Friday Afternoon Session Descriptions

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

1:40 – 3:40

Arousal Management Lab with Sarah Stremming: Experience Level – All

Dog is high as a kite before your run? You kind of want them like that but need them to rein it in? This one is for you. Keeping your excited dog’s head on his shoulders before you go into the ring is important; come learn how!

Foundations for All Sports Lab with Sara Brueske: Experience Level – All

This lab will cover the foundation behaviors that will help start your performance dog off on the right paw, regardless of the sport they are destined for. We will focus on teaching important training concepts that will create an operant dog that is fluent in training a variety of behaviors as well as improve their ability to learn overall. Topics include training the concepts of the three different types of operant behaviors, session structure for offered focus, teaching body awareness as well as introducing impulse control and duration.

Location and Arousal Specific Marker Cues Lab with Shade Whitesel: Experience Level – All

Marker cues, what are they really? Well, I think we should rename them “collect reinforcement” cues, because that’s really what it’s all about. Making our reinforcement procedure as clean and clear as possible to our dog learners is my goal. Join me as I explain how to divide the clicker/yes from one general reinforcement to many different types, including food, toy play and where to go to collect those treats and toys. Working teams/auditors will have a chance to practice without dogs and working teams will then practice skills with their dog.

Agility Extreme Commitment Lab with Loretta Mueller: Experience Level – All

This session will focus on getting your dog to understand once cued to a jump, 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?

The Play Way: Playing without Toys Lab with Amy Cook: Experience Level – All

Play is your best stress reliever! Have you ever thought about what play would look like if you didn’t have a toy to play with? Have you ever thought about playing with your food instead of handing it over? Play, especially play that doesn’t involve toys, is often something we don’t explore with our dogs, but it’s really a useful skill for making your dog feel better! Developing a good personal play relationship with your dog will allow you to play anywhere and reduce your dog’s stress levels. Playing with food raises its value and introduces dogs unfamiliar with play to the idea. Come play with us!

Nosework – Reading Your Dog Lab with Stacy Barnett: Experience Level – Novice and Above

Before you can call Alert, you need to know how to read your dog. Did you know that 95% of your dog’s communication happens BEFORE the final response? Do you struggle to read your dog or is your dog subtle? In this lab you will learn how to decipher the Change of Behavior so that you can confidently call Alert. We will cover the Change of Behavior, In Odor Behavior and At Source Behavior. Dogs in working spots should already be introduced to odor.

3:40 – 4:00

Joy of Heeling Lab with Julie Flanery: Experience Level – Novice and 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.

Open/Utility Problem Solving Lab with Nancy Gagliardi Little: Experience Level – Intermediate/Advanced

Having a problem with an Open or Utility exercise? Do you need help with handling for Open or Utility? In this session, Nancy will help you one-on-one with any Open or Utility level obedience exercise.

Engagement 2.0 Lab with Denise Fenzi: Experience Level – See Description

Do you feel like you’re working hard to make training exciting while your dog gives nothing back? Do you fight to keep your dog’s attention when you’re not holding a cookie or dangling a toy? Have you been told that you need to be “more exciting”? If this sounds familiar, then your team needs Engagement training, a process that transfers responsibility for the start of work from the human to the dog. Now, instead of talking your dog into working with you, your dog will talk you into working with him; no visible food or toys required! The solution to a distracted dog is NOT to be more exciting; it’s to change the power dynamic to one where the dog understands that work is a privilege! While this lab will be similar to Denise’s prior Engagement training approach, she will introduce additional steps and concepts that will be useful for dogs that need more structure along with a lecture to address the advanced steps of Engagement. The final goal is to create a trial ready canine partner who will not explore the competition space before being asked to work there.

To participate in this lab, your dog should have the ability to hold a short stay without reinforcement (example: 15 second down stay without cookies); in addition, if your dog has some play with you then that will be helpful, but it is not required.

Start the Ball Rolling: Intro to Treibball Lab with Melissa Breau: 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). 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!

Zen Games Lab with Deb Jones:  Experience Level – All

The purpose of zen games is to teach our dogs that self-control can be fun!  In this session we will set up a series of games with increasing levels of difficulty.  Once we review our foundation work with markers we will work through a series of three games with three levels of challenge (Novice, Advanced, & Masters).  Dogs at all levels of experience are welcome to participate!

Get Connected for Rally with Nicole Wiebusch:  Experience Level – Novice and Above

This lab will focus on navigating a course while staying connected to your dog.  You will have the opportunity to walk a mini-course, run through it with your dog, and receive immediate feedback.  You will then be able to complete the course a second time incorporating the feedback you received. You will be able to choose between a Novice course and an Excellent course.  You and your dog should be familiar with the Rally skills and signs but your skills do not need to be refined.