Saturday Afternoon Session Descriptions

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

1:40 – 3:40

Heelwork to Music Lab with Julie Flanery: Experience Level – Novice and Above

Heelwork-to-Music combines all that you love about heeling, with your enjoyment of music! It showcases the precision, connection and teamwork you strive for with transition freestyle behaviors and sequences that help maintain position, increase flow and ease of movement for your dog while having fun and moving to music! Come learn about this fun sport! Teams should have an understanding of heel position.

Obedience Problem Solving Lab with Denise Fenzi: Experience Level – Novice and Above

Having a problem with an Obedience exercise or part of an Obedience exercise?  In this session, Denise will address any Obedience handling or training issues that you might have.

Handler Choice Lab with Sarah Stremming: Experience Level – All

Working spots will work one-on-one with the instructor on the skill or problem of their choice.

Agility Distraction Work Lab with Loretta Mueller:  Experience Level – Novice and Above

Does your dog get easily distracted during agility? Are you not exactly sure how to train distractions without overwhelming your dog? This session is for you! We will work on layering challenges, how to work thresholds and what to do in different scenarios.

Bombproof Behaviors Lab with Sara Brueske: Experience Level – All

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!

Trial Management Techniques with Amy Cook: Experience Level – All

Need your dog to be able to navigate busy, high arousal environments? Need some mental-game techniques to keep your dog able to cope with high stress situations?  Join Amy to learn some tricks to traverse crowded areas with connection and some sequences to recover a calmer state.

4:00 – 6:00

Advanced Platform Training Lab with Michele Pouliot:  Experience Level – See Description

You know all about platform training with pivot bowls, position platforms … But are you up-to-date on all the creative ways trainers are using them? Join Michele Pouliot to go beyond basic platform training. Competition dog sports challenge trainers to develop very precise behaviors in a variety of scenarios. Platforms can provide a communication tool that puts clarity in our training conversation with our dogs. This presentation assumes a basic knowledge of using raised platforms (both 2 paw and 4 paw platforms) for training foundation skills. Although some fundamentals information will be included, this lab will focus on more advanced and creative ways of applying the platform tool in training and problem solving. 

Figure Eights Lab with Nancy Gagliardi Little: Experience Level – All 

This lab will be an intensive focus on the figure eight exercise found in Novice and Open obedience, and all levels of Rally. Nancy will discuss and refine the skills necessary for a focused, precise, and joyful performance. Both handling skills and dog skills will be covered. Nancy will show you how she strategically builds the exercise once dogs have mastered good heeling skills. She will not be covering heeling foundation skills, so working teams should have good heeling fundamentals before attending.

Advanced Toys Handler Choice Lab with Shade Whitesel:  Experience Level – See Description

Working teams will work one-on-one with Shade to problem solve the toy play subject/step of your choice.  Working teams must have taken either an in-person toy seminar or Shade’s online toy class to participate. There will not be a lecture.

Focus Games Lab with Deb Jones: Experience Level – All

Focus!  Everyone wants it, but how do you get it?  This lecture and lab will lead you through the general concept of focus and the importance of specific games as the basis for teamwork.  The games are designed to help you and your dog develop a fun and enjoyable working relationship. The different categories of games will encourage you to explore interactions with and without food, with and without toys, using and changing energy levels and intensity, and with social physical play.  Working teams will have a chance to practice selected games and get feedback for ways to customize them for the best result.

Nosework – Honing Your Handling Lab with Stacy Barnett: Experience Level – Novice and Above

In Nosework handling, you can either handle with teamwork or you can accidentally trigger a finely tuned false alert.  In this lab you will explore how your movement can either help or hinder your dog during a search. Learn when and how to thoughtfully apply your cues so that you don’t unintentionally cause a false alert.  Dogs in working spots should already be introduced to odor.