Day 2: Saturday, Oct. 5

Saturday Oct 5

9:00 AM

Hall B

Experience Level: All

Pocket hand is a way of teaching heeling that allows your dog to use the angle and position of your hand to develop and maintain an exceptionally precise heel position.

You’ve heard people talking about “pocket hand” for heeling, and now you get to see it in action! This technique will work just as well for retraining a 10-year-old dog as starting an eight-week-old puppy.

If you’d like to learn more about using pocket hand, join Denise in this lecture and lab and have your dog heeling with finesse in no time!

Working spots: Should be just starting out with this technique – if you already have advanced pocket hand heeling skills, and need some troubleshooting, sign up for the heeling problem-solving lab!

Saturday Oct 5

9:00 AM

Hall D

Experience Level: All

Disc dog freestyle, tricks, distractions, obedience and secondary obedience for protection sports or whatever you would like!

Join Sara for some one-on-one time to work on whichever skill you need.

Saturday Oct 5

9:00 AM

Agility Hall

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Do you wish your dog would carry ahead on course? Hold commitment better? Focus on a lateral jump more easily at the startline? This session will help improve your dog’s forward focus in all of these moments. We will break down a few different exercises as well as a step by step procedure to bring your teamwork to the next level!

Let’s step up your obstacle commitment game!

Saturday Oct 5

9:00 AM

Franklin Room

Experience Level: Lecture Only

Every consequence we choose in training is there to motivate behavior change, but did you know it also inspires emotion at the same time? In fact, that’s why they work! Emotion underlies all of your training, and that’s not optional – Pavlov is always sitting on your shoulder!

In this lecture, I’ll go over Conditioned Emotional Responses (CERs), what the quadrants feel like, why that matters, and how to keep your dog in the “happy bucket” and out of the “yucky bucket.” You have heard me say “every time you teach your dog what to do, you’re teaching them how to feel,” right? What emotional responses are you conditioning?

Saturday Oct 5

9:00 AM

Hamilton Room

Experience Level: See Description

Why games? We are more relaxed with games and have more fun with our dog which helps us as the handler and our dog progress in our training. It is amazing to see the relaxed body language in games searches versus any other search. Games will also teach our dogs that odor can truly be anywhere. I am a firm believer that anything goes when searching for odor as you never know what you will encounter in a trial environment. Many times we encounter searches that do not run as planned due to the environment. This class can help us prepare for the unexpected. As the saying goes…train hard, trial easy! And in this class, the “train hard” is FUN!

Nose work games can put the fun back into your searches, add a new twist to what you are already doing or take you to the next level. Games can help you find and FIX holes in your training and have fun doing it. I love watching dogs play these games as it really brings out their personality and you can see how much joy they have with all the different setups.

We will have beginner to advanced level searches geared to each team as well as modifications to make team appropriate.

Games planned based on search area availability, subject to change: Chair games, a-maze me, socks, socks, socks, eggs, crack hide (inside/outside as appropriate), nose point accuracy, can ya find me now fan game.

Saturday Oct 5

9:00 AM

Hall C

Experience Level: All

Make no mistake about it, ALL dogs experience pressure when competing. They feel pressure from barriers, the environment, humans and even from us! When dogs feel pressure they do not feel safe. The key to confidence is teaching your dog the skill of pushing through while in a positive emotional state. In this workshop I will introduce you to a game that will help your dog overcome distractions that make them nervous. The touch-it game is empowering! You will learn how to use tricks to build confidence and success when working around a variety of challenges. Whether your dog is nervous and insecure or your dog can use a boost of confidence when under pressure, this workshop is for you.

Saturday Oct 5

11:00 AM

Hall C

Experience Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Having a problem with heeling or an obedience exercise? Do you need help with handling for your obedience skill?

In this session, Nancy will help you one-on-one with any heeling or obedience exercise.

Saturday Oct 5

11:00 AM

Hall B

Experience Level: All

The things we need the most are often the things we train the least. A large part of being successful in performance sports is our dogs’ ability to work in the presence of external stimuli – what we often call “distractions.”

Performance skills can quickly degrade when our dogs aren’t practiced at maintaining attention and focus in difficult environments or under difficult circumstances. Not having these skills can decrease confidence in both the dog and the handler. They are the cement that holds our performances together and can mean the difference between a rock-solid performance and just getting by.

In this session, we will isolate and practice games and exercises that increase your dog’s desire to maintain attention and focus, turn attractions in the environment into cues to look to you and teach our dogs that it’s all part of a fun game. It’s not magic, it’s training!

