, we will explore the process for building robust, reliable behaviors. This process goes beyond simple distraction-proofing. We need complete understanding, flawless communication, and core skills that are so strong as to be automatic.What we need for super-fluent, unstoppable behaviors will be discussed, as will when and how to add distractions without increasing the error rate and putting our precious competition behaviors at risk.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Competition

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
All

The Sound of Silence: Accessing the Power of a Withheld Click

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

Important characteristics of effective clicker training include high rates of reinforcement, well-timed clicks, and valuable reinforcement delivered strategically.
What about the space of time when there are no clicks? Is the trainer waiting for desired behavior or is the absence of a click a deliberate tool to change the dog’s present behavior?
In this Session, Michele Pouliot will address how to most effectively use the absence, or withholding, of the click. Trainers make decisions constantly in every training session. The focus in planning a training session is often about the timing of when to administer clicks. Another training preparation topic is when “not to click”.

This Learning Session will show how thoughtful decisions regarding when to “not click” result in a powerful communication tool with your dog or any animal. Michele will also discuss the prerequisites that the learner needs before the trainer can effectively apply intentional withheld clicks.

This Session will include a PowerPoint presentation and video demonstrations.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
TEACH
All

What a Pithy: Making Classes Memorable

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

“Pithy” means “concisely cogent.” It describes an essential skill of the best training instructors. We work in challenging conditions: teaching two species simultaneously a series of precise physical skills, often in less-than-ideal environments. We must communicate unfamiliar concepts to our human students quickly. Explore creative ways to present this information concisely (i.e., in few words) and cogently (i.e., in a powerfully convincing way).

Summary of Presentation

Part of the job of a pet-dog instructor is to communicate basic learning principles—about reinforcement, timing, criteria, cues, generalization, and more—to novice students. But we are limited in the amount of verbal explanations we can provide. Extended lectures lead to bored and noisy dogs. If we challenge ourselves to be creative, we can devise teaching approaches that are brief, memorable, and effective. Metaphors, analogies, parables, and anecdotes can convey broad or advanced concepts meaningfully. Cartoons can also express ideas succinctly; just think how much impact a political cartoon can have.

This presentation will be an exercise in generative thinking. It will attempt to spark your own ingenuity and give you fresh ideas for classes that may have become stale after years of repetition. Come prepared to learn innovative instructional tools that can bring life to your teaching.

Learning objectives:
1.To learn to use language in creative ways to convey jargon and complex training concepts to students
2.To become familiar with several forms of narrative devices instructors can use to simplify and clarify their information

This Session will focus on:
●Teaching as performance art
●How to be “sticky”
●Metaphors and analogies
●Stories and parables
●Perspective shifts
●Humor
●Avoiding clichés
●A few examples of concepts we can use as practice

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
SCI
Foundation
All

Effectiveness Is Not Enough: The Ethical Intervention

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

Many forces conspire to make effectiveness the sole measure of a training program's success. Factors like clients' desperation, the animal's quality of life, and even the dynamics of a professional work-for-pay relationship create the pressure cooker that fosters an exclusive "eye on the prize" or "as long as it works" focus for many professionals.

In this Session, we will go beyond effectiveness by adding another measure to our success criteria: the process by which we achieve effectiveness. This second criterion is embraced by the concept "most positive, least intrusive" effective intervention, which has protected children in special education programs for more than 40 years, and is also referred to in law and medicine.

By implementing this standard, we will become more thoughtful about the path we take to effective training outcomes, increasing the likelihood that we will be maximally effective and humane.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels, Foundation
Topic: Skill, Science

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
VET
Intermediate

Deep Impact: 7 Behaviors that Profoundly Change the Vet & Groomer Experience

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

Participant notes:
We will have approximately 14 dog/handler teams. Handlers should have intermediate or advanced training skills and be able to work their dogs effectively in a distracting environment with other dogs and people nearby. Dogs should be familiar and comfortable with basic targeting, general body tactile (head, mouth, torso, legs, tail), and with a second person approaching, interacting with, and potentially touching them. The dogs should also be familiar and comfortable with a variety of grooming and veterinary props (e.g., scale, capped needles, nail trimmer, scent of ear cleaning solution, muzzle, gauze, etc.).

These days we know that training is about much more than “obedience” or “manners”—it’s an essential component of animal care. In fact, in the exotic animal world, where Laura Monaco Torelli began her career, the main focus of training is cooperative husbandry. Good medical health underpins good behavioral health, but many pets and their owners dread a visit to the groomer or vet. This problem can be turned around with a simple approach involving training games and activities. It is also important to recognize that some procedures (injections, suture removal, ointment or solution application to a sensitive or infected area, consuming medication) may result in aversive or punishing consequences.

Participants will learn how to set and quickly adjust criteria for husbandry behaviors, as well as how to observe canine communication to gauge the dog’s comfort level and readiness for the next step. Behaviors and situations covered may include, but are not limited to:

●Chin rest onto a target
●Introduction to a second person
●General body handling
●Eye and ear tactile
●Muzzle introduction
●Voluntary injection positions
●Voluntary weights
●Voluntary oral medication

Every dog’s daily training should include grooming and veterinary care. This combined Session and Learning Lab provides the opportunity to practice various advanced skills and techniques. You'll learn how to weave general husbandry behaviors into other training games and activities that you and your dog already know, as well as insightful ways to keep both the dog and the human learner engaged.


This Lab will include lecture, video presentations, demonstrations, working-dog participation, and assistance from another team member attending the Lab.

In this Lab, you’ll learn:

●How to use creative reinforcement strategies
●How to support the animal-care team while shaping for resilient learners
●How to teach a chin rest behavior with various targeting techniques
●How to safely and proactively integrate husbandry training into group and private sessions, including how to plan for, practice, demonstrate, and follow up on a variety of grooming and veterinary care behaviors
●How to build a great team around each pet’s care, gaining essential buy-in from both clients and veterinary and grooming professionals
●How to create concise follow-up reports that support collaboration

Join Laura to learn how she integrates essential animal-care behaviors into group and private sessions successfully at Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago. Hear how this success has translated into increased referrals from veterinarians, both for everyday training and for work with dogs (and owners!) who are stressed during routine care.

