Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Expo Notes: Evaluating Your Training

One of the labs I helped with was "Smart Reinforcement" by Ken Ramirez. Those who know me...know I love him. He's amazing. Not only is he fabulous at training, but he's great at speaking. And he can speak to professionals, dog professionals, those he's 'training' to be trainers, and the public. Not very many people can do that well.

The session was mostly about creating secondary/substitute reinforcers (...he says some of his animals have 20+ of those. I have none! I need to get busy!). And that will be on my priority list.

But...what really stuck out was that training needs to be evaluating. His trainers have monthly evaluations. MONTHLY! That sounds like a lot (..every four weeks. I evaluate my training..er...not ever?)...and not a lot ("only" 12 times a year). These sessions have the trainer run through behaviors, doing everything a few times. And the evaluator (or video camera) go through and mark on a scale for things like latency, precision, focus, etc...

I'd like to start visiting and revisiting my overall training on a regular basis. So we'll see what happens. That'll be on the agenda for tomorrow....

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