Saturday Oct 5

11:00 AM

Hall D

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Does your dog go from eager to work with perfect focus on you to suddenly being unable to do anything but sniff the ground the moment you step into a ring? Or maybe that was your last dog and you’ve vowed to fully prepare your current dog long before they ever will enter their first trial!

The goal of this session is to start teaching your dog the little pieces to expect at an obedience trial, and to teach you how to best support them!

We will discuss topics such as how to transition in the ring to the startline and in between exercises, how to handle delays in the ring, handling interactions with the judge, etc!

Teams who are nowhere near trial ready are encouraged to join us to set a solid foundation! And teams who have trialed and have found it didn’t quite go as expected are urged to start developing their plan now!

Prerequisite: The dog has a basic level of understanding heel position.

Saturday Oct 5

11:00 AM

Agility Hall

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Do you struggle with getting your dog to turn? In this session we will work on how to go from extension to collection.

What exactly IS the perfect turn? And how to teach your dog that turning is FUN!

Saturday Oct 5

11:00 AM

Franklin Room

Experience Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Moving up to the higher levels means that you need to be able to read when your dog is in and more importantly IS NOT in odor. Understanding blank area behavior will help you clear areas more effectively in addition to being able to call blank areas with confidence. In this session we will discuss the behavior that our dogs may give us in the absence of odor. We will watch the working teams work both blank areas and areas with odor in order to be able to understand the difference. Working teams need to be a little more advanced. Teams should be AKC Excellent, NW2 or the equivalent.

Saturday Oct 5

11:00 AM

Hamilton Room

Experience Level: All

Does your dog struggle to work in tight spaces? Is your dog unsure about different surfaces? Do environmental pressures cause your dog to lose confidence? We can help build confidence with patterns. Patterns create a framework of predictable behavior. Predictability allows them to control the outcome. Using a well understood pattern, we can apply it to more difficult behaviors across different sports (Agility, Nosework)

In this lab we will empower our dogs to work in tight spaces or walk across different surfaces.

Simply put, dogs love patterns and predictability!

Saturday Oct 5

1:40 PM

Hamilton Room

Experience Level: Lecture Only

You’ve got the basic skills but then comes the big question of how do you get those skills ready for competition and real-life distractions? Join Crystal Wing, Denise Fenzi, and Nancy Little as they discuss this topic!

Saturday Oct 5

1:40 PM

Agility Hall

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Calling all bar knockers! In this session, we will focus on common reasons that dogs knock bars — outside of standard jumping form. Distractions can play a huge part in bar knocking. Whether that be handling distractions, item distractions like other obstacles nearby, cones, or gambling tape, sound distractions, people nearby the ring, or even just handler motion — all of these distractions can make keeping those bars up tough. We’ll go through several different exercises to help strengthen your dog’s jumping focus and ability to keep those bars up in the face of whatever else is going on around them!

Saturday Oct 5

1:40 PM

Franklin Room

Experience Level: Novice & Above

There are many options for handling in Nosework. All dog sports require a thoughtful approach on what WE should be doing to support the team. Nosework is a sport where most of the time we are following our dog’s lead. However, our role as a handler is still very important!

Many of us train alone and place our own hides. It’s easy to consciously or unconsciously influence our dogs to work in a certain area or prevent them from going into unproductive areas. Those are some of the behaviors we might want to use intentionally – and then we are unaware we are influencing them at other times.

Since dogs are masters at reading our body language, it’s critical we are handling with intention. If our handling is not consistent on what we are meaning to convey, we create uncertainty in our dogs on what is meaningful or important to respond to.

Balancing when to follow their lead and when to interject is the art of handling. We should be focusing on building their autonomy, having patience as they solve these scent puzzles and not just trying to get them to a hide!

Join this session to learn about:
– Common handler mistakes.
– How to simplify your handling.
– What really is an independent searching dog?
– Why can directing or leading a dog be problematic?
– When CAN we make a suggestion?
… and much much more!

Saturday Oct 5

1:40 PM

Hall D

Experience Level: All

Being in a trial environment often means being in a novel location with a lot more stimulation and distractions than you might usually see. Even the most seasoned dog can sometimes need your support and advocacy! You’ll need to be able to navigate busy, high arousal environments, prevent their social engagement with others, and keep their boundaries maintained so that the stress stays low.

In this lab we’ll practice some movement strategies and mental-game techniques to keep your dog able to cope with higher stress situations or close proximity to others, while staying connected to you. Join Amy to learn some tricks to traverse crowded areas with connection (magnet moves!) and games to keep their attention as other things pass by!

