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Descriptions

Friday Sessions

Day 1 – Morning Working Session Descriptions

All working teams will register for one morning lab – maximum of 9 working dogs per lab.

Individual session registration not required for auditors.

9:15AM – 10:45AM

Hall A

Magic Mats with Julie Daniels

Experience level – All

There really is magic in mat work when you follow this 4-step program. LOVE the mat, SEEK the mat, OWN the mat, and SEND to the mat are the four steps we will cover.

9:15AM – 10:45AM

Hall B

Ring Confidence Lab with Julie Symons

Experience level – All

Did you know that your dog needs to be taught to enjoy the competition ring? It’s true! This lab is designed to help your dog look forward to the ring despite the normal stressors that exist at a dog show! By emphasizing a positive association between the traditional ring entrance found in trials and your ability to produce a fabulous party, we can condition our dogs to love the competition ring.

9:15AM – 10:45AM

Hall C

Start Button Behaviors Lab with Sarah Stremming

Experience level – All

Learn to create a language of consent surrounding all of your training and performing with your dog. Teach your dog how to say YES to each run, each repetition, every time! 

9:15AM – 10:45AM

Hall  D

Back it UP! For Freestyle, Rally-FrEe and Rally Obedience Lab with Julie Flanery

Experience level – All

Are you unsure how to teach your dog to back up? Do you struggle with getting a straight back up? Or one with duration? Are you using a band-aid to hold your backing behavior together? Learn how to clearly communicate criteria to teach or strengthen your back-up in heel, right, in front of, and with distance from the handler.

9:15AM – 10:45AM

Hall E

Fitness Foundations Lab with Lori Stevens

Experience level – All

Fitness is important for your dog’s health and doing fitness exercises with your dog is fun and enriching for both of you! These foundation exercises increase muscle strength and improve performance, confidence, flexibility, focus, body awareness, and balance. We will focus on getting foundation behaviors for fitness and learning how to observe posture and encourage proper alignment. You will also learn how to introduce canine fitness equipment.

9:15AM – 10:45AM

Hall F

Nosework – Super Start Lines Lab with Stacy Barnett

Experience Level – Novice and above

Did you know that searches are made or lost at the start line? How you approach the start line will have a massive effect on the ultimate outcome of your search. What’s more, how you practice your start lines will have a drastic impact on each and every search you do in competition. The secret is arousal. In this lab we will determine your dog’s natural arousal state and will work on diagnosing issues and modifying your dog’s arousal state so that you will end up with the most effective search that your dog can do. Dogs in working spots should already be introduced to odor.

11:00AM-12:30PM

Hall A

Tricks with Purpose Lab with Sara Brueske

Experience level – All

Tricks aren’t just for fun anymore! This lab will focus on training tricks that offer more than meets the eye. Each of the tricks taught is specifically picked for improving body awareness, developing critical thinking skills, or strengthening specific muscle groups. Sara will talk about looking deeper into behaviors traditionally taught for entertainment to see how they can help you reach your training goals. Join her and see what tricks are hidden up her sleeve; you won’t be disappointed!

11:00AM-12:30PM

Hall B

Pocket Hand Heeling Lab with Denise Fenzi

Experience level – All

Pocket hand is a way of teaching heeling that allows your dog to use the angle and position of your hand to develop and maintain an exceptionally precise heel position. You’ve heard people talking about pocket hand for heeling, and now you get to see it in action! This technique will work just as well for retraining a 10-year-old dog as it will for starting an 8-week-old puppy. If you’d like to learn more about using pocket hand, join Denise in this lecture and lab and have your dog heeling with finesse in no time!

11:00AM-12:30PM

Hall C

Is Your Dog Ready to Work? Lab with Shade Whitesel

Experience level – All

You’ve trained the behaviors in your basement, in your training class, and in your front yard. Now’s the time to take them on the road and possibly on to trial! When you take your dog to a new place, how do you know your dog is in a mindset conducive to performing those behaviors fluidly, quickly, and confidently? Join Shade as she (a) explains how to figure out a ritual to “ask” your dog how they feel about the environmental pressures before letting criteria slip, and (b) explores some protocols to work through those pressures. 

