The training with markers and positive reinforcement has become familiar to the dog training community for over 20 years. It has been well promoted on ethical and effective aspects with an attraction of ease of progress. It seems simple to learn in the early stages.
But like any technology it requires an attention to skill to develop to its full potential. Advancing training requires a deeper look at all the procedures involved and a regular check that the foundation skills are clean and without bad habits.
If your training is a little mucky you may see:
- Variable responses to the cues
- Maybe what you think are the cues and not always the cues
- Behaviours that often stutter and lack fluency
- Behaviours that are sometimes brilliant and other times, meh, not so hot
- Sometimes you hesitate to deliver reinforcement
- The process gets a little strained and repetitive, not a lot of joy
- Training seems a bit more like a chore when it used to be the highlight of your day.
- You tend to favour teaching new things rather than working on old things.
- Nothing seems to get finished, enthusiasm dries up.
Clean training is about communicating well, setting up the learning for your dog so that their view is always success and pure pleasure. Building behaviours organically so that the learner grows in strength. Designing a plan that engineers a flourishing of your learner.
All these elements require us to learn our trade, become skilful and thoughtful and practise what we need to learn, take those skills to a level of ease and competency.
Participating with your dog
Participants for this weekend should be Training Geeks – happy to think and talk about training even when they are not training. Dogs suitable for participating should have experience of shaping and building behaviours with markers and frequent, high level reinforcement, and be comfortable working in room with other dogs. The workshop is limited to 10 participants.
Learning by Watching
You may attend as a spectator and your dog may attend if it is comfortable resting in the car during the workshop. You are likely to learn just as much as participants without the anxieties of participating. Use the coupon code “watch” at the checkout for a 40% spectator discount.