Whether you teach private or group sessions, work as a groomer or veterinary professional, or just want to improve the veterinary or grooming experience for own dog, you’ll walk away from this Lab with a new perspective on how training can enhance the relationships between dogs and the people who care for them.

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Veterinary, Skill

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Foundation

What a Cue Can Do - In Action!

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

Prerequisite:
What a Cue Can Do: Developing Cueing Skills - Session

Participant notes:
We will have approximately 10 dog/handler teams. To participate, your dog should already be fluent at performing a simple targetingbehavior to an object or to someone’s fingertips or palm (i.e., be able to do at least 5 repetitions in 30 seconds of “touch nose or paw to target — hear click — eat treat — return immediately to touch target again”). Handlers should have basicclicker training mechanical skills (the treat follows the click, the click overlaps the desired behavior, etc.). You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. To participate in any Lab, you are expected to attend the prerequisite Learning Session.

We will add a cue to a simple targeting behavior, and then begin the process of teaching the dogs to wait for that cue. We will add a different type of cue to a previously known behavior (e.g. physical for verbal) and, if time allows, may also spend time problem-solving individual cueing-related issues handlers may be having with their dogs.

Lab participants will get a chance to refine their understanding of how to add cues to newly shaped behaviors. Skills covered will be:

1.How to know when a behavior is ready for a cue
2.How to present cues cleanly and consistently, so what you are signaling makes sense to your animal
3.How observation and great timing help minimize cuing errors
4.How to respond if your animal makes a mistake
5.How to begin teaching your animal to wait for cues, without the use of extinction
6.How to replace ineffective or poisoned cues with new ones

Course Type: Lab
Experience Level: Foundation
Topic:Skill

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
All

Loopy Training

02:00 PM 03:45 PM

How quickly can you change criteria? What tells you that your learner is ready for you to move on? Not sure? It’s a question many trainers have. Suppose you are introducing a horse or a dog to a target. After the first touch or two, it’s tempting to begin moving the target around. Both horses and dogs are attracted to movement, so they can usually follow these changes. They are reinforcing you for lumping, making big leaps in your training, instead of breaking the process down into small steps.

What’s wrong with that, especially if your animal is tracking the target successfully and getting clicked and treated? When your focus is just on the outcome, touching the target, you often miss important details that are also occurring, details that may get in your way later.

Alex wants handlers to notice potential problems while they are still little things. That's when they are easiest to deal with—not after the molehill has grown into a mountain. The loopy training teaching strategy helps you notice details, both good things you want to reinforce, and unwanted behaviors you'd like to clean up. Loopy training is going to slow you down so you can progress faster. If that sounds like a paradox, it's not. Loopy training helps you be more systematic so you aren't glossing over issues that will slow you down in the long run. Loopy training gives you clear guidelines for knowing when to increase your criterion and when to linger just a little longer at a particular step. When a loop is clean, you get to move on. Not only do you get to move on, you should move on.

Loopy training helps you get it just right! For those who have heard Alex speak on this topic previously, this Session will review those concepts and add in the developments and learning that she has discovered from teaching this concept for many years.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Equine

Speakers

Back
Session
VET
All

Crossing Chasms: Understanding Trainer and Veterinary Perspectives on Animal Care

02:00 PM 03:45 PM

Trainers and veterinarians have so many things in common. They all:

●Are passionate about animals
●Have a desire to provide the animals they work with the best care possible
●Work with individual clients
●Are professionals with unique knowledge and skills

Despite these common goals, the tension and difficulties these professionals sometimes face when working together can create serious problems that get in the way of serving the clients and their animals successfully. In this Session, Debbie and Ken will share their experiences, each having worked extensively on both the training and veterinary sides of animal care. The goal is to share the unique perspectives of both professions and suggest steps that will aid in improved cooperation.

Debbie will focus on the medical model for behavior classification, the challenge of communication between professionals who are often the authority figures in their fields, the perspective of the trainer and the perspective of the veterinarian (common concerns each has about each other).

Ken will focus on a model that has been successful when veterinarians and trainers are working for the same organization, and how that model might transfer to those working with individual clients. He will also share his perspectives on communication challenges, individual perspectives, and solutions for working together.

Ken and Debbie will then open the Session to questions and discussion from attendees, looking for additional perspectives and questions that can help all of us move toward a more cohesive approach to accomplishing animal health care goals.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All levels
Topic:Veterinary

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Help Me Now! Effective Management for Desperate Clients

02:00 PM 02:45 PM

Dog trainers get called when a dog's behavior has become a problem. They are often expected to bring immediate relief at that first session with the clients. In response, and too often, we offer the client the same tired phrase: “The problem didn't develop overnight, and we can't solve it one session.”

Owners need immediate relief from a problem that is causing stress within the family, costing money (or their sanity), and creating potential liability for damage or injury. Gaining client commitment quickly and easily—which ultimately makes our job easier and produces a better outcome—is as easy as setting up a management plan for the client. Management is often overlooked by trainers who want to “fix” the problem and who don't understand the level of “pain” the client is experiencing.

This Session will provide a framework in which management fits into almost every training plan. It will also explain how to describe and integrate management into your comprehensive training plan, and how sometimes management is all the client was really after (and why that's 100% ok!).

Course Type: Session
Course Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
All

Control is an Illusion: Stimulus Control without Frustration

02:00 PM 02:45 PM

Related Learning Lab:
Control Is an Illusion - In Action!

“Good stimulus control is nothing more than true communication—honest, fair communication. It is the most complex, difficult, and elegant aspect of training with positive reinforcement.” - Karen Pryor

Stimulus control is not about how much control you have over your animal, but about how precisely you are able to communicate when reinforcement is available for a behavior and when it’s not. Stimulus control is also a reflection of overall dog and handler fluency at the moment the cues are learned. We’ve all seen or worked with dogs that fidget, pant, bark, and throw every behavior they’ve ever been clicked for when they are not quite sure what you want. These responses are not caused by over-arousal or the use of food in training, but by unclear criteria, unclear context cues, unhelpful defaults accidentally reinforced in past training sessions, and the resurgence of incomplete behaviors that were never fully put on cue to start.

