FE200: The Art and Science of Reinforcement Training

Instructor: Deborah Jones

Course Details

Welcome!  This course is designed to help you truly understand how to use reinforcement in successful and effective training.  We will address both the science and useful applications.  This is a great class for "behavior geeks" as well as for those who want to work through their own training challenges using positive reinforcement.  

Training with positive reinforcement is about so much more than throwing cookies at a dog!  It can be used in subtle and sophisticated ways that will improve your training effectiveness enormously. 

The first few weeks of this course will lay a foundation.  We will focus, first and foremost, on a true understanding of what reinforcement actually is and how we can best use it to our advantage in our training.  Many trainers have a general understanding of reinforcement, but not a true and complete knowledge of this concept.  

We will focus on some very basic behaviors that your dog may already have in his repetoire.  We will experiment with and manipulate reinforcement in order to change the topography, latency, rate, and duration of behaviors to achieve fluency and stimulus control.  This will require an understanding of reinforcement value, timing, jackpots, and placement.  We will also discuss and use secondary reinforcers and markers and look at their effect on training.  

The remainder of the course will be dedicated to coaching each Gold team through their chosen behaviors and skills.  We can work on anything from agility to rally to obedience to whatever.  Bring us your training challenges! 

We will help you analyze your specific training needs, help you develop an effective plan of action, and coach you through the application of your plan. 

Our goal is for you to leave this class with an increased understanding of and a new appreciation for the power and value of positive reinforcement training.