Sunday Morning Session Descriptions

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

9:00AM – 10:40AM

Wait Your Turn

Sara Brueske
Experience Level: Novice & Above

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!

Obedience Problem Solving Lab

Denise Fenzi
Experience Level: All

Having a problem with an Obedience exercise or part of an Obedience exercise? Want to improve a known skill for obedience?

In this session, Denise will address any Obedience handling or training issues that you might have.

End of Run Routines: Leashing Up & Exiting to Rewards

Megan Foster
Experience Level: All

Most dogs learn their end-of-run routine “on the job” at the competition. While this does work for many teams, it’s a slow process and odds are, you won’t see all the benefits a trained end-of-run routine can provide. This working session is for you if:

  • Your dog gets faster toward the end of the run
  • Your dog gets confused if the middle of the course is near the exit gate
  • Your dog avoids getting their leash on at the end
  • Your dog watches/tries to visit the next dog on the line
  • Your dog struggles to perform unless rewards are visible

In this session, teams will begin building a solid end-of-run routine that rewards each individual dog for their effort on the agility course, taking into account what kind of energy they should have at the end of the run and what reinforcer they’d enjoy swapping to after work.

Participants will learn how to attach that to the coursework itself in order to build speed throughout the entire course and how to swap from the intensity of work to the less intense but just as enjoyable reward contingency.

Working teams should be comfortable taking their dog’s leash off and have a few behaviors/obstacles that can be completed without reinforcement present. Behaviors can be tricks and don’t necessarily have to be obstacles.

Ignoring Food, Toys, and Interesting Smells in the Training and Competition Space

Sharon Carroll
Experience Level: All

Interesting smells, dropped food crumbs, open treat containers, and toys — these can all be very challenging for our dog to ignore.

We can try to block our dog’s access to these items, or we can use a cue to call our dog back to work, but wouldn’t it be better if our dog just continued to work in the presence of open treat containers, dropped food, interesting smells, and toys on the ground?

In this session we outline a systematic approach that will have your dog heeling past an open treat container or favorite toy in no time.

The key to success is helping our dog to make a choice to ignore these items. When our dog DECIDES to ignore something, the outcome is very different to when we ASK them to ignore something. This is because choosing to ignore an item is empowering and allows their full mental focus to be shifted elsewhere, whereas being asked to ignore something may result in our dog’s visual focus returning to us and the task, but there may still be conflicting emotions and split focus/attention within the processing in the brain.

In this session we outline the steps needed to have our dog choose to ignore interesting smells, food, and toys whilst working.

Working spots: There are no pre-requisite skills for working participants, but having an established loose leash walking or heeling behavior will be beneficial.

NOTE: The contents of this session is targeted towards dogs that compete (in-person or virtual) and/or dogs that participate in training sessions/classes. This is not a protocol aimed at teaching dogs to ignore dropped food whilst out on a sniffy walks or when on “free time” in their yard at home.

Advanced Toys – Cooperation and Play

Shade Whitesel
Experience Level: See Description

Pre requisite: online or physical toy class

There will be no lecture, only working one on one with Shade on the toy subject/step of your choice. We will divide up the time available and get the dogs out for working as many times as possible. If you have all the toy steps, structure, we can also work on behaviors within the toy game.

The Recovery Recipe: From Surprise to Surprise Party!

Amy Cook, PhD
Experience Level: Lecture Only

It’s a fact of life that things happen suddenly, and for your dog, even the more experienced and well socialized, those sudden events can sometimes be distressing!

Whether your dog is often pulled off center by events around them or it’s only occasional, when it happens to your dog, they need your help to recover.

It’s a great idea to have a plan in place before that happens, so you and your dog both have something to rely on! The startle to recovery framework involves simple, non-scary practice events, and parties that’ll convince your dog she won the lottery! Come see how to turn surprises into surprise parties!

11:00AM – 12:40AM

Glue Skills for Dog Sports

Nancy Gagliardi Little
Experience Level: Novice & Above

Each dog sport has a foundation skill framework that builds reliable performance. But what about the glue that holds that sport-specific framework in place?

In this session, you will learn glue skills that can help accelerate learning opportunities (training, classes, seminars, and trials) for your dog. These skills are essential for your dog if competition is the ultimate goal. But they are also beneficial as general life skills for your dog. Without glue skills, dogs can develop unwanted habits, which interferes with their learning. Furthermore, once habits are established, they can be more challenging to change. Once you train glue skills with your dog, you will never return to training without them in your future dogs!

Advanced Ring Confidence

Laura Waudby
Experience Level: See Description

This session is for teams who have taken the Ring Confidence class at any level. Let’s keep working on trial prep to help your dog feel confident and happy in a trial environment! You know the pieces your dog still needs to work on, such as people pressure, transitioning with focus between exercises, or happy setups!

There will not be a lecture. Each team will get to run through their current sticking points and get feedback on how to support their dog. The goal is to help the dog feel confident in meeting these challenges! The sport focus should be obedience/rally as there will not be agility equipment available.

Dog Pee, Food Smell, Critters and Confusing Humans—Oh My! Making Distractions Less Relevant

Sarah Owings
Experience Level: Novice & Above

“How do I get my dog to stop… (fill in the blank here… marking on pee, going after food, sniffing for critters, etc)?” is a common request among nosework students. But often our very attempt to fix these issues backfires, and the behaviors we don’t want grow more persistent. This is because tackling distraction problems head-on frequently sets dogs up to practice the habit of losing focus—and, as we all know, practice makes perfect!

Come learn new ways to make distractions less relevant via antecedent arrangements, finely splitting environmental criteria, speed drills, and motivation games.

Getting Ahead Lab

Loretta Mueller
Experience Level: Novice & Above

Are you always behind? Do you need to work on trusting your dog to do their job so you can move onto the next obstacle? In this session, we will work on plans to not get behind so we can direct our dogs around the course efficiently.

Are there skills that you need to teach your dog that will help you not be so far behind? We will identify those things that keep you from staying ahead of your dog.

Concept Training

Heather Lawson
Experience Level: Lecture Only

Does your dog really know his left from his right? How about finding a object that matches the one you’re holding? Can he even read? How about count? You bet he can.

If you’re Interested in elevating your training game, introducing new ways to use foundation skills, or in finding a way to stretch your dog’s brain while having fun, then come join Heather on an adventure into the realm of Concept Training. You’ll be amazed at how your dogs can grasp what are—seemingly, at least to us—the very difficult concepts of Matching To Sample, Modifier Cues (understanding left/right, large/small), and even, yes, Reading, Shape Discrimination and Counting, also known as Quantity Recognition. You’ll be amazed at how transferable skills learned through concept training can help you in other dog sports.

Heelwork to Music – Making Magic!

Julie Flanery
Experience Level: Novice & 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!