Sunday Morning Session Descriptions

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

9:00 – 10:40

Handler Choice Lab with Julie Flanery: Experience Level – All

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

Are You Ready for Obedience Competition? Lab with Denise Fenzi: Experience Level – See Description

Ring readiness isn’t just about the exercises.  It includes getting into the ring, setting up and waiting for the judge, moving between exercises, handling the loss of food and toys in competition and a plan for leaving the ring.  In this lab, each team will complete a formal run through for the individual Novice or Open exercises. However, the focus of Denise’s feedback will not be the actual exercises; instead she will focus on the unjudged elements that can make or break a team’s run. For example, Denise might comment on the need for more connection entering the ring, along with some simple ways to get it, rather than providing advice on improving the team’s heeling skills.  This lab is appropriate for teams that are close to being ready to compete at either the Novice or Open level. 

TEAM Platforms, Cones & Targets Lab with Heather Lawson:  Experience Level – All

TEAM uses these items throughout their levels to teach basic foundation skills but they needn’t be limited to just the foundations.  Come and learn how to use these simple props to convey and create an understanding of distance work & holding positions to your dog. Plus learn how to inject FUN using the equipment and how to use strategic reward placement for setups and maintaining rhythm to gain consistency in your training.

Agility Transitions Lab with Loretta Mueller:  Experience Level – Novice and 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!

Cue Clean Up Lab with Deb Jones: Experience Level – All

Confused about cues?  Not sure how or when to add them?  Have a cue that isn’t working the way it should?  This session will cover that and much more!  Cues are defined as any stimulus our subject can perceive that is consistently associated with a behavior. A cue tells you what to do to earn reinforcement.  With a consistent reinforcement history, responses to cues become fairly automatic.  We will consider the different modalities of cues: Verbal (hear), visual (see), tactile (feel), and olfactory (smell).  Sometimes these overlap and you end up with unintended cues! How to effectively add cues initially and how to add a second cue or change a cue will be covered.  We will also consider when it might be best to change cues that are “poisoned.”  We will test your best cue and see how well it holds up!

Ring Tips with Nancy Gagliardi Little – Lecture Only 

Become better prepared for your ring performances with this lecture.  Nancy judged AKC obedience trials and National Obedience tournaments for 20+ years. In this lecture, Nancy will cover some of the more common mistakes that handlers make in various exercises and what you can do to avoid these errors. Learn some things that can help you improve your performance. Hear some tips to improve your ring experience.

Raising a Well Adjusted Dog with Amy Cook – Lecture Only 

We would all like to think raising dogs is a simple matter of including them naturally in our lives, raising a mentally healthy dog often means anticipating and preventing common problems, and seeing the challenges through their eyes. While some dogs handle life with us just fine, others do have predictable stress from living in our human world. The good news is that we can predict the areas that are most likely to inspire behavior problems for dogs and prevent them with a little forethought! In this talk we’ll cover the areas that can be potentially stressful for dogs as they grow with us, and you’ll learn strategies for navigating those rough spots!

11:00 – 12:40

Reinforcement Rituals Lab with Sarah Stremming: Experience Level – All

Producing a ritualized reinforcement procedure is vital for ring-sustainable behaviors. Give more power to the payoff so that you get higher quality work.

Stays For All Occasions Lab with Nicole Wiesbusch:  Experience Level – All

Stays are critical for dog sports, whether it’s an active stay like an agility start line or an obedience recall, or a relaxed stay while you set up training sessions or talk to your instructor.  During this lab, we will discuss both types of stays and how to teach them. We will cover adding duration, distractions, and distance and what to do if your dog makes a mistake. We will also discuss when and how to reduce reinforcement and how to teach your dog that the ultimate reward for staying is getting to work, which leads to reinforcement.

Handler Choice Lab with Shade Whitesel: Experience Level – All

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

Seeking Solutions: Weave Pole Training Lab with Megan Foster:  Experience Level – See Description

In this lab, Megan will discuss common entry and exit struggles and show how she breaks these skills down into manageable pieces to train systematically that does not require weaving all 12 poles! This lab is suitable for dogs that are already weaving, this is not a “how to” for training the skill of weaving, but a problem-solving lab.

Wait Your Turn! Lab with Sara Brueske:  Experience Level – All

Have more than one dog that wants to work? Or a dog that doesn’t want to wait its turn at class? This lab will cover how to manage working multiple dogs at the same time by using perch stays. Not only will your dogs learn to wait for their turn, but they’ll learn impulse control, patience and commitment to their stay!

Nosework – Building a Thinking Dog Using Problem Solving Lab with Stacy Barnett: Experience Level -Intermediate/Advanced

Using the way dogs think is the next frontier in training search dogs.  In this lab, teams will understand how to set problems that help the dog to think about the search space in three dimensions and how to use hide placement patterns in order to create a more methodical search dog. Dogs in working spots should be confident in finding multiple hides in novel search areas.

Building Endurance with Chelsey Protulipac – Lecture Only

You’ve taught some excellent dog sport skills and have mastered foundations such as engagement and even working through distractions. You are starting to think about how you will connect these concepts to build a strong performance that you will be excited to show off!  So, what do I mean by building endurance? We should think about endurance as durability: stable, resilient, robust, reliable.  All characteristics we would want to use to describe our performance before we enter a competition.  So how do we get there? We are going to discuss simple changes to the structure of your training – from planning to application – to make sure you are systematically and efficiently working towards this trajectory.