Instructor: Shade Whitesel
This is the class where the human half of the team learns! No matter what level your dog is at, this class is for you to learn more about teaching and training in general. Clear timing, clear mechanics, knowledge of what you are trying to accomplish, along with knowledge of what to do when you aren’t getting what you want, all this helps you to plan more efficient training sessions and less confusion and frustration from your learner dog. Join us as we explore luring, shaping, targeting and capturing, all in one class! We learn to fade lures, name shaped behaviors without frustration from our learners, teach targeting on a prop, and how to transfer the prop and the behavior and fade the prop out of the picture. We also explore the concept of “capturing” behaviors, where you as the teacher learn to look for those big behaviors that you want for competition, and how to set up a training session to explain that to your dog. The dog learns to offer behaviors, to keep certain behaviors in his mind through the training session, and to not get frustrated while trying to figure out what you want. We use captured behaviors as "start button" behaviors for skills that you teach later on in the dog's learning career, like heeling and retrieves, as well as a way of listening to your dog's opinion of the training session.
In between all these practical training sessions, we explore what reinforcement really is, how to use it, we talk about focus, why it’s important, and how to add the concept of “switching reinforcement” skills early on to your training sessions. And bonus lecture, “is your dog ready to work?” How can you tell if your dog is in the right frame of mind in any environment? Starting training sessions off with the right attitude from your dog is crucial for success going forward, whether you are taking skills on the road, or preparing for the competition environment!
And, this class is strongly recommended for all my other skill classes, like the heeling and retrieve classes, which rely heavily on the handler’s shaping skills and clear mechanics, as well as the concept of start button behaviors. Crucial concepts of Competition is a great foundation class for any handler to have, regardless of goals. Come join us and develop your training knowledge for any sport!