Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seminar Weekend Summary: Evaluating Dog Bites and Leash Reactivity Classes

This weekend was a seminar by Cara Shannon, day one was on her scale for evaluating dog bites (dog human and dog-dog) and day two was on how she runs her leash reactivity classes.   Overall?  It was much better than I expected, I was very impressed with how great she is at speaking to a group and how she organized her materials.   I was also really impressed with how well she understood questions that were asked....many times  speakers have so much to be thinking about and worrying about that they can very very misunderstand questions that the group asks.

I'm going to be very interested to see how her dog bite evaluation changes or grows over the next few years.  I absolutely love how much she emphasized that it was created to help create more consistency and communication and to create greater standards for the industry.

The leash reactivity class I help teach is based off of her format.  It's designed to maximize the efficiency of progress and to focus not on a multitude of behaviors, but getting a single, solid, turn-to-me-for-food behavior.  The focus on one behavior allows for maximizing fluency of this behavior. The dogs learn a familiar rule structure. See a dog. Cue. Turn to handler. Food.   This can be used for motion. Stillness. In gradually more challenging scenarios.   It's really quite brilliant and simple.   The last piece of the day was on nose work/scent work/finding food games.   She's found this to be so helpful that all training clients are required to take a lesson on this, no matter what service they're in for.      We had client dog teams in for the afternoon to see a few demos of how classes are run and how she sets it up.  That was very interesting as well.

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