THINK AGAIN: PERSPECTIVES & PRACTICES FOR THE EXPERIENCED TRAINER
In this seminar, Ken looks at training through lenses that provide new perspectives on topics that may sound familiar to experienced trainers. But, what we think we know is often an incomplete picture! The experience of doing something repeatedly can make practices permanent rather than optimal. Join Ken for a weekend at The Ranch and turn new perspectives into powerful training practices for inspired dog or animal training.
Seminar Focus & Curriculum
Core Training Tools & Practices
Familiarity is sometimes mistaken for understanding; experience can sometimes lead to complacency. For example, most trainers know that target training is important, but few trainers target train completely, in a complete way that creates a rock-solid foundation for learning.
This part of the seminar will focus on exploring and strengthening the many core practices of great training that are often incompletely appreciated and implemented, even in the most well-intentioned training environments. It is a review of basic principles with a look toward how the use and understanding of those principles evolves with experience.
There is a consistent list of training tools that are written and talked about in conferences, on discussion boards, and in Ken’s consulting and teaching. In this section, Ken looks at the group of training tools (including Keep-Going Signals, End-of-Session Signals, No-Reward Markers, Recall Signals, Jackpots, and Behavior Chains) through the dual lenses of science and practical application.
With these lenses, trainers will get a clear and practical understanding of the tools and their scientific basis, as well as Ken’s professional use (or non-use) of them. This information will help trainers inform their own training plans and practices.
Complex Situation: Groups of Animals
We often teach training by working one-on-one. But how do you train and work with multiple animals at the same time? This part of the seminar will outline the strategies and techniques needed to train animals to live and work together. Ken will share techniques and knowledge he gained from working in the zoological community, where working with groups of animals was the daily norm.
He will translate that knowledge to working with animals of any type. Some of the key concepts that Ken will focus on include stationing, fairness, clicker use, and new animal introductions (a new puppy, shelter dog, a cat to a dog, or any species of animal).
The Trainer Road Map
Learning to be a great trainer means developing deep skills in a variety of areas: stimulus control, marker timing, observational skills, food delivery, shaping strategies, targeting, reinforcement, criteria adjustments, empathy, recordkeeping, dealing with incorrect responses, training plans, and more. These skills are generally taught as individual topics and skills. As a consequence, it’s easy for trainers to lack an understanding of the broader journey, or how certain paths intersect and support one another.
Like any other journey, you can make a route that works for you if you have a great map. In this segment, Ken will help you see the complete training map so that you can make your own way across the training landscape, confident of your navigation and sure of your destination.
Past, Present and Future: The Evolution of Modern Training
Ken will use the trajectory of a career in training to examine the growth and changes in the training community, explore what is possible, chart how far the training community has progressed, and project where it can go. This presentation will take a brief peek at a variety of concepts, including relationship-building, husbandry training, mimicry, remote training, complex chains, and more.
This final part of the seminar focuses on helping participants envision even more possibilities that exist through the application of their own and their colleagues’ skills in positive reinforcement teaching and training.
Who Should Take This Seminar?
This course will assume a basic understanding of the concepts, tools, practices, and science of positive reinforcement. Those without that educational background may still enjoy the seminar, but the material is geared to trainers at a more advanced level.