Instructor: Heather Lawson
Can your dog pick out the identical matching item you're holding? Ever wondered just how far can you go in stretching your dog’s cognitive abilities? In this class, we teach your dog the concept of "matching to sample" (various items) using the single cue: "Match It". Your dog will learn to pick out the identical corresponding item you are holding from a group of both familiar and novel (unfamiliar) items. This is one of the must-have foundation concepts that is used in training other broader concepts such as Modifier Cues, Adduction, Mimicry AND even Counting brought to the attention of the general training community by individuals such as Claudia Fugazza and Ken Ramirez.
The ADDED BONUS of Match To Sample is many of the skills learned in this class are easy carry-over skills for other dog sports such as Obedience, Nose Work, and TEAM Titles.
Next session starts: October 1, 2018Registration starts: September 22, 2018Registration ends: October 15, 2018
Registration will begin at 9:30 AM Pacific Time.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Gold Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to post questions and videos to the course forums. Students will receive instructor feedback on written and video assignments.
Silver Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to participate in the discussion forum. Students may ask GENERAL questions about course materials and may submit two, one-minute videos for instructor feedback. Any questions specific to your dog MUST be accompanied by a video.
Bronze Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forums. Students will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.
For more details, refund policies, and answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Gold level access includes all lecture and video materials, ability to post questions and videos to the course forum, and feedback on all questions asked in the forum as well as feedback on both written and video assignments. Silver Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to participate in the discussion forum. Students may ask GENERAL questions about course materials and may submit two, one-minute videos for instructor feedback. Bronze Level Access includes all lecture and video materials, and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forum. You will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.
Gold level access includes all lecture and video materials, ability to post questions and videos to the course forum, and feedback on all questions asked in the forum as well as feedback on both written and video assignments.Number of slots:12
Silver Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to participate in the discussion forum. Students may ask GENERAL questions about course materials and may submit two, one-minute videos for instructor feedback.Number of slots:25
Bronze Level Access includes all lecture and video materials, and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forum. You will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.Number of slots: unlimited
Subject to change:
1. What is concept training
2. Getting started - Collecting equipment
3. Teaching Target or Pick up
4. Cementing return to station (sit or down)
5. Choosing your match it cue
6. Target practice - single items
7. Target practice - with pairs
8. Adding your "Match It" cue
9. More items in a row
10. Mixing it up
11. Introducing unknown items
12. Matching any item
We will use markers or clickers in this course. Handlers should already be using markers in training and dogs should have an understanding of the click & treat relationship.
> A mat or mat-style bed that does not slip around on the floor will be needed as the station location.
> A plain ended target stick of any sorts approximately 12-18 inches
> 4 Sets of 2 identical items to start i.e. 2 balls, 2 small cones, 2 kongs, 2 oven mitts
- access to additional duplicate items
> Stool for Handler or you can sit on the floor
> Low rectangular type "table" to place items on in a row. Even a plank approx. 8-10 in. wide x max. 36 in. set on a couple of bricks would work. As long as the table is low enough for the dog to nose target or pick up the items.
> Container (bucket) large enough to hold the 4 sets of duplicate items
2.1 TEACH “LOOK AT THIS”
In this exercise, we will be teaching our dogs to “glance or look” at an object when we hold it up and remain on their station. This is the last stage before we begin to introduce and add the verbal MATCH IT cue. We want to condition our dogs to look at or notice the item we are holding and to wait for our cue. There is NO cue added for this exercise.
TOOLS: Clicker, Treat Pouch w/Treats, Dog, Station Platform, Working Table, 4 Pairs of Identical known objects (toys or other objects the dog is familiar with), a container to place current working objects in.
HUMAN PRACTICE: So far you've practiced your clicker mechanical and targeting skills without your dog. This was not only to ensure we had clean mechanical skills but to make sure you were comfortable with how you planned to move and even toss treats to your dog.
We will do the same type of human practice for this exercise. Before adding your dog into the training picture, I need you to again set up and prepare your equipment. Once you are ready, go ahead and practice going through all the steps without your dog. This includes picking up and holding the objects, deciding what hand your clicker will be in and how you will be giving treats or tossing treat reinforcement to the station.
