Reinforcement Strategies: Using Pre-placed Rewards in Agility

Saturday, Oct. 7

4:00PM - 6:00PM

Experience Level: All

Ready to add a frequently overlooked training tool to your toolbox? Pre-placed rewards have an endless application to our agility training including:
– building obstacle focus and independence
– increasing speed
– adding elements of discrimination to all tasks
– proofing obstacle behaviors
– teaching dogs to prioritize multiple cues at once
– using a more ring sustainable reward solution

In this working session, teams will take two approaches to get started using pre-placed rewards and learn how to continue applying this skill to different agility skills. This lab is appropriate for teams of all levels, even if you’ve never trained this skill before. Each team will progress to the next level during their working time with Megan.

Presenter Bio

Megan Foster

Megan Foster (she/her) has been training in agility for nearly her entire life. With nearly 25 years of experience, She has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of dogs within a large variety of breeds.

She began her agility journey with an American Eskimo and a Westie, both loaner dogs from people in our local training club. In 1999, She began competing with her first Shetland Sheepdog, Buddy. While running him, she knew that agility was what she was meant to do.

In 2003, Ty, another Sheltie, became a part of her life and her agility career took off like a rocket. He was 3 years old and not completely sure of himself, but together, they blossomed into an incredible team, on and off the course! In 2005, She attended her first National event and took fifth place in the $10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase Finals with Ty. That same year, she became a USDAA Judge, as a 13-year-old Junior Handler, the youngest ever.

Since then, she has competed at the Cynosport World Games twelve times, with eight different dogs. She has also attended the AKC Nationals three times with her border collie, Smack. Smack and Megan also attended the International Team Tryouts three times, earning a spot on the European Open team in 2015, representing Team USA in Germany that year.

She has also had her share of disappointments when it comes to sports prospects. Her second border collie, Shock, was unable to compete to the levels that she had dreamt of due to noise sensitivity and other health concerns that arose late in life. Her Parson Russel Terrier, Shrek, is one of the most talented dogs that she has ever gotten to train, and yet, he very clearly told her that competing was not for him. It is her experience with all of her dogs that has molded her into the trainer she is today. Her current up-and-coming superstar, Sprint, a border collie, is a direct representation of all that she has learned and that she continues to learn about living and competing with these amazing creatures.

She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her partner and their five dogs: Skittles, Shock, Skrik, Shrek, and Sprint. She coaches dog agility online full-time at the FxAgility School, travels to present seminars, and coaches other agility professionals on their training programs and business ambitions. It is her goal as an educator to guide other dog sports enthusiasts on their path to excellence. Regardless of experience levels, breed choice, goals, and lifestyle, it is her extreme privilege to watch teams build a sustainable version of agility for their team.