Working through the higher levels of the ODE protocol: Adding in distractions/”triggers”.

Friday, Oct. 6

1:40PM - 3:40PM

Experience Level: All

In this session we will use the ODE protocol to help our dog build their skills for ignoring distractions / “triggers” (people / dogs / movement / sound). We will also discuss how and when to implement the final steps of the protocol (i.e. adding in reinforced alternative behaviors, and increasing arousal up to optimal levels for work without our dog reverting to focusing on the stimulus/trigger).

The working spots in this session are perfectly suited to any team that has started working with the ODE protocol previously. There is no requirement to have achieved a certain skill level though, just some previous practice of step 1 or above.

About Offered Durational Engagement (ODE)

When our dog perceives a stimulus that interests or concerns them, a portion of their attention shifts to that stimulus. At this point we may only see evidence of “split focus” (i.e. glancing away from us and the task, responding more slowly to our cues, missing cues, performing an “incorrect” behavior, etc.), or our dog may perform a large reaction that we perceive as inappropriate or extreme (e.g. lunging, barking, whining, squealing, leaping, leaving us and rushing to the stimulus, attempts to run away, unable to respond to our cues in the presence of the stimulus, etc.).

Our dog’s response to the stimulus may be driven by emotion (e.g. fear, excitement, frustration, etc.), it may be driven by instinct (e.g. prey drive, etc.), or it may occur due to prior learning (i.e. expectation of a specific outcome, or a previously formed habit).

Offered Durational Engagement (ODE) is a simple pattern that forms the foundations for a 10-step protocol. For dogs responding due to emotions, the protocol helps to reduce the intensity of their feelings and hence their response. For dogs responding due to instinct or habit, the protocol helps our dog to find time to think between the stimulus and their response, so instead of going from stimulus to the existing automatic response, our dog is able to think before responding. This allows them to choose an alternative behavior to the existing inappropriate or extreme response. We can then ensure that our dog perceives the new response as more rewarding than the original response.

ODE is useful as both a behavior modification protocol for reactivity, as well a protocol for helping our competition dogs build their skills for comfortably ignoring and dismissing people / dogs / movement / sounds in the competition environment.

Presenter Bio

Sharon Carroll

Sharon (she/her) has been a professional animal trainer for over 30 years. She has been both a presenter and trainer in a range of animal shows, and currently operates a dog training and behaviour consulting business based in Newcastle, Australia.

Intent on really understanding animals better, Sharon completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Equine), a Graduate Diploma (Captive Vertebrate Management – wildlife and exotics) and a Master of Animal Science. Sharon is currently completing a PhD in Veterinary Pharmacology.

Sharon is a fully certified behaviour consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) in both dogs (CDBC) and horses (CHBC), and is a certified professional dog trainer – CPDT-KA.

Sharon guest lectures to post graduate veterinarians and behaviourists at several universities and organisations on the topics of animal behaviour, training, species-specific cognition, welfare, and psychological trauma in animals.

Sharon is an FDSA faculty member routinely presenting in the behaviour division. Many of Sharon’s classes, webinars, and workshops focus on working with dogs that perceive and process information in a slightly different way to a “typical” dog and hence may require a slightly different approach in order to be successful.

Beyond her knowledge of animal learning, Sharon is a sought-after coach and mentor for competitors in a variety of sports. Sharon had a successful career riding and coaching through to the highest levels of both eventing and dressage (Grand Prix). She has been an Australian representative rider, and in 2013 acquired her EA Level 3 specialist coaching certificate (qualified to coach through to Olympic level). Sharon has coached several International teams and countless individuals to winning performances. She is consistently effective at improving performances, not only for elite level competitors, but for anyone looking to improve the quality or level of their performance.

Sharon currently competes in several dog sports with her three standard poodles Jericho, Vincent, and Kane.