Sunday, May 29, 2011

Seminar Day 8: Focus on Foundation

This weekend is a bit different than the rest of the week. Before, there were a lot of people who were quite experienced, had higher level dogs, and who were utilizing other tools back at home. This weekend, everyone is very committed to positive training, but also mostly very, very beginners.

This is allowing me to see how beginning training is started, again and again and again. It's really great and I'm getting more notes out of it every time.

A few quick notes on that:
  • Heeling is started with backwards heeling (like I do). Horray! It IS a great training plan!
  • Pivot box is also used...but with much more care and precision once to the heeling stage. (handler standing further forward to get the right heel position, handler going forward or back around it, always starting with the left leg).
  • There are a lot of cool training aids that I didn't know about. Ball droppers and magnet balls. And apparently they aren't that hard to just have to get really good behavior first.
  • A variation of Susan Garrett's 'Crate Games' is used.... created separately and independently (These guys don't even much of Karen Pryor....they know of her and that others who do lessons with them like her.... Look how far clicker training has come!)
I can't believe today is the last day. I don't want it to end! 9 days does seem like a crazy long time for a seminar, but it's allowed me to meet so many people, see so many dogs, and have a very different experience than the typical seminar. Normally, you're just getting into the pattern, just getting to know everyone, just starting to get a good understanding. And it's over.

One of the things that I really liked about KPA was that over the course of the four weekend workshops, we got to know each other, get into a pattern, and see each other so many times. This weekend was a lot like that. I was able to learn and learn and learn. And as I saw new people come in, I got to hear how the information is presented to the beginners again and again. And I got to fine-tune my notes and understanding.

As impractical as a long long seminar is for so many people, it provides a completely different experience than a shorter seminar and especially if it's not someone you have regular or easy access to, you get a much more solid foundation understanding of the methods.

1 comment:

Raegan said...

I really enjoyed reading about the seminar! Those toys are too cool.

Can you expand on backwards heeling a little? Is it in a book anywhere? I have the basic outline of what you're supposed to do, but I'm struggling with the details.