The Value of Basic Training Skills

Wilie shaved 3-11

Here's one of the great lessons Ken Ramirez had for us at the Clicker Expo in Chicago last weekend: The basics aren't really all that basic after all. In his experience, one of the most common mistakes he sees in even experienced trainers is forgetting the importance of some of the basics. Here are some of the reminders he shared, and believe me, I am taking them all to heart. Precision: Yes, we all know it, timing is everything, but no matter how obvious it is, it is often forgotten. This is relevant whether you are using a marker (like a clicker or 'yes') or not, often because we don't do the following: Clean Delivery: Ken reminded us that dropping the treat on the ground or fumbling the delivery can be very aversive to our dogs. Say we are on a roll, clicking and treating at a Read More

Seminar Registration Open!

Demo 2

With virtually no objectivity what so ever, I'm excited to announce that registration is open for a completely new seminar, to be held in Madison, WI on October 29th & 30th. I'll be working much of the summer on creating an up-to-the-minute summary of what we know about canine behavior and cognition for Saturday, and Ken Ramirez, simply the best animal trainer I know, will knock your socks off with his presentation on Sunday about how to solve training problems and use reinforcements in a way you've probably never thought of before. Last summer I left his seminar motivated to train anything that breathed before I could get home to Willie. (I can report that it does not work on TV remote controls in hotel rooms, and okay, granted, remote controls can't breathe, but I was unable to stop Read More

Save the Date! Oct 29-30 Madison WI 2011


Oh boy oh boy. We've just finalized arrangements to hold a seminar in Madison Wisconsin on October 29-30, 2011. Inspired by the seminar I did in New Zealand, I'm going to give a completely updated version of  Advanced  Canine Behavior on Saturday. The day will include state of the art research on cognition, play and development, and its practical implications to owners and trainers. Ken Ramirez of the Shedd Acquarium will present on Sunday, and will focus on raising the bar on your training techniques. I heard him give this talk in Massachusetts last summer, and left so inspired that I began attempting to train my pencil. Seriously, this man is fantastic. We are totally jazzed about this seminar, and will have details about registration up on the website soon. We're just finalizing some Read More