Please don’t skip the Human Practice. We need at least one piece of the team knowing what they’re doing, and this type of pre-practice is a great way to do it.
You’ll not only be testing your mechanics but also taking a look at the suitability of the objects you have chosen; can they be easily placed, won’t tip over or roll off the table, and whether your dog’s station is placed far enough away or close enough to the working table.
HINT: If you don’t already do it, consider preparing your training area and equipment before you bring your dog into the work area or at the very least park your dog on their station as you set up. This type of advance preparation allows us to completely concentrate on our dogs and helps tell the dog when they need to be focused and ready to work. It also helps to eliminate our dogs from engaging early with the equipment before we're ready to work.
STEP 1. PRACTICE WITHOUT DOG
a) Place your first group of 4 pairs of known objects in a container that allows you easy access to pick up.
A container helps to keep the objects contained, visually obscured and less of a distraction for the dog.
b) Set up your equipment and practice going through all the motions you may need. This includes holding
up each of the objects you will be presenting to your dog.
STEP 2. ADD THE DOG
a) Your working table will be clear of all objects.
b) The dog will start and remain on or return to the default position on the station during the whole exercise
c) Sitting at your table hold up one single object; approximately shoulder or your head height and either in your left
or right hand.
d) Click when the dog looks at the object, lower object and toss the treat to the dog on the station.
e) Reinforce dog multiple times on station between repetitions of holding up each object.
Sequence: Show object, C/T when the dog looks, lower object, toss treat. The dog remains on the station, C/T
multiple times before next repetition.
f) Vary the side you present the item i.e. if you’ve been presenting all objects on your left, now switch to the right.
g) Repeat sequence through all 4 pairs of the known objects.
You may present the same object multiple times before switching to the next object.
h) BREAK – end sessions with play, treat scatter or any other type of interaction your dog prefers.
Here is Ollie doing the "Look At this" exercise. His owner is clicking when he glances at the object she presents. At this time there is no cue.
Ollie makes a mistake and moves towards the table as his owner lifts the object. She quickly lowers the object and Ollie defaults back to his station.
REPEAT STEP 2. 3-5 X depending on your dog's success. Your goal is to ensure your dogs remain on their station when you present the object and to only come to the table later when cued to do so.
> Your dog should remain on their station throughout the LOOK AT OBJECT exercise.
> If they move from the station, remove the object from sight, pause and wait for them to return to the station, C/T
the return, reinforce multiple times before presenting again.
> If the dog hesitates too long in their return use a reset toss straight past the station to help them reset.
> Try to refrain from pointing or asking your dogs to go back to their station unless they appear to require
> If your dog is consistently moving off their station, break off your training session and revisit station training;
magnetizing the station even further.
> You can certainly take a break at any time during this training – try not to work too long – this is hard work for
A SAMPLING OF WHAT PRIOR STUDENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS COURSE ...
Match to Sample was one of the very best courses I've taken here. Challenging and unique subject matter and Heather is an EXCELLENT instructor. She knows her material and clearly shares it with her students. Her instructions are always individualized and encouraging. Heather goes into amazing depth of detail in critiquing lessons/videos.
This course was excellent and I hope to see more "concept training" courses like this one and mimicry on the schedule. Heather really broke down the matching process and focused on foundation behaviors before moving on to the fun stuff. Her feedback on the gold threads was detailed and helpful.
Heather--this was a great class. I was at Bronze and plan to go over the material slowly with my dog, but did not want to miss this class. "Heather is a great instructor who really knows her material and encourages all teams to do their best work. Concept training is a fascinating new area of study related to dog cognition and training that scientists and trainers are learning more about daily. Thank you, Heather, for spearheading this class. It was a great way for me to get a toe in the water and start to make inroads in concept training with my learner."
Every step of the matching process was broken down and put together in a systematic way, and it was easy to go back and "fix" part of the process if it fell apart while trying to move forward to the next step.
Thank you so much for this great course, my dogs and I enjoyed it very much and we'll keep on working on this interesting stuff in the future!
I really enjoyed this class. I liked how the instructor broke everything down, everything followed pretty easily from one step to the other.