THE MAGIC OF MICROSHAPING
Saturday, March 27, 2010
“Microshaping is not about teaching impressive behaviors; it is about impressive teaching of behaviors.”
Microshaping is the process designed by Kay Laurence of teaching accurate, robust behaviors through thin slicing of the learning criteria to enable error free learning. It requires predetermined placement of the reinforcer to support multiple repetitions of individual movements, developing learner confidence, muscle memory and performance, and strength. The aim of the process is to achieve the final behavior without compromising the learner’s development, and to use the benefