Thresholds, Transitions, Triggers: Negotiating the Icebergs of Training

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Date: November 2-3, 2019
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: The Coventry School for Dogs
Cost: $350

“He was fine until . . .”

"She's so good until we get in the ring"

"I think my dog has no self control!"

Sometimes, it seems like there is an invisible switch that gets flipped, and your dog shifts from cooperative or calm to disconnected, disengaged and maybe even out of control. What happened?

Chances are good that triggers, thresholds and transitions are at work, affecting behavior in ways both subtle and dramatic.

Like the captain of the Titanic who was warned about the icebergs, trainers sometimes ignore the very real behavioral icebergs: transitions, thresholds & triggers. The result can just be annoying, or a significant problem that prevents enjoyment, cooperation and healthy relationships.

You may want nothing more than an enjoyable walk with your dog, or maybe you’re aiming at top level performance. Whether Buster’s going bonkers at the door or blowing you off in the ring, the same behaviors and concepts are involved. Suzanne’s approach focuses on the fundamentals of arousal, attention, communication and behavioral flexibility.

This seminar will help you learn:

  • the value of the Think & Learn Zone (TLZ)

  • to recognize triggers

  • to distinguish training opportunities from management moments

  • how to promote mental & behavioral flexibility through Tincture of Time, on/off exercises, behavioral flexibility work

  • the anatomy of attention (a limited resource!)

Is a quiet distraction-free location necessary? What makes a good training situation? How do transitions change your dog’s behavior? Should a dog always be “below threshold”? Are thresholds physical, mental, emotional or all of the above? Trainers who understand transitions, thresholds and triggers can effectively assess and meet the dog's needs in any situation. Each dog needs specific skills to help them safely negotiate their own personal “icebergs be here!” situations. And handlers need the skills to avoid playing captain of the Titanic.

Join us and find out how to find that sweet spot where learning is easy and fun. This seminar will offer many “aha!” moments that will keep you and your dog sailing along smoothly. Emphasis on dogs who are currently competing in any performance sport or preparing to within the next year or so.

This seminar has a strong focus on working with 6 pre-selected demo dogs. Learn how Suzanne's approach to arousal, attention, communication, transitions and thresholds combines with the individual dog & handler dynamics-- and watch how she helps bring each team to smoother, more successful performance.