Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CLICK Workshops: summary

We've run a 4-H kid-dog-super-cool-camp for a few years now. This year we added in one day workshops/minicamps with the fabulous name of "CLICK workshops". Connected Learning in Canines and Kids.

This year we ran 3 workshops, each about 6 hours long. We had approx. 25-30 kids attend, as well as a parent for each child and several advisors/extension faculty.

It was a really different experience from camp. Unlike our 3-4 day camp, we didn't have enough time to get to know all of the kids and dogs well. We also had a ton of beginners (which I like just as much as advanced kids!), with only about 5 kids who are at Novice or above.

Almost none of the kids had clicker training experience before. Everyone got to learn more. Some kids are from serious compulsion clubs, the parents and kids had a hard time adjusting to our slightly different activities. Most of the kids are used to compulsion training but aren't as dedicated towards it.

We set up all of our activities to focus on developing fluent skills/behaviors and to specifically NOT challenge anything the kids might already know/be proficient at. We weren't there to say compulsion training is bad, a poor choice, or won't work. It definitely can work and is how many clubs have been run for decades, but we wanted to present what we know and do well with.

If we're lucky, we'll get to run these again next year, and do things even better.

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