Pay to Play: Teaching Toy Play through Food Reinforcement

Saturday Oct 5

4:00 PM

Experience Level: Novice & Above

In this lab, we talk about how to build reliable toy play through the use of food reinforcement. If your dog loves to play but struggles in new spaces, plays keep away once they get the toy or doesn’t show interest in playing, this is a beneficial lab to take.

We will be using food as reinforcement, so dogs who have medium to high food drive will do best in this lab.

Presenter Bio

Sara Brueske

Sara Brueske (she/her) has been training dogs since she was a young child, and has experienced a large variety of breeds and sports during that time. After graduating as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner in 2011, she jumped into the professional dog training world. She began teaching group classes and private lessons at On the Run Canine Center in Minnesota. At the time she was also competing in agility and disc dog, as well as fostering for local rescues.

In 2014, Sara was hired by Purina as a dog trainer to perform dog sport shows at Purina Farms in Grey Summit, Missouri. Her number of dogs quickly grew to fill the need of the job. Currently she has eleven dogs of varying breeds and origins including a boston terrier mix, a papillion, several Australian koolies and Belgian Malinois. Sara and her dogs work to convince people to do more with their dogs, and to get involved in the dog sport community, while teaching them about responsible pet ownership.

After six years working as a full-time performer, Sara now teaches on the topic of dog sports as well as owns a boarding and training facility. While disc dog and tricks are some of her specialities, she also is passionate about creating clear communication between handlers and their dogs, as well as teaching a solid foundation for any sport. Sara believes in positive reinforcement not only for dogs, but for their handlers as well. Her biggest joy in training is watching a handler and dog become partners and grow as a team.

Currently, Sara trains in the sports of disc dog, agility, mondioring, scentwork, and dock diving, as well as being a trick dog enthusiast.