Puppy Imprinting and Development Class
Puppy Imprinting & Development Course Description
Are you interested in marker training, detection work, protection sports, or just want to be a better trainer? Our Puppy Imprinting & Development Course is a fantastic introduction to all things dog training. Whether you bring your own puppy (under 16 weeks old), or you use one of ours, you will leave this 3 day class with knowledge you can immediately apply to your own dogs.
This course is designed around three classroom lectures done in the mornings with a few hours of practical application in the afternoon.
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
- Behavior chains
- How to shape new behaviors
- How to gain control over behaviors the dog already does
- When to raise your criteria
- 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 to shape basic behaviors with young puppies, as well as shaping 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 with 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
- 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
During the practical application, students will learn how to begin odor detection with a 7-week old puppy. They will teach the puppy to recognize one target odor, ignore many distractor odors such as food and toys, and perform a consistent search pattern.
The third lecture is on drive building and grip development. A common problem we see way too often is a dog that has been rushed too quickly in training and is asked to fight before he has learned to properly bite. In addition to this, we see decoys that lack the skill required to teach dogs to first bite correctly, and then fight correctly. We work to teach students how to work their puppies so the puppy has total confidence in his ability to control the fight with the man. He must learn a proper fighting skill set, and have a winning mindset in order to dominate and control a man.
In our Drive Building & Grip Development lecture you will learn:
- How to develop drive and teach proper gripping technique throughout all stages of young dog development
- The role of the handler during bite work
- The role of the decoy during bite work
- How to teach the "out" through non-reinforcement without any conflict
- How to teach the dog the path to always winning the fight
During the practical application, students will learn how to correctly reinforce proper biting technique. They will learn how to teach the puppy the way to control the adversary by applying and relieving pressure (stress) at the critical time to communicate to the dog that his behavior controls the fight.
Tuition for this course is $500. 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.