11:00AM-12:30PM

Hall D

Dealing with Judge Pressure! Lab with Amy Cook

Experience level – All

You’ve trained hard, have your heeling all set, your dog is engaged… uh oh. Where’d that judge come from? Why is he following us? Lots of dogs are proximity sensitive and aren’t comfortable with being directly approached, followed, or crowded by strangers (especially strangers with clipboards and hats!). Some dogs want to rush to greet anyone within a 10-foot radius! In this class, we’ll go over things you can do to help your dog be comfortable with these “strange” judge behaviors and not feel the need to keep an eye on them. We’ll also help those greeters learn that judges are boring, and you are the best!

11:00AM-12:30PM

Hall E

Handler Choice Lab with Nancy G. Little

Experience level – All

Each team will have 10 minutes of one-on-one time to work on whichever skills they choose.

11:00AM-12:30PM

Hall F

Shaping Retrieves Lab with Deb Jones

Experience level – All

This lab will focus on the process of shaping to introduce and improve your dog’s formal retrieve. Deb will be splitting the retrieve behavior into tiny parts to isolate any problem areas. Dogs at all levels of the retrieve, including the very beginning steps, are welcome. Dogs in working spots should be highly food motivated. Bring an appropriately sized retrieve object for your dog to work with in this lab.

Day 1 – Afternoon Working Session Descriptions

All working teams will register for one afternoon lab – maximum of 10 working dogs per lab.

Individual session registration not required for auditors.

1:40PM – 3:40PM

Hall A

 Cookie Jar Games Lab with Julie Daniels

Experience level – All

This lab will work Julie’s signature program for helping dogs discover the better deal when they choose delayed reinforcement over immediate reinforcement.

1:40PM – 3:40PM

Hall B

Scent Discrimination Lab with Julie Symons

Experience level – All

Teaching scent discrimination does not have to be intimidating! It’s quite easy to teach our dogs to find our scent using operant conditioning. This lab will have a short intro lecture, and then a working lab for introducing scent and problem solving. For teams just starting out, Julie will introduce how to reinforce and build value for your scent, and how to never ever create stress with this exercise. If your interest is in Handler Discrimination Scent Work, Julie can cover that too! With more advanced teams, she will problem solve specific issues they may have with this exercise. Working teams should bring 5-6 identical metal, leather, wood, or cotton objects; they do not need to be official articles.

1:40PM – 3:40PM

Hall C

Arousal Layering Games Lab with Sarah Stremming

Experience level – All

Learn to layer the excitement and intensity of an exercise so that your dog can stay precise and accurate even under high levels of arousal.

1:40PM – 3:40PM

Hall D

Joy of Heeling Lab with Julie Flanery

Experience level – Novice & 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 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, in order to create 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.

1:40PM – 3:40PM

Hall F

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.

4:00PM – 6:00PM

Hall A

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. 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.

4:00PM – 6:00PM

Hall B

Toy Play Lab with Denise Fenzi

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 re-engage, Denise can improve your game.

4:00PM – 6:00PM

Hall C

Location-Specific Markers Lab with Shade Whitesel

Experience level – All

Yes versus Get it, Strike versus Fetch, now you are allowed to pounce on the toy on the ground, now you aren’t! Having verbal cues that tell your dog where to collect toy or food reinforcement can be so mind blowing and complicated for the HANDLER, but it clears things up and makes things so much simpler for the DOG! Now the dog doesn’t have to guess where that treat pouch is, or which pocket or hand the ball is in. They can devote their entire concentration to listening to you and performing the obedience skills instead of watching your physical motions as predictors of where and when the reward is coming. Join Shade as she explains these concepts, and why she thinks they are more efficient than just one or two marker words. Working teams will work the concepts explored in the lecture, while staying within their capabilities.

4:00PM – 6:00PM

Hall D

From Startle to Recovery Lab with Amy Cook

Experience level – All

You’re carrying on as usual at a trial or on a walk and then something surprising happens that scares your dog! A table crashes! A door slams! What do you do? Helping your dog shake it off and return to normal requires laying a recovery foundation ahead of time! In this lab you’ll install a recovery sequence start to finish, by backchaining each element until you have the whole thing assembled. Give your dog some recovery language!

4:00PM – 6:00PM

Hall E

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.

4:00PM – 6:00PM

Hall F

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.