I’m Back From an Eye-Opening Dog Training Seminar

I’m simply again from a six-day journey that included two days of driving and a four-day academic seminar with world-renowned animal habits consultants: distinguished British coach Kay Laurence and psychology professor emeritus Susan Friedman, who has pioneered the appliance of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals. My touring companions included my 4-year-old canine Woody; my buddy and favourite canine coach/mannequin for WDJ, Sarah Richardson; and Sarah’s miniature Australian Shepherd, Minnie. Despite the truth that we received residence at a comparatively first rate hour yesterday, I discovered that I used to be exhausted as we speak! Both from the educational and the driving – over 10 hours within the automobile every method.

Woody and his buddy Minnie behaved fantastically

Sarah and Minnie working towards a method we simply realized from Kay Laurence within the parking space of the seminar, which was held at a horse present facility in Farmington Utah.

But it was an incredible journey. I believed my extremely
energetic canine Woody and 18-month-old Minnie would each be bananas after a full
day’s drive, particularly on the resort after we arrived in the midst of the
night time. Neither canine had been on such a protracted drive, in an elevator, or in a
resort, the place strangers can come across the nook at any second and, actually,
stroll previous the door of your room all night time and all day lengthy. Wow! But as soon as they
found the enjoyable of sleeping on the beds with their respective house owners (Woody
doesn’t get to do that at residence, although I don’t learn about Minnie), and Sarah
and I discovered how you can handle the room’s local weather management in order to maintain the
fan working all night time (to supply some white noise as cowl for footsteps going
down the corridor), the canines settled proper down and continued to impress us with
their good manners in public.

In the 22 years I’ve been enhancing
WDJ, I’ve attended dozens of
seminars on coaching and habits, together with annual conferences of the
Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), International Association of
Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and Pet Professionals Guild (PPG). But
I’ve introduced a canine solely as soon as (a tiny long-haired Chihuahua, Mokie, who had no
different place to go on the time) – and this was within the late 1990s or maybe
early 2000s, I can’t bear in mind. At any fee, he was alongside for the trip solely
as a result of he may slot in a carry-on crate and I had nobody to dog-sit – I wasn’t
bringing him alongside to be able to take part in a hands-on workshop. I’ve, in
truth, by no means participated in a hands-on workshop with a visiting canine coaching
skilled. I’ve taken many courses
with my canines, the place I used to be simply one of many contributors, not essentially higher
or worse than any of the opposite college students. But I had by no means dreamed of bringing a
canine to a seminar {of professional} canine trainers and collaborating with my very own

Woody and I volunteered, and realized a factor or two

My buddy Sarah took video of me working with Woody in entrance of the group and beneath the steerage of coach Kay Laurence. I sit up for watching the 5 minutes or so of video, as a result of I used to be so nervous, I couldn’t inform you precisely what we did!

So it took me three days earlier than I felt
courageous sufficient to boost my hand and volunteer to be one of many dog-and-handler
groups who would stand earlier than the group of 75 or so trainers and ask for
steerage from the famed Kay Laurence with some side of canine habits. I requested
for assist with Woody’s “back” habits, which might get sticky generally. I principally
ask for him to again up after we are enjoying fetch, each so he can higher see
the place the ball goes and in addition as a method to ensure he’s listening and being
well mannered concerning the recreation, not simply demanding THROW! THROW! THROW! If he will get so
excited that he can’t be well mannered, the sport ends. But Kay, who has been within the
finals of the musical freestyle competitors of the famed annual Crufts canine present
(in Britain) numerous instances, had another tips about how you can preserve Woody’s
“back up” habits sharp, calm, and comfortable. This wasn’t essentially the most important
factor I realized through the four-day seminar, however it took essentially the most bravery, so
it’s doubtless the second I’ll bear in mind essentially the most!

Meeting different trainers was a pleasure

It was additionally a pleasure to satisfy dozens of different trainers from
across the nation who had been current to be taught extra about studying idea from
Susan Friedman and particular coaching strategies from Kay. The sort of coaching
that’s taught as we speak is the norm for a lot of of those younger trainers; they’ve
by no means recognized something completely different. Having grown up within the days the place dog-training
professionals all used choke chains
and bodily “corrections” weren’t solely the norm, but additionally a mark of whether or not
the coach was severe or simply an novice, I’m envious of those passionate
and competent younger trainers, who get to begin their skilled training at
least 20 years into the so-called “positive training” revolution. Sarah and I additionally
attended a few social gatherings within the evenings, and had a blast speaking
about canines and canine coaching with a desk stuffed with educated, dedicated
trainers over nice meals and wine.

Each afternoon, we loved mind-bending lecture/slide/video shows by Dr. Susan Friedman about animal habits and studying idea.

Our canines loved wrestling with one another and leaping from
mattress to mattress within the resort, sleeping on these beds with us, and their night
off-leash wild romps throughout a neighborhood sports activities discipline with different canines who attended
the occasion with their coach/house owners.

Now we’re all residence, and it’s time to dig into work on the
January 2020 concern of WDJ – the 23rd 12 months of its publication. Wow! I
marvel what coaching and dwelling with canines will appear to be in one other 23 years,
as utilized habits evaluation and force-free coaching continues to develop in
the fingers of educated professionals like these I met.

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