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Webinars will run approximately 1-2 hours including presentation and questions.
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Kristina Spaulding - The Science of Counter Conditioning

**Click here to view guest instructor bio

Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021
Time: 3pm Pacific Time (Click here for time at FDSA (Pacific Time). 
Fee: $19.95 - Registration required PRIOR to scheduled presentation time.

Counter conditioning is one of the most common methods of reducing fear in dogs. This webinar will explore what the research has to say about the process of counter conditioning. Find out how counter conditioning works, how it’s related to extinction, what limitations it has, how it’s impacted by stress and what additional strategies we can use to enhance the treatment of fear. Even if you are experienced in the use of counter conditioning, you should get some useful information from this webinar. It’s excellent for beginners as well!

Watch the trailer

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Hélene Lawler - Demystifying the Herding Mind

Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021
Time: 6pm Pacific Time (Click here for time at FDSA (Pacific Time). 
Fee: $19.95 - Registration required PRIOR to scheduled presentation time.

Dogs have been used for herding for centuries, perhaps even millennia. The result is deeply ingrained behaviors that leave many of us scratching our heads, trying to understand our beloved herding-bred canine companion! To complicate matters, different breeds were created for different aspects of stock work.

Join me in discussing the genetic programming of common herding breeds, how they compare and where they differ, and what these traits mean for living and working with herding dogs.

Please note: This webinar is back by popular demand; please check your webinar library before purchasing.

Watch the trailer

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Sharon Carroll - Strategies for Training the Atypical Dog - Part 1: Concepts and Overview

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Time: 3pm Pacific Time (Click here for time at FDSA (Pacific Time). 
Fee: $19.95 - Registration required PRIOR to scheduled presentation time.

This is Part One of a two-part webinar on working with “atypical” dogs. Both webinars are stand-alone webinars covering a different aspect of this topic, but they combine to cover the topic more broadly.

When we train our dogs, we are constantly asking them to solve puzzles. We are asking them to connect the dots between the cue (context cue or human initiated verbal / visual cue), their subsequent behavior (action), and the reinforcement. As our dog becomes more confident about the connection between these elements, they can respond more rapidly and with improved accuracy.

During the learning process there will be moments of frustration and confusion. Typical dogs deal with small amounts of frustration and confusion in a way that helps them find a solution to the puzzle. This leads to the dog attaining reinforcement, which results in them putting in the same or greater effort on future learning-oriented tasks.

Atypical dogs however do not respond in the same way. For a range of underlying reasons, the training puzzle itself may cause an excessive spike in arousal in these dogs. This is commonly referred to as the dog “stressing down” or “stressing up” depending on the observable behaviors. “Stressing down” behaviors may include shutting-down, stalling, looking away, appearing disinterested, freezing, moving slowly, or performing avoidance, escape, appeasement, or displacement behaviors. “Stressing up” behaviors may include barking at the human or at the task, whining, performing rapid sequences of random un-cued behaviors, anticipating cues, spinning, doing zoomies, lacking focus, and attempting to guess at the solution with little thought.

Beyond training pressures, these dogs may also struggle more than usual with environmental pressures. All dogs need a certain amount of desensitization and distraction training in order to successfully function in bigger environments, but the atypical dog may be extremely aware of stimuli in the environment. This requires additional training steps and more detailed monitoring.

In this “Part One” webinar we discuss:

  • The underlying factors that contribute to the development of an atypical dog, including genetic traits and the impact of prior learning.
  • Ways to identify the difference between a simple training gap, and a more complex problem.
  • When to use classical conditioning versus operant conditioning.
  • Methods for measuring the proportional impact the environment is having on our dog’s behavior.

We also look at a range of solutions that can create a more focused, happier, and more consistently successful training partner.

Click here to register **


Sharon Carroll - Strategies for Training the Atypical Dog - Part 2: Specific Examples / Case Studies

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Time: 6pm Pacific Time (Click here for time at FDSA (Pacific Time). 
Fee: $19.95 - Registration required PRIOR to scheduled presentation time.

This is Part Two of a two-part webinar on working with “atypical” dogs. Both webinars are stand-alone webinars covering a different aspect of this topic, but they combine to cover the topic more broadly.

When we train our dogs, we are constantly asking them to solve puzzles. We are asking them to connect the dots between the cue (context cue or human initiated verbal / visual cue), their subsequent behavior (action), and the reinforcement. As our dog becomes more confident about the connection between these elements, they can respond more rapidly and with improved accuracy.

During the learning process there will be moments of frustration and confusion. Typical dogs deal with small amounts of frustration and confusion in a way that helps them find a solution to the puzzle. This leads to the dog attaining reinforcement, which results in them putting in the same or greater effort on future learning-oriented tasks.

Atypical dogs however do not respond in the same way. For a range of underlying reasons, the training puzzle itself may cause an excessive spike in arousal in these dogs. This is commonly referred to as the dog “stressing down” or “stressing up” depending on the observable behaviors. “Stressing down” behaviors may include shutting-down, stalling, looking away, appearing disinterested, freezing, moving slowly, or performing avoidance, escape, appeasement, or displacement behaviors. “Stressing up” behaviors may include barking at the human or at the task, whining, performing rapid sequences of random un-cued behaviors, anticipating cues, spinning, doing zoomies, lacking focus, and attempting to guess at the solution with little thought.

Beyond training pressures, these dogs may also struggle more than usual with environmental pressures. All dogs need a certain amount of desensitization and distraction training in order to successfully function in bigger environments, but the atypical dog may be extremely aware of stimuli in the environment. This requires additional training steps and more detailed monitoring.

In this “Part Two” webinar we look at a wide range of specific examples from a variety of different sports. Including:

  • Object retrieve (moving slowly, displacement sniffing at the object before picking up or instead of picking up, dropping the object or stalling on the return)
  • Retrieving incorrect articles in scent article exercises or in directed retrieves.
  • False alerts and missed hides in nose work.
  • Arcing in straight line exercises such as recalls or retrieves.
  • Breaking start line stays in agility.
  • Missing position change cues at a distance.
  • Inconsistency, slowing, stalling, or avoidance in weave poles.
  • Needing repeated cues or wandering off during rally, obedience, agility.
  • Performing zoomies or “visiting” ring crew, judges, stewards, spectators, other dogs during training / competing.
  • Hesitating on the approach to contacts or blowing through contacts in agility.
  • And more!

For each example we discuss the varied reasons these behaviors may occur, along with solutions for resolving these issues.

Click here to register **


Laura VanArendonk Baugh - The Hidden Life of Behavior Chains: Breaking, Repairing, and Maintaining Behavior Sequences

Date: Thursday, November 4, 2021
Time: 3pm Pacific Time (Click here for time at FDSA (Pacific Time). 
Fee: $19.95 - Registration required PRIOR to scheduled presentation time.

Behavior chains are wonderfully simple--just use cues to reinforce cued behaviors--yet it's so easy to get drawn into complexities. Especially when things start to go wrong, we can get caught up in superstitions or wishful thinking ("If we just keep doing it, he'll start to get it right! Any moment now!").

Let's talk about the care and feeding of behavior chains, how to maintain them reliably and how to repair them efficiently when something goes wrong. We'll even discuss when we might want to break them, and of course how to build strong chains when we want to keep them.

By the end of this session, you will know how to identify the broken link in a chain (which may not be the one which looks broken), how to keep chains reliable, and how to test your chain before you assemble it.

Click here to register **


Petra Ford - Utility Fun for Everyone

Date: Thursday, November 4, 2021
Time: 6pm Pacific Time (Click here for time at FDSA (Pacific Time). 
Fee: $19.95 - Registration required PRIOR to scheduled presentation time.

Many people have nicknamed Utility “futility”. Not me! I LOVE Utility! And you can too!! In this webinar I will demystify utility and share how to change your mind set about this class. We will look at breaking the exercises into pieces that are easy to master. The pieces can be taught as fun tricks. If YOU are relaxed and having a good time, your dog will too! This is a great way to set a foundation for all the exercises. It’s also a great method for solving problems with the exercises. We will look at a variety of reasons dogs typically struggle with utility and what we can do to remedy that. We will look at how you can become creative with your training. Once you and your dog are relaxed and lighthearted Utility will be fun and success will follow.

Click here to register **


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