The goal of this Session is to highlight the importance of stimulus control by looking at ways to refine how to teach it. Happily, the use of extinction is not necessary. There are far less frustrating methods to get behaviors on cue efficiently, as well as to make it clear exactly when we want our animals to offer behavior, and when we want them to wait. If you’ve ever struggled with a “frantic dog,” have a dog that frequently goes off course because fun obstacles keep trumping your directional cues, or have a dog that has a start on lots of behaviors that you now want to get on cue more reliably, this is the Session for you!


Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
COMP
Lab
Advanced

Fail-Safe: Cracking the Code for Ultra Depend-Ability - In Action

02:00 PM 03:45 PM

Prerequisite:
Fail-Safe: Cracking the Code for Ultra-Dependability - Session

Participant Notes:
This Lab will accommodate approximately 12 dog/handler teams. Teams should be clicker-savvy and have advanced experience with shaping. Dogs should have a minimum of 3 fluent behaviors under good stimulus control. The behaviors can be very simple (for example: target, sit, down, etc.) and need not be specific to competition obedience. Dogs must be comfortable working in a seminar-type setting, in close quarters with other working dogs, even when excited. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab. To participate in any Lab, you are expected to attend the prerequisite Learning Session.

In this Learning Lab, we will practice enhancing the fluency of behaviors by introducing challenges incrementally while striving for errorless learning.

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Competition

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Intermediate

Collar Cues - In Action!

02:00 PM 03:45 PM

Prerequisite:
Collar Cues: Communicating through Touch

Participant notes:
We will have approximately 6 dog/handler teams. Dogs should already understand the click/treat relationship and should be able to work in the same room as other dogs. Handlers and dogs should have previous clicker training experience. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab.

Collar cues are valuable communication and training tools applicable for general dog training, service-dog work, or dog-sport training.
This Learning Lab will demonstrate how to clicker train dogs to move with directional collar cues. Collar cue behavior provides an additional communication tool for training new behaviors or improving existing behaviors. Join top guide-dog trainer and multi-time world champion freestyler Michele Pouliot as she shows you how collar cues, trained via the clicker, can give you just the right touch.


Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
SCI
All

Effective Affection: How to Get it Right

03:00 PM 03:45 PM

Pet owners often reinforce unwanted and annoying behaviors inadvertently (such as petting a dog when he jumps up) by giving attention and affection for these behaviors. When trainers are shaping new behaviors, they often default to food as a reward, and find it difficult to use petting, scratching, or other forms of affection effectively in order to reinforce behavior. Yet, if the problem behavior is maintained by affection, using affection is often the fastest and most effective way to solve the problem. The pieces that are often missing in this kind of problem-solving are teaching the animal how to receive affection and teaching the human how to use affection correctly to shape behavior. In this Session, I will describe in detail a powerful procedure that can be used to teach animals how to request and receive affection. Then we will discuss how to use affection to shape new behavior effectively, with plenty of video examples from a variety of different species.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Science

Speakers

Back
Session
TEACH
All

Gamification: Engaging Training Games for Groups

03:00 PM 03:45 PM

Related Learning Lab:
Gamification - In Action!


Both humans and dogs are social animals. We enjoy each other’s company. Games can be a natural extension of the good times dogs and people can have together in a group setting. Training classes, neighborhood barbecues, and doggy playdates are all good excuses for people and dogs to play games.

Gamification is the buzzword for a popular trend in adult education. Dog training classes fall under adult education, even though we seem to be (somewhat wrongly) concentrating on the dogs. Terry has almost fifty continuous years of experience as a dog-training class instructor. Her classes have included carefully conducted games to increase the reliability of core behavioral skills amid distractions. Each game has an application to everyday life situations. The games stress education rather than competition, and fun rather than chaos. Not interested in “games?” Replace the word “game” with the phrase “fluency exercise” and we’ll still be on the same page.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
Intermediate

Animals in Control: The Choice Is Theirs

04:15 PM 05:45 PM

Related Learning Lab:
Animals in Control - In Action!

As positive reinforcement trainers, we work hard at building relationships and creating partnerships with our animals. But there can be a huge difference between simply gaining an animal’s cooperation and giving the animal true choice! Trainers Eva Bertilsson, Emelie Johnson-Vegh, and Peggy Hogan have explored this concept in vastly different scenarios and are eager to share with ClickerExpo attendees.

This presentation, which combines lecture, personal examples, and videos, will introduce various techniques designed to help open the conversation with your learners. These techniques have been used successfully with dogs, horses, and many zoo animals in various contexts, including medical behaviors, challenging working scenarios, or any exercise that may give an animal pause. Teaching animals a way to “give you permission” to proceed or indicate that they are “ready” prevents inadvertent cueing behavior before an animal is prepared or committed to the activity. While all experienced trainers must become skilled at reading their learners’ body language, it is possible to take that skill a step further by teaching the animal to signal or “invite” the trainer to continue. Learn these techniques and you will be able to take another giant step toward the place where you and your animals are full and harmonious participants in a teaching and learning process.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
SCI
Advanced

Are You as Smart as a Dog?

04:15 PM 05:45 PM

For more than a decade, Ken has been sharing his approach to conceptual training at ClickerExpo! These Sessions have helped attendees advance their training by approaching advanced concepts [remove this word very] systematically (modifier cues, adduction, matching to sample, mimicry, and many more!). But the Sessions have also led to some interesting research opportunities for Ken.

Most recently Ken demonstrated how to teach dogs to count! But what started as a basic conceptual project continued to get bigger and more complicated. Various scientists convinced Ken to take the project further and turn it into real research. Ken was blessed to have an enthusiastic dog that seemed to enjoy the process of learning, so he continued the project to new levels. To the best of Ken’s knowledge, he has taken this project further than has been attempted with any dog previously. His research also revealed contradictions and controversy within the child cognitive psychological community. These developments prompted additional questions about what the new information might indicate about a seldom-studied cognitive ability in dogs.

