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Discussion Starter #1
We are opening this sticky for active members* to post your feedback/tips/reviews/etc on training and behavior workshops, seminars, or conferences you have attended. Active members who are considering or signed up to attend such an event may post here, too, to chat, ask questions, etc.!

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12,335 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
So here is the rundown. I didn't take notes, so I may have forgotten an exercise. Photos are Here.

Turnout: 40-50 dogs, 50-60 people.

Group exercise, all out on floor = Blue
Volunteers, may perform individually or with some of the others, often both= Purple
Top 8 only = Red

Walking around/pausing, rewarding for focus, sitting, looking cute, etc. Started with one step, then five, then 10, etc. Practiced quarter turns, 180s.
Luring practice for sit, down, stand.
Troubleshooting any dogs having difficulties with luring.
Half seated, half in ring around room: practice walking with even spacing and sitting on halts. Switch to other half of group.
Practice with come/sit, come/sit, come/sit.
Doggie Dash #1 (taped rectangle boundaries, two lanes, restricted recall race with required sit at end)
Sit/down/stand drills to determine Top 8 dogs.
Proofing demos: name/come, repeat but name/sit to emphasize dogs predicting the next cue and how important it is that they are responding to the cue not the prediction; drop on recall; leave on down at heel (it's called something else... but it's heel, cue down, and keep walking); cues with handlers' backs turned to show response (lack thereof), cues with handlers laying down.
Doggie dash eliminations with previous winners.
Game: Musical chairs (chairs in middle of the taped rectangle, dogs while music is playing, owners walk their dogs outside of tape, music stops, owners must sit/stay their dogs outside of tape and race to chair. Last person has no chair so must walk around the seated people twice; if their dog breaks stay, they are DQ'd. If another dog breaks, the owner must go put dog back in sit/stay, while walker tries to take the seat. Walkers can try to distract dogs as they go around. If no dog breaks by the end of the second walk around, that handler/dog is DQ'd. Game goes until there is only one dog/handler left.)
More luring—back up, leg weaves, figure-8s, roll over, spin. To practice at home, along with sit/down/stay transitions for next day's "dancing."

Hurry Up/Slow down walking: Form big ring, in four steps (cue, speed or slow, dog responds, reward) practice speeding up and slowing down on cue. Switch to other half of dogs. Emphasized slowing down if your dog is speeding up/ converse.
“Dancing” (ie do whatever you want while music is playing)
Concentric circle walking/greeting: Half group on outside circle (CW), half on inside circle (CCW), dogs at left heel. Walk around until he says halt, line up with partner (if you don't have a partner, outside stays put, inside walks CCW on the inside until they find a partner), shake hands and greet and don't let dogs greet unless he has said that it is OK. Goal is to teach dogs that they don't get to greet every dog. Dog can sit or stand. Change directions of walking, which now puts dogs next to each other, same rules apply.
Following exercises (cones for gate obstacles, owners must get dog to follow; if they first used a lure, second try they can't have it; talked about being a bungee. If you're dog goes one way, go the other. Followed by a race with four volunteer dogs that have good off leash control.
Be silly and calm down: everyone gets their dogs amped up and when he cues settle, owners must get their dogs to lay down. Repeat.
Canine Games: rollover race, distance backup, stationary chair object drop, slow dog race, catching, joe pub course, multiple object retrieve, crawl race (will describe these later)
Final doggie dash, new rule=no run by's.
Serpentine walking exercise: easy walking exercise; line up handlers/dogs. Last person walks to right of person in front of them and weaves to left, back right, etc between others. As soon as the person behind you makes it to the person in front of you and "disappears" in front of them, you go until you get to the front, and so on.
Follow/copy the leader: for beginner to advanced dogs, beginners start towards the front. Leader starts the walk, yells halt, and has dog do a behavior that everyone must copy. Somehow a new person is determined to lead, but I missed the pattern on that....
Final “dancing”

More on the Canine Games: Stationary chair object drop: handler sits in chair, dog must take designated object from them, carry it away, and drop it, winner is dog with most distance between handler and the object. Distance backup: handler stands at line and must cue their dog to back up, first over finish line wins. Slow dog race: last one to cross finish line wins, so goal is slow but DQ'd if stops. Multiple Object retrieve: Owner stays at boundary with bowl, dozen+ toys of different point values in center, handler sends dog out to retrieve objects, limited time to get the most retrieves possible, most points wins. Joe Pub Course/race: First cone, dog must do a sit/down/stand pattern, second cone dog must sit/stay while owner circles twice singing "how much is that doggy in the window," third cone, dog down/stays while owner lays down for 4 good-doggy-seconds, last cone, dog sits and owner pats dog on head.

Emphases on:
Most of the emphasis was on sit/down/stand reliability and transitions. The reasoning behind it is if you have your dog off leash he needs to respond instantly to any one of those if they blow off a recall or you need to cue them to do something else in the middle of a recall. He drilled it in that if your dog can't do these transitions, he isn't a reliable recall dog. Said to practice with your dog's dinner every night for a week or so. Big rule: no touching your dog during these exercises. Lure/reward method. Must stay in that position until told otherwise. Must practice in different environments and from different positions.
On corrections: No corrections like "no" and "ah-ahs". Only correct them with what "makes sense" ie the cue they were supposed to be doing. So if they were in a sit position and they break, immediately tell them sit again.
On recall: said to practice "come" step back "sit" repetitions. We literally practiced this for one brief period at the seminar. Later, he had dogs demo'ing following exercises through a course--to make the point that your dog must be able to follow you if he will ever be reliable. He talked about an invisible bungee line--if your dog goes one way, you go the other; if he slows down, speed up, etc. He also said to practice hiding from your dog to scare him into always checking in with you....
On voice tone: he said he switches it up--if he's yelling loudly he's got his dogs conditioned to mean it's the "I'm getting treats" for this, yay, type cue. If he is talking quietly/sweetly, that is his more threatening tone and the dog had better listen or he'll follow it up with his approach and "cue, Cue, CUE!" until they do it.
On classical conditioning: he emphasized that we should be rewarding our dogs throughout the seminar for good behavior when there was distracting/high energy/chaos going on.
On dominance: he made a lovely remark on calling BS towards pack leader theories. :)
On stay: this was a little iffy for me--our stay exercise did not use a release word--pretty much we were told to put our dogs in a down and "keep them there" until he said we were done--to me it felt like too much time and setting up for failure for the more beginner dogs. ie we were to repeat "down" and "stay" if they started to get up... rather than building up to that duration. He did went through distractions for the dogs who had not broke their stays yet, but this again was more demo than practice.
On meeting dogs: in the clinic, unless given permission, no greets. He doesn't want dogs to think they can meet every dog.
On children: can't get mad at a dog for not listening when children are around if we haven't proofed them with the weird things kids do. Also suggested we pair hard pats on the dogs' heads with rewards to like it, so that if a child pets a dog on its head and the dog shows it is uncomfortable, it is an early warning system.
On barking dogs during the clinic: he tells them "shush!" sharply if they bark at something to let them know we don't approve and later reward when they are quiet....
More soon....

My experience:
(More soon)
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