Reducing Reinforcers

Sunday Oct 6

1:40 PM

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Reducing reinforcers without losing focus and attitude is a challenge for all trainers. When dogs are not getting reinforced in the ring, they get confused, which leads to stress. We need to mindfully teach them that no reinforcer means “you are correct!”. In this workshop you will learn how to use tricks as a bridge and as a reward. How to teach your dog to give you more work for fewer reinforcers by creating behaviors that are inherently self-reinforcing. I will show you how to use forward chaining and backchaining to create energy and excitement as the chain progresses. Whether your dog is just starting out or your dog is trialing, this workshop will give you the tools to reduce reinforcement without losing attitude and confidence.

Presenter Bio

Petra Ford

I’ve always loved dogs and training. Actually, I’m obsessed with it! No two dogs are ever alike, and I’ve had quite the variety with lots of challenges, which means I’m always changing what I do and looking for new and creative ways to improve my communication. I love experimenting! It gives me great pleasure to share what I have learned. Watching students learn and grow is incredibly rewarding. I have trained and competed in field and agility but my first love has always been competitive obedience. My dogs have earned field and agility titles. Tyler was a two-time National champion and World Champion. His son, Zeal is also a National champion, won the 2018 Obedience Classic, and multiple Regionals. Zayna won the Novice Division in the 2019 Obedience Classic and multiple Regionals. Zesty started trialing in 2023, earned his CD with two 200s, his CDX with a 200 and completed his UD. His next trial was the Tennessee Regional where he placed 4th competing against National level competitors. All of my dogs have earned multiple 200’s, High in Trials and High Combineds. Training is my passion. Trialing is what pushes me and lets me know if I’m getting closer to my goal…getting the same dog in the ring as in training.