FE155: Crucial Concepts of Competition - Shaping/Luring/Capturing and More!

Instructor: Shade Whitesel 

Course Description

To achieve excellence in the world of dog sports, handlers need to learn a variety of training techniques in order to communicate clearly and effectively with their dogs.  Equally important, your dog needs to learn how to respond to these training techniques without confusion or frustration.  But, what exactly does this mean?

 In a luring session, your dog learns how and when to follow a food lure. Additionally the handler learns how to fade the lure and name the behavior so that the dog knows how to respond to a verbal cue and a physical signal.

 In a shaping session, the dog becomes comfortable offering behaviors and responding to both correct and incorrect repetitions as the handler raises criteria. The teacher learns when to raise that criteria, how to break behaviors down into teeny tiny steps and what to do if the dog responds with frustration or unsureness. And then we put that shaped behavior on verbal cue!

 Furthermore, we’ll cover targeting, props, the concepts of “Switching Reinforcement” and “Placement of Reward”, marker cues meaning food on or off the body, offered focus and why this is important, a threshold protocol to test the emotional state and how your dog feels about the environment and the training session in general, and last but not least, some techniques on how to deal with mistakes that you and your dog make.

 It’s perfectly normal to be stronger at some training techniques than others.  This class will help you, the handler teacher, find comfort in a wider range of training options by ensuring that you have a strong understanding of your training options, the timing and mechanics of those options, and when and where it might be beneficial to use a specific technique.  

 In addition, this class will strengthen your understanding and skills with timing, reward placement and location specific markers, generalization of behavior, body language, switching reinforcers, sequencing behaviors to create finished exercises, 

 While this is an entry level training class we’ll make no assumptions about what you know or don’t know. It is equally appropriate for a relative beginner to dog sports as it is for a more advanced student who recognizes that they have a few gaps in their knowledge. We won’t be concentrating on specifics of how to teach any one obedience behavior like sit or down, instead we’ll be concentrating on the specifics of how to TEACH our learners!

 Plus, this is a strongly recommended class for all of the fancy obedience skills in my later classes, like heeling and retrieving, which both rely heavily on the handler’s training skills!

 Come join me and develop your training excellence for any sport!



Registration will begin at 10:00am PST.

Next session starts: August 1, 2017
Registration starts: July 22, 2017
Registration ends: August 15, 2017

Enrollment limits: 10 gold, 15 silver, unlimited bronze. If you are interested in a bronze level class, you can sign up any time during the registration period.


Luring-how to achieve, name and fade the lure

Shaping-how to achieve, generalize and name



Reinforcement-what exactly is it?

Threshold check with food

Offered focus

Placement of reward

Mistake Protocol

Switching Reinforcement

Get it versus Yes

Minimizing Frustration

Splitting versus Lumping

Prerequisites and Equipment

Nothing special needed! For the props part, it would be awesome to have a platform for front feet, all four feet, or one foot. dog bowl or feed bucket, board that dog can stand on, or yougurt lid.