Dive Deep: An Advanced Training Course
For trainers working in environments where training excellence is the norm and the results of the training matter. Deadlines are real, performance is real-time, effort and pride is on the line – even livelihoods and lives.
A wide variety of professional settings face similar challenges: Improve success rates, improve training efficiency, reduce stress, improve animal welfare, train something novel and more.
If you have one of more of these challenges, are committed to solving them and learning how others have solved them, this course is for you. Get the skills you need to help you and your organization succeed.
Join Ken Ramirez for five days at the Ranch and Dive Deep!
The Dive Deep course focuses on the challenges faced by trainers in environments where working animals are the norm and training excellence is the requirement. Those challenges can be found at high levels of canine or equine sport, in search-and-rescue work, with wildlife conservation, at animal shelters, in service and guide dog training, in police work, and within many other environments.
This course teaches through lecture ,video Q&A, exercises, and open discussions with colleagues. Daily sessions with The Ranch animals are also woven into the course to reinforce the concepts, help with visualization, and provide practice.
Over the week, Ken will use training and/or demonstration sessions in different ways—to demonstrate skills and steps, to have students work on a specific training goal for the week or practice a set of skills, and/or to allow students to experience an introduction to how certain advanced training is started.
We keep it real. Even working with the animals residents at The Ranch, this course won’t make you fluent in these topics. These advanced training skills require practice and a training relationship that is built over a period of time longer than five days at The Ranch.
Offered just two times per year, this 5-day course costs $1,800 and includes five dinners, five lunches, snacks, and transportation to and from The Ranch from the recommended hotels, as well as training supplies.
Upcoming Course Dates:
December 11 – 15, 2017
There are more than 15 topics covered in the five days including working animal challenges, scent detection, non-food reinforcers, research training protocols, conservation training, an introduction to concept training, behavior chains, people skills, advanced training games, and more. These topics group into these six themes:
Training at this level requires a strong understanding of many basic concepts. This course will take a deeper dive into two of those concepts: Behavior Chains and Non-Food Reinforcers. These concepts underpin the successful implementation of many advanced training projects—including training plans with multiple behavior components, training plans with long duration behaviors, and the many environments where food cannot or should not be the only reinforcer. It is expected that trainers in this course will be familiar with the meaning and application of these concepts. We will be spending focused time discussing why they are so important and how these skills become operational.
We will also spend focused time on classical conditioning because as operant trainers, our education and practices often are not oriented in that direction. Many trainers tend to learn about operant and classical conditioning as separate and distinct learning mediums, but the skilled practitioner needs to recognize how intertwined the two actually are. Classical conditioning is part of all training situations. Trainers who aspire to have the skills to deal with complex training goals will be aided by understanding how operant and classical conditioning are interrelated.
Our focus will be on understanding, appreciating, comparing, and contrasting the major protocols that are in place for treating aggressive behavior. The course will delve into the science behind the protocols and how they are applied. Too often, labels and language confuse the approaches and protocols associated with the process of changing aggressive behavior.
The Right Tools
We’ll take a look at a range of tools, concepts and procedures that trainers often see practiced, hear about, or read about in demanding training environments. We’ll focus on defining these with crystal clarity, clearing up confusion, and making thoughtful decisions about their use in a range of contexts. These tools include: End-of-Session Signals, Keep-Going Signals, Jackpots, No-Reward Markers, Timeouts, and, Recalls.
The People Factor
Professional trainers depend on other people. Whether others are working with you, above you, for you, or learning from you, no training environment is a solo act. We’ll focus on honing your skills, giving you more tools to work with and practice it all.
Unique Environments & Unique Challenges
Every professional environment has one or more challenges that always “trip up” the staff. In scent detection work, for example, frequently the challenge is false alerts., In service dog work, it is impulse control; in show work, it’s working on a schedule. In expert witness work, it is proving effectiveness of training protocols, and in high-level canine competition, the challenge is new environments. The in-depth discussions during the course will be steered to the backgrounds and professional demands that participants have in their work with animals.