Friday Afternoon Session Descriptions

Working teams will each choose one morning and one afternoon lab during registration.

1:40 – 3:40

Experience Level: All

This session will focus on getting your dog to understand, once cued to take a jump, that they should stay committed… NO MATTER WHAT.

How awesome would it be to be able to have 100 percent confidence that your dog will never pull off a jump again?

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Ready to conquer real world distractions with your dog? This lab will go over a step by step process for determining when a behavior is ready to be subjected to distraction, how to properly introduce different distractions as well as what to do when your plan fails. The world is a crazy place, let’s make sure those trial behaviors are ready for it!

Experience Level: All

This lab will help you develop excellent toy play with your dog. Denise will introduce both the mechanics and the qualities of the dog-human interaction that can make toy play either highly enjoyable for both parties or an absolute misery. Toy play is not simple! It is fascinating and complex and subtle and, best of all, it can be learned!

Whether your dog shows absolutely no interest in toys or is a rabid tugger who simply refuses to return to re-engage, Denise can improve your game.

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Looking to add some paw-zazz into your sport training? Wanting to try something new, yet familiar? Thinking it’s time to push your Rally skills to a new level?

Rally-FrEe is a rockin’ sport that emphasizes the precise execution of fundamental freestyle and obedience skills while encouraging creative and novel behaviors, all on a Rally style course! Come learn about this cool titling sport embraced by dog sport enthusiasts all over the world!

Experience Level: Lecture Only

When your sports dog is injured, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. This gives you the best chance of getting your dog back to competition as soon as possible. In this lecture, we will discuss:

  1. What do we mean by “accurate diagnosis?”
  2. Why is it important?
  3. What is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis?
  4. What can you do if you can’t get one?
  5. What is the role of rehabilitation practitioners in getting a diagnosis?

I will also demonstrate things you can do with your dog now to help you if your dog is ever injured.

Questions, including questions about your dog(s), will be welcome.

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.

3:40 – 4:00