In this Session, Ken will share the various phases of the project, including teaching the concept, the challenges of turning it into research, and how the project evolved over time. In addition, he will reveal some of the data from this project and discuss the implications as he compares that data with research performed with children.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Science, Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Step off the Treadmill: Effective Time Management for Dog Trainers

04:15 PM 05:45 PM

Need a few more hours in your day? Tired of running around like the proverbial chicken? Feeling frustrated about your growing to-do list, and guilty about not having more time for your own dog? If your business is running you instead of the other way around, it’s time for a time-management makeover. You can have two days off a week and a shorter to-do list, and still make a living as a dog trainer. Join Gina and Veronica to learn simple strategies, practices, and policies to increase your productivity, step off the treadmill, and get back in control.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
Session
ABM
Intermediate

We Just Have to Dish: Training, Science, and Nerdy Stuff with Kathy & Susan

04:15 PM 05:45 PM

There’s never enough time to chat, right? You know, time to safely engage in meaningful conversation with colleagues about evolving topics in our field. In this Session, Kathy and Susan invite you to join them in an informal discussion of current practices they have been thinking a lot about lately, such as client compliance, animal consent, naturally occurring reinforcers, and separating negative punishment and negative reinforcement in the procedural hierarchy. Join us as we go off the leash, off the perch, and outside the box.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate
Topic: Skill, Science

Speakers

Back
Lab
TEACH
All

Gamification - In Action!

04:15 PM 05:45 PM

Prerequisite:
Gamification: Engaging Training Games for Groups- Session

Participant notes:
We will have 8 dog/handler teams demonstrating the instructional format Terry described in the prerequisite Session. Dogs should be attentive to owners, and should be able to work in very close quarters with other dogs. Handlers should be able to work independently to mark and reinforce behaviors appropriately. Observers are welcome and may actually learn more without a dog!


Terry will work with dog/handler teams to demonstrate many of the games discussed in the prerequisite Learning Session.

Terry will also demonstrate how she gives feedback during the games and how she chooses games to match the skills and needs of her learners. Time is taken on the spot to observe canine body language and to identify application of skills to everyday, good citizen manners. Strategies are discussed for helping your dog be confident and successful in different situations, situations that are presented here as games, and then later in the real world.


Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
TEACH
All

Game On! Train or Be Trained - Part 1

04:15 PM 05:45 PM

Participant Notes:
This Lab is for people; no need to bring your dogs—let them rest! The focus will be on trainer skills and will have approximately 60 spots for participants.

Great clicker training relies on effective communication between teacher and learner. A well-timed click, effective delivery of reinforcement, and a well-thought-out plan go a long way to make the experience a joyful one for both human and animal. Although we all know this, nothing compares to actually experiencing it.

In this Lab, you will be introduced to PORTL (the Portable Operant Teaching and Research Lab) and introduced to how it can be used to gain insight into the training process. PORTL is a game played with a collection of small objects and a clicker. The teacher communicates with the learner entirely through reinforcement. No instructions, prompts, or models are used during the game to direct the learner. PORTL can be used to improve mechanical skills, model training concepts and behavioral principles, and gain insight in developing and modifying a shaping plan

This Lab will introduce you to PORTL and the basics of how to set up and play PORTL.

We will practice the fundamentals of PORTL mechanics and play one exercise where you will get to be the teacher or the learner. After the exercise, we will discuss what you experienced while playing the game, including your emotions as the learner or teacher. Through these activities, you will experience how PORTL can be an effective teaching tool for helping people understand clicker training and[text deleted here] improve their shaping skills.


Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Skill, Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
Event
All

Book & Media Signing

06:00 PM 06:30 PM

Back
Ticketed Meal

Room with a View: A Training Conversation Panel Discussion

07:15 PM 09:30 PM

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Scratch Your Niche: Get the Clients You Want

08:00 AM 08:45 AM

Are you tired of selling people on using the clicker for training? Do you wish you could hand-pick your clients? You need a niche. For small business owners, having a well-defined niche target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target work with everyone who has a dog. Many dog trainers say they target "anyone who has a dog." Some say they target dog owners interested in clicker training, owners in a specific city, or owners who work from home. Each one of those niches markets is too broad.

This Session will make a case for every clicker trainer to develop a niche—a specialty—that can set him or her apart from every other dog trainer in the town or service area. You'll learn the benefits of creating a niche (more money, more customers you love, just to name a few), how to create your own niche with a step-by-step plan, and you'll even leave the Session with a worksheet to help you create and build your niche.

Course Type: Session
Course Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
Session
ADOPT
All

Words Matter: The Impact of Language Choice

08:00 AM 08:45 AM

As a social species, we recognize and acknowledge that thoughtful word choice is important within our interactions with others. Words can exacerbate a difficult circumstance, or bring peace to a situation if handled with care. Words have power. In a shelter environment, the words we use can have a significant impact on staff, animals, and adopters. Traditionally, the vocabulary used in a shelter environment is, often quite unintentionally, unhelpful to the shelter’s mission and the interests of its stakeholders.

In this Session, Lindsay will be proposing and discussing a vocabulary rich with language that is both accurate and neutral, and that is rooted in descriptions of observable characteristics of behavior. For example, using “barrier frustration” as opposed to “barrier aggression” for an expression of behaviors often observed in shelters and addressed in behavior consultations promotes a fuller understanding of the behavioral condition, and does not imply a personality trait or flaw of the animal.

Discussion of language impact will focus on behavioral examples within the shelter environment. The behaviors described and the language applied are drawn from Lindsay’s experience as a certified applied animal behaviorist as well as a shelter director. The behavior and language are applicable for both arenas.

The goal is not to create “politically correct” vocabulary in the shelter, but to use words that are scientifically accurate and accessible to consultants, shelter staff, and owners. Accurate is not “soft” or “harsh.” It’s simply accurate! Come learn a new vocabulary… in a language you already know!

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Shelter & Rescue

Speakers

Back
KPA-Only
Session
BIZ

Set Yourself Apart

08:00 AM 08:45 AM

As a KPA CTP, you hold one of the most coveted, hard-won, and respected credentials a dog trainer can enjoy. Are you making the most of it? In this exclusive Session for CTPs, Veronica and Gina of dog*tec show you ways to package and price specialized training services that make use of your expertise to more fully serve your community’s dogs and dog lovers—and your business. Come ready to put on your creative thinking cap and be inspired!

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: KPA CTP
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
COMP
Session
Advanced

High Precision, High Scores

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Related Learning Lab:
High Precision, High Scores - In Action!

The word precision has somehow become synonymous with “boring”, but this is a misconception! We can have our cake and eat it, too. Obedience is a precision game where our dogs' behaviors are judged down to the inch. Clicker training gives us the scalpel to shape behaviors to the exacting standards of the obedience ring by isolating specific muscle movements. While training for high levels of precision is meticulous and challenging, it can also be fun! We can train for performances that are super-precise, super-accurate, and super-enthusiastic!

Prepare to dig deep and get geeky in this Session. This advanced presentation is designed for the serious behavior nerd. We will identify what a “perfect” behavior looks like for competitive obedience purposes. Using the magic of slow-motion video, we’ll break down that behavior into specific movements, and examine the physiological basis of those movements. When we understand movements result in the behavior, we can identify specific criteria and set up our session to create the effect we want. Learn to train your eye to see important nuances. We’ll look at shaping plans that give us the precision we need for high scores, while keeping the speed and enthusiasm we want.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Competition

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Feel Good Selling: How to Make the Sale and Keep Your Soul

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

You’re a dog trainer, not a salesperson. If, like most trainers, selling your services is a confounding, nerve-wracking process, this Session is for you. Learn simple, comfortable strategies for turning an inquiry into an initial consult, and an initial consult into a full, pre-paid training package. Learn how to help potential clients take the step to hire you, and how to avoid common mistakes that leave you with unfilled appointments. Veronica and Gina of dog*tec will walk you through step-by-step processes for handling e-mail and phone conversations (including what to do when you can’t take the call live), and for tackling the sales moment during your initial consults. They will share sample sales language, including how to handle that most dreaded question gracefully: “What will it cost?”

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
Session
TEACH
BIZ
All

Wanted: Training Consultant (Those Good with Animals Need Not Apply!)

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

The title of this Session is, of course, somewhat facetious! To be a good animal trainer, one does need to understand training and be good with animals. However, sometimes the most important skills needed to solve behavioral problems are not animal-training skills. People skills, observational skills, and organizational skills can be key to finding solutions to behavioral problems. Before tackling a behavioral problem with the household pet or a large zoo animal, several factors need to be considered. This Session will focus on those other factors that need to be addressed while trying to solve animal-related problems. A review of various case studies will help reveal the right tools to start out with and why animal skills may not be the only talent required.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Business, Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
Intermediate

Train That Chain: Behavior Chains

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Related Learning Lab:
Train That Chain: Behavior Chains - In Action

At some point, we realize that one click and one treat per behavior will be cumbersome to keep up forever; it’s simply impossible for certain important behaviors or tasks. At that point, we must develop and maintain chains of behaviors.

Behavior chains can be smooth and efficient packages of pristine behavior if handled well, or they can be frustrating and time-consuming if handled poorly. They can also be our worst behavioral nightmares, reinforcing bad behaviors, if they are not planned carefully!

This Session will focus on:
●Defining a behavior chain
●Cues as reinforcers
●Types of chains
●Poisoned cues and their impact on chains
●A closer look at back-chaining
●Maintaining a chain
●Finishing a chain
●Varied uses of chains
●Duration behaviors as chains
●Breaking a chain

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Intermediate

Animals in Control: The Choice Is Theirs - In Action

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Prerequisite:
Animals in Control: The Choice is Theirs - Session

Participant notes:
We will have approximately 6 dog/handler teams. Dogs should already understand the click/treat relationship, be comfortable with normal handling, and be able to work in close quarters with other dogs. Handlers should have some experience with shaping. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab. To participate in any Lab, you are expected to attend the prerequisite Session.

We all strive to create a good relationship and true partnership with our animals.
This Learning Lab is designed for clicker trainers who want to take their level of communication with their animals one step further.
In this Lab you’ll experiment with creative ways to ask your animal’s opinion. We’ll play around with giving the animal control over pairing procedures, shaping start button behaviours, and learning how to respond consistently to the cues the animal gives you.
Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Intermediate

Control is an Illusion - In Action!

09:00 AM 10:30 AM

Prerequisite:
Control Is an Illusion: Stimulus Control without Frustration - Learning Session

Participant Notes:
This Lab will accommodate 10 dog/handler teams. Dog/handler teams should have some basic clicker training experience. Dogs should be able to work in close quarters with other dogs around food and toys comfortably. You may participate with your dog, or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab. Participants that attend the pre-requisite Session for this Lab will get the most out of the exercises. (Please refer to Session description.)

Bring your training to a new level of clarity in this practical, skill-based Lab. Depending on what each dog team teaches us in the moment, using some of the techniques listed below we will focus on how to attach cues to new behaviors cleanly. Another focus will be how to make it clear when you want dogs to stop offering behavior and wait for cues instead.

●Teaching for Fluency—Shaping a simple interaction with an object (which we will then put on verbal cue), we will review practical ways to eliminate confusion and unhelpful default behaviors from the learning process right from the start.
●Cue Slides—How to begin the process of attaching cues with the lowest chance of error
●Anchoring—A simple feeding technique to hold the dog in position and establish a default wait
●Yes Stop/Yes Go—Using the clicker to pinpoint when NOT offering behavior is the correct choice
●Cue Roulette—Using known behaviors to scaffold your dog’s understanding of new cues
●Troubleshooting Tips—What to do if the dog makes a mistake or begins to get frustrated

This will be a highly focused, working Lab with demos and some group discussion, if there is time.

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Intermediate
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

When Nothing Is Working: Lateral Thinking for Dog Trainers

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

This interactive Session will jump-start people to come up with new ideas about the same old thing. Training dogs or coaching people to train their dogs, your toolbox will benefit from alternatives.. A variety of drills and demonstrations specifically designed to help you think outside of the box will be presented. We’ll help you develop a “set no limitations” mindset, but with realistic checks and balances

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
Session
ABM
VET
Intermediate

The Animal Behavior Healthcare Team: Real-World Trainer & Veterinary Collaboration Models

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

Veterinarians and professional modern trainers have the same goals: to improve the human-animal bond, relieve pain and suffering (physical and emotional), and to do so without doing harm to the patient. A collaboration between these fields creates a complete animal behavior healthcare team and benefits all parties: the trainers, veterinary professionals, the clients, and the pets! This Session will explore the possible roles of trainers within the veterinary field, including assisting with patient behavior evaluations and with behavior modification implementation. Debbie will also explain how to triage behavioral concerns, to help you identify when a veterinarian should be involved in a case. Case examples will be used to facilitate the learning process.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate
Topic:Aggression & Behavior Management, Veterinary

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
All

Inside Out: How Understanding Emotions Makes for Complete Training

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

From “capturing calmness,” to “building drive,” the training goals we set for our dogs often have a strong emotional component attached. We want relaxation at home, and focus in the ring. We hope to raise confident puppies, and strive for joyful engagement when we train. But what does “teaching for emotional fluency” look like in practice? Is it even accurate to say that we can “capture” an emotion, or “build" it with reinforcement? When we achieve fluent behavior, such as a consistently flashy finish, or a solid relax on a mat, do emotions come along for the ride, or are they, in fact, driving the bus? When an emotional response appears to change, what is really being learned? And does drool equal happiness anyway?

Come explore these questions, and many others, as we refine our understanding of how emotions affect both what and how we train. Learn to swap vague emotional labels for observable criteria, how crucial cues are as conduits of emotion, how to elicit the emotions that will best support your goals effectively, and how to use the power of operantly shaped behavior to change emotions from the outside in.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
TEACH
All

Thinking Fast & Flow

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

In this interactive Session, Emelie and Eva will teach you how to advance your training all the way throughtoflow-charting your training sessions.

Flow charts help you prepare for all the possible outcomes in a session, make it easier for you to make decisions, and clarify what actions you should take—and when. Flow-charting will hone your training skills, make the training process cleaner and smoother, and keep you on track with the tools you use in your training.

Flow charts will also help you evaluate new training procedures and customize them to work for you. They are also great tools for clarifying instructions. Flow charts are simply an invaluable tool. Once you start using them, you will wonder how you ever trained without them.
Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Skill, Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Intermediate

Train That Chain: Behavior Chains - In Action

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

Prerequisite:
Train That Chain: Behavior Chains - Session

Participant notes:
This Lab will accommodate 16 dog/handler teams. Dogs should already understand the click/treat relationship and should have at least five fluent and reliable behaviors. Dogs should be able to work in close quarters with other dogs. Handlers should have some experience with shaping. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab. To participate in any Lab, you are expected to attend the prerequisite Learning Session.

Chaining together behaviors is essential to efficient and useful training, and it's not nearly as hard as some fear!

This Lab will walk dog/handler teams through forward chaining and back-chaining, the importance of testing cues for use in chains, and how to recover from mistakes and fix broken chains.

Observers may be asked to assist working teams with data collection or other aids. Video examples will be used along with demonstrations by working teams.

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Intermediate
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
COMP
Lab
SKILL
Advanced

Taking Platform Training to New Heights

11:00 AM 12:30 PM

Participant notes:

We will have approximately 4 dog/handler teams. Dogs should already understand the click/treat relationship, be comfortable with normal handling, and be able to work in close quarters with other dogs. Handlers should have advanced experience with platforms. Platform equipment will be provided; working participants are welcome to bring their own platforms. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab.

Raised platforms of all sizes and shapes have become globally popular tools for all kinds of training. In 2010, Michele Pouliot broadened the use of platform training techniques with her DVD Step Up to Platform Training. Since then, the use of raised platforms in training has expanded worldwide.

This Session and Learning Lab will include both training demonstrations and direct work with dog/handler teams. The Learning Lab will focus on expanding the application of platforms in training, providing creative ideas for training new behaviors and for solving training problems. Learn how to use raised platforms in more advanced arrangements and scenarios to take your training to new heights.

Course Type: Session and Learning Lab
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Competition

Speakers

Back
Session
ABM
Intermediate

Ready... or Not? Working with Reactive Dogs

02:00 PM 03:45 PM

If you are a dog trainer and are considering adding reactive/aggressive dogs to your list of services, then this Learning Session is for you! No doubt you have been asked to work with dogs that may be outside your comfort zone. Maybe you have found yourself in a situation that was more complex than you imagined. From the outside it can look like it’s easy to make a distinction about which behavior problems are in your comfort zone and which ones are not, but it’s not uncommon for the behavior waters to be look much less clear than that once you’ve waded in. In this Session, Emma will help you figure out if you are ready to work with reactive dogs and in what capacity.

Emma will explore the skills you need, the expectations you must have, and the planning and infrastructure necessary to decide intelligently whether you are ready and willing to see this type of problem dog. Topics include: safety in the home, skill and experience needed to make effective training recommendations, constructing a detailed training plan, and tactfully handling the emotional responses of the client while always keeping the animals interests front and center.

Dealing with behavior issues of this magnitude, it is extremely important to be able to communicate your views to the client without getting flustered and passing judgment. Many of these clients have worked with trainers in the past who may have punished their dogs severely. Now it is up to you to try and get the dog on a safe and successful track. Or not. The best thing about knowing what’s involved is that you can opt-out or opt-in based on whether you are, in all aspects, ready...or not

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate
Topic:Aggression & Behavior Management

Speakers

Back
Session
TEACH
All

Turn Me On... (or Not): Inspiring Others to Choose Positive Reinforcement Training

02:00 PM 03:45 PM

Are you critical of traditional training and individuals who continue to defend punishment-based methods of training? Do you want those trainers and training programs to change to positive reinforcement training? Are you new to clicker training and are at Expo to learn more about these reward-based techniques? Feeling overwhelmed with how much there is to learn?

Changing an experienced trainer skillset over to a very different trainer skillset is not an easy journey. Many individuals are facing the challenges of learning and trusting in a new way of training. Experienced positive reinforcement trainers can feel impatience with organizations or individuals they see being reluctant or simply very slow to adopt modern training methods.

This Session will help you understand the process of changing for yourself, your own organization, or with others in your life. Michele Pouliot has impacted the international guide dog training world effectively, shifting the historical beliefs in successful traditional methods to the adoption of clicker training among a majority of programs. Michele has become an expert on motivating and assisting programs and individuals in change, and will share what she has learned over her now 16-year journey as a changemaker.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
Foundation

When Good Training Goes Badly: Troubleshooting Your Training Sessions

02:00 PM 02:45 PM

Related Learning Lab:
When Good Training Goes Badly - In Action!

We all have “off” days sometimes. We find ourselves noticing that a training session isn’t going as well as we had hoped. Perhaps the dog is distracted, unfocused, or simply wanders off. Perhaps he just stands there staring or barking at you instead of offering behavior.

If your dog had been making progress in a given training session, and you start noticing displacement behaviors such as yawning, lip licking, scratching, or sniffing the ground, he is probably stressed in some way. Aside from some of the non-training reasons why a dog might be stressed, including temperature, injury/illness, and fatigue, there are several reasons why training sessions tend to go “off the rails.” The good news is: there is help to get you back on track.

In this 45-minute Session, Karen Pryor Academy Director Lori Chamberland takes a look at some of the most common factors that can derail training, and offers solutions to each one.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Foundation
Topic: Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
TEACH
All

The Global Trainer: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

02:00 PM 02:45 PM

Traveling around the world teaching dog training to ESL (English as a Second Language) students sounds romantic, but it’s actually scary. The responsibility, the challenge, is being sure they “really got it.” Teaching dog training to non-English speakers through an interpreter presents similar, but somewhat different challenges.

So, what? Never plan to teach these populations? Hold on, before you leave, consider this:As instructors, we are often at risk of not being understood, even in the best of situations. As trainers, we are always in the position of teaching “ESL” learners: the dogs. Are you beginning to see the similarities? The relevance? Dog training is pretty hands-on and lends itself nicely to demonstrations, but what about the terms we use to explain the science of training? When an explanation of counter-conditioning conducted through an interpreter resulted in the reply “but he doesn’t steal from the counter any more,” I got to work. The resulting practical exercises made me a much better instructor to all audiences, including my hometown pet-dog manners students.

Join us for 45 minutes of alternative ways to get your point across.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Business

Speakers

Back
Lab
SKILL
Intermediate
TEACH

Game On! Train or Be Trained - Part 2

02:00 PM 03:45 PM

Prerequisite:
Participants must have attended the Part 1 PORTL Lab this year (or last year at Expo, or have participated in a PORTL workshop). Participants will be expected to understand the fundamentals of PORTL to be able to get the most out of this Lab.

Participant Notes:
This Lab is for people; no need to bring your dogs—let them rest! The focus will be on trainer skills and will have approximately 60 spots for participants.

In this Lab, we will explore several familiar training procedures through the lens of PORTL. We will examine each procedure in depth to see if it really works the way we think it does. We will also observe the experience of the student during the learning process. What is the student actually learning? How does the student feel during the learning process? You will leave this Lab with more knowledge of these particular training procedures, as well as a better understanding of how PORTL can be used to teach and explore different training concepts.

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Skill, Teaching Others

Speakers

Back
COMP
Lab
Advanced

High Precision, High Scores - In Action

02:00 PM 03:45 PM

Prerequisite:
High Precision, High Scores - Session

Participant notes:
This Lab will accommodate approximately 12 dog/handler teams. Teams should be clicker-savvy and have advanced experience with shaping. Dogs should have a repertoire of fluent behaviors including positions (sit/down/stand) and nose and chin targeting, and be familiar with working on platforms. Dogs must be comfortable working in a seminar-type setting, in close quarters with other working dogs, even when excited. You may participate with your dog or you may attend as an observer. Observers should not bring their dogs to the Lab. To participate in any Lab, you are expected to attend the prerequisite Learning Session.

In this Lab we will isolate specific, relevant criteria for high-precision behaviors, such as The Perfect Fold Back Down and The Perfect Tucked Sit. We will isolate specific muscle movements so that we can reinforce exactly the mechanics needed for high-precision behavior.

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Competition

Speakers

Back
Session
BIZ
All

Your Target Market: How to Have Better Clients, More Success, and Way More Fun

03:00 PM 03:45 PM

Have you ever wondered “Just what is a target market? And how on earth do I figure out mine?” Perhaps you're wondering exactly what a target market can do for your business? This Session will introduce you to target markets.

You'll learn:

●What a target market is
●How developing a target market can help you find clients and make more money
●Tools to define a target market for your own business
●Tools to research your own business geographical area to help you more accurately define your own target market to help you define your target market more accurately

Still not sure you need a target market? Here are five benefits to having a target market.Come to the Session to learn how to create your own!

1.You don't have to deal with the people who don't You’ll be working with people who value what you offer
2.You’ll have more effective marketing spending—and may not have to spend any $ at all!
3.You'll focus your messaging on your ideal customer's needs, not the needs of every dog owner
4.You'll make better use of your time—you can spend more time with your best customers and less time dealing with low-value prospects
5.You’ll be easier to refer to!

Once you get into your target market and educate potential clients on the value of working with you, referrals will be easier to earn.

This Session is targeted to small-business owners who haven't thought too much about a target market, but know that it's important, and who want to learn more.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic:Business

Speakers

Back
Session
SCI
Advanced

Consuming Research without Indigestion

03:00 PM 03:45 PM

Related Lab:
Consuming Research Without Indigestion - In Action

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Swallowing Research Findings Without Chewing Can Cause Indigestion. It often feels like indigestion rReading a research study without the necessary tools to evaluate the validity of the author’s findings can often feel like a bout of indigestion. Not everyone needs to read original research. Academic texts and other trusted sources are often enough. However, this presentation is for those trainers and consultants who want to judge for themselves the extent to which research claims can be considered credible. A systematic approach to evaluating research studies will help you make more informed decisions about how thereported findings should impact what you do. In this Session, the logic behind two main research perspectives will be introduced—group designs and single subject designs—and a structured way to evaluate the validity of these designs will be explored.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Science

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
All

Do It Again: The Use of Patterns in Training

04:15 PM 05:15 PM

Patterns are great for learners. Imagine that your horse has just spooked as he came past the arena gate. You’re unprepared for this sudden jump into your space. What do you do? As a clicker trainer, you don’t want to punish him for crowding into you, and the good news is you don’t have to. You’re working in a patterned exercise. You’re walking your horse around a circle of cones. What’s done is done. The jump is in the past, but you will get get a “do-over.” As you walk on around the circle, you will be encountering that scary spot again. This time you’ll be better prepared for it. The repeating pattern gives you time to plan a strategy that will take your horse past the arena gate successfully the next time.

Handlers are often warned against falling into patterns. Dressage riders are told not to ride their tests for fear their horses will anticipate their cues. What this advice overlooks is the usefulness of patterns. We’re after repeatability. We want strong, clean behavior, each and every time we ask for it. That behavior is built out of the systematic use of patterned exercises.

Patterned exercises give you the opportunity for “do-overs” and “do-agains.” They provide predictability, something both learners and handlers really thrive on. If you walk once around the circle and then head off in a different direction, your horse or dog doesn’t know what’s coming next. But if you head back around the circle, the dog or horse knows where you’re going, and knows what you’ll be asking for next. You’re going to walk a few steps forward to a cone. You’ll have them stop at the cone, click then treat. They’ll get more treats for standing still, then you’ll ask them to walk forward to the next cone on the circle. Easy!

The familiar pattern is a predictor of high rates of reinforcement. Your animals will be successful because they know what to do. If you spot a part of the pattern that is too challenging, you can make adjustments. You can break that part down into simpler elements and then work back to the higher level of difficulty systematically.

A well-designed pattern contains behaviors that provide balance in your training. If you have an energetic foot-mover, you can reward standing still at a cone with an opportunity to move. If you have an energy conserver, you can flip things around and reward requests for moving with the opportunity to stand still.

In this Session we’ll be looking at patterned exercises—the benefits of patterns for both the learner and the handler; how to build and use patterns; and how to keep expanding patterns so you don’t get stuck in a pattern rut.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All
Topic: Equine

Speakers

Back
SKILL
Session
SCI
All

Food for Thought: The New Research on Human Cognition & Links with Animal Learning

04:15 PM 05:15 PM

Lots of fascinating new research has come out regarding the brain, particularly about how our emotions and perceptions are shaped by experience, situation, suggestion, and anticipation. Most of this work is being done with human brains, but there may be practical parallels for canine, equine, and other brains as well. In this hour we'll go over some of the new findings and talk about how they might influence our training with both humans and non-humans.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: All Levels
Topic: Science, Skill

Speakers

Back
Session
ABM
Intermediate
TEACH
ADOPT

Keep Your Candle Burning: Avoiding Professional Burnout

04:15 PM 05:15 PM

You’re a professional dog trainer. You may be self-employed, or you may work at a training school or shelter. You’ve completed many classes and attended several conferences to gain a better understanding of the science of learning. If you’re lucky, you’ve had one or more excellent mentors teach you the physical skills—the “chops”—of training. You’re working in your dream job. And yet… why do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a barista instead?

Our work as trainers can be relentless, exhausting, and heartbreaking. Often, clients hire us to “fix” a pet’s destructive or dangerous behavior, after intervening in ways that, unwittingly, made the problem much worse. We need to empathize with our clients’ disappointment and frustration while teaching them new habits, all while knowing the pet’s life may be at risk.

Because dog training is such an unregulated profession in much of the world, we may work among other trainers who lack a solid foundation in education, experience, or ethics. We can find ourselves vacillating between wanting to “out” them and feeling demoralized by their slick, successful marketing efforts.

Given this, how can we keep doing our work, with both skill and joy? You already know how to teach a long-duration behavior, such as a down-stay, to a dog. We’ll examine these same concepts (e.g., frequent, varied, well-timed reinforcement; minimization of pain and pressure; agency) as they apply to our own behaviors as training professionals. In addition, we will look at the topic of peer-counseling as one beneficial yet underutilized, resource.

Course Type: Session
Experience Level: Intermediate and Above
Topic: Shelter & Rescue Work, Teaching Others, Aggression & Behavior Management

Speakers

Back
Lab
SCI
Advanced

Consuming Research without Indigestion - In Action

04:15 PM 05:15 PM

Prerequisite:
Consuming Research Without Indigestion - Session

Participant Notes:
This Lab is for people. No need to bring your dogs—let them rest! The focus will be on trainer skills and will have approximately 24 spots for participants. Observers are welcome; however, only those who have attended the Session “Consuming Research Without Indigestion” are invited to participate.

In this dog-less Lab, participants working in small groups will have the opportunity to learn how to review research vignettes and evaluate systematically the validity of the authors’ conclusions. The evaluation criteria, known as “threats to internal validity,” will help structure the critique process and subsequent discussion. At the end of the Lab, participants will be able to identify weaknesses commonly observed in research articles, and posit rival hypotheses to account for the findings, and better assess the extent to which the findings are useful.

Course Type: Learning Lab
Experience Level: Advanced
Topic: Science