Detection Fundamentals Course
Logan Haus Kennels’ 4-day, Detection Fundamentals Course is a great opportunity for anyone interested in detection training. This course covers everything from the basics of detection training to more advanced problem solving.
This course is designed around two classroom lectures covered the first two mornings, with as much practical application as we can fit in.
Our first lecture is on Operant and Classical Conditioning, the foundation of what our training methods and principles are based on. Learning the fundamentals of Operant and Classical Conditioning is vital for success in our training system. During this lecture, we also discuss Behavior Shaping.
During the Operant Conditioning lecture you will learn:
- How animals learn through the four quadrants of Operant Conditioning
- How to correctly use classical conditioning to prepare the dog for marker training
- How to properly motivate the dog for training
- How to achieve engagement before training can begin
- Drive theory in training
- The use of deprivation in training
- Reward VS Reinforcer
- Timing of reinforcement
- Superstitious behaviors
- Primary / Secondary Reinforcers
- Reinforcement schedules
- Stimulus control
- How to use a “skinner box”
- Successive approximation
- Back chaining
- Behavior economics
- Techniques to improve your timing and reading the animal
During the practical application, students will learn how we shape behaviors with chickens in color and shape discrimination. Chickens make excellent training models for shaping behaviors due to their speed and the fact that they cannot be trained using force or aversive methods. This will help the student make huge improvements in his timing. The concept of color and shape discrimination with a chicken is very much the same as the concept of odor detection with a dog.
The second lecture is on Odor Detection. We see many dogs who have a solid understanding of target odor, but who have not been properly proofed off of many different distractor odors. This leads to false indication problems. We also see many dogs that are not taught independent searching, but rather rely on handlers to lead them to the source for “odor confirmation,” rather than true odor detection.
In the Odor Detection lecture you will learn:
- How to apply the concepts of classical and operant conditioning in teaching correct odor detection work
- The fundamentals of training an odor detector dog based on timing, criteria, and rate of reinforcement
- How to begin odor work as young as 1-day old
- Training tools and techniques to develop accurate and reliable detector dogs
- How to teach dogs to ignore all distractor odors with no punishment
- The importance of hunt drive in a detector dog and how we utilize it
- How to teach a focused Trained Final Response (TFR) with marker training
- How to teach a dog to search a pattern independently of his handler
- The importance of drive building with a detector dog
During the practical application, students will learn how to begin odor detection with a 7-week old puppy. They will learn how to teach the puppy to recognize one target odor, ignore many distractor odors such as food and toys, and perform a consistent search pattern. Students will also work with their own adult dog on odor imprinting, proofing off distractor odors, and general detection problem solving.
We will also briefly discuss proper canine selection. The degree of our success in dog training is greatly dictated by starting with the correct type of dog for the job required. Many dogs are genetically limited to the point of not being suitable for the type of work we are trying to train them to do. Having a thorough understanding of proper dog selection will keep you from fighting the uphill battle of trying to train a dog that is not genetically cut out to perform to the standard set forth by the mission requirement.
Tuition for this course is $1000. Class size is limited to 10 students. Payment must be made in full to hold your spot. Payments are non-refundable; if you cannot make it to the class you have paid for, please contact us and we can apply your payment to another class of your choice.
Class fees include all necessary course materials; housing and food is NOT included.
Please arrive by 8:30AM on the first day of class; each following day, class will begin at 9AM. We try to wrap everything up by 5PM. If you are attending during winter months, please dress warmly as some of the practical work is done outside.