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Old 02-17-2013, 11:53 AM
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Aleron Aleron is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NE Ohio
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Default Seminar Suggestions?

Any suggestions for seminars that would be good to help "modernize" the agility training at a more traditionally based club? A friend of mine is trying very hard to reform a training club's agility program. The club's agility program is positive training based but more the Petsmart style of positive training, if that makes sense. There is not a great grasp at all of the possibilities there are in using positive training, just very basic give the dog a treat to reward him stuff. No working in drive, no making rewards fun and interesting, no thinking outside of the box on what is a reward, no grasp of shaping, etc. And still a lot of falling back to correction, people asking for more than the dog is trained for and getting frustrated when the dog isn't doing as well as they'd like and a lot of blaming the dog when things go wrong.

I actually had a long discussion with another agility person and a student of this club. The student was absolutely sure that her dog was not holding contacts in trials because she was "stubborn" and "needs to be shut down" and that no one else has a dog that is as high drive and hard to get to reliably perform contacts as her's is so no one could possibly help her. She's done everything right and it's the dog's fault that they are NQing for missed contacts because "she knows she can get away with it at trials". That is just one example and a fairly extreme one but the "I've done my training all right and my dog is just stubborn and knows better but is trying to get away with things at trials" mentality is pretty widespread among members.

Many of the agility students do obedience too and while rewards are used by most of the obedience instructors, most of the methods and classes are more traditional than not. It would be nice to have someone that could pull in some of the obedience crowd too...but that's probably asking for too much.

Denise Fenzi is not available, she was my first suggestion
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