Saturday Oct 5

1:40 PM

Hall C

Experience Level: All

Handler errors are the most common reason for losing points in Rally, but achieving higher scores is easier than you might think!

This Rally session will teach you effective strategies, techniques, and tips that you can practice today to boost your score at the next event. By making minor changes in your handling, and with a little bit of education, you will see instant improvements in your competition behaviors. By the end of the session, you will have a better understanding of how to improve your scores and be better equipped to compete in future rally events.

Even if you’re just starting out in Rally, you can get ahead of the game by learning these tips before entering your first competition.

If you want to take your rally game to the next level, join Nicole for this session!

Saturday Oct 5

1:40 PM

Hall B

Experience Level: Novice & Above

What is your ideal picture of beautiful heelwork? It likely includes words like precision and accuracy. Does it go beyond that to include enthusiasm, energy, lift, spark and joy? These are the attributes that make heelwork beautiful to behold, exciting to train and yes! Fun for both dog and handler!

By building animation, energy and enthusiasm as a separate piece from precision we can increase the rate of reward for each, creating value and joy in our heelwork training and performance. This session will focus on games and exercises that bring joy to your heelwork training and performance. Teams should have an understanding of heel position.

Saturday Oct 5

4:00 PM

Hamilton Room

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Fronts are a complicated but necessary skill for competition obedience and rally. It can be a struggle to maintain attitude (for dog and handler!) and consistent criteria. In this workshop I’ll show you how to teach your dog to hit front on the first try without stress or pressure. Taught properly, fronts can become inherently self-reinforcing. This workshop will demonstrate how to break fronts down to improve our dog’s understanding of what front means. You will learn to develop clear criteria and communication to build confidence. We will use a perch to develop a cue system to improve the dog’s success ratio. We will look at the pros and cons of different props and how to fade them. Finally, we will introduce games that will help keep fronts fun and exciting. Whether you are starting to teach fronts or you want to increase your seasoned dog’s accuracy and attitude, this workshop is for you.

Saturday Oct 5

4:00 PM

Hall B

Experience Level: Intermediate/Advanced

If your container searches with your dog are reminiscent or an arcade game and you can’t keep track of where your dog has searched because they have searched ALL OVER, you might be needing to build in some more methodical skills into your container game. This session will focus on an exercise that helps the dog to regulate their rhythm in searching while tightening up their focus. Working spot dogs will need to be able to focus well enough to generally alert on a container the first time through. If your dog is missing a hot container consistently, it may be more difficult to apply these concepts in a camp situation.

Saturday Oct 5

4:00 PM

Franklin Room

Experience Level: All

Want to build your distance control and connection with your dog while participating in a great new sport? Or maybe you’ve always been fascinated by herding, but don’t have sheep. Check out Treibball!

Sometimes called “ball herding” or “urban herding,” treibball is a cross between billiards and soccer that you play with your dog. It’s perfect for a dog who is retired from other sports, dogs new to the sports world, or reactive dogs (since most venues restrict access to the competition field).

During this lab, we’ll cover the basic rules of the game and the foundation skills to get you started! Come learn about this relatively new dog sport!

Saturday Oct 5

4:00 PM

Agility Hall

Experience Level: All

Join Loretta for some one-on-one time to work on whatever agility skill you need!

Saturday Oct 5

4:00 PM

Hall D

Experience Level: All

All Things Parkour: The world is your obstacle course! After playing parkour, you will never look at the world the same again! You will always be on the lookout for places to play with your dog. This class is for those new to parkour as well as those wanting to train the higher levels. There will be a circuit type setup to allow teams to work simultaneously as well as choose novice obstacles or intermediate.

Parkour can be a challenging but fun activity to do with your dog. It includes jumping, climbing, and balancing. All dogs can participate in some form of Parkour.

Nature provides so many fun obstacles such as trees, benches, walls, logs, large rocks, picnic tables, boat docks, stairs, the list is only limited by your imagination. Parkour can also be played inside by using laundry baskets, exercise balls, scaffolding, carts, stairs, and boards.

There will be a short presentation to begin as Parkour should be done in a safe manner, evaluating all obstacles and surfaces before ever asking your dog to interact. We should also “spot” our dogs on higher obstacles, so there will be video examples before we begin any training.

The sky truly is the limit when it comes to Parkour!

Obstacles planned based on teams and area availability (subject to change): Presentation on safety and spotting, warmup exercises, 2 feet, 4feet, moving obstacle, wait on an obstacle, gap jump, through, in, balance, around, creativity, and pivot

Saturday Oct 5

4:00 PM

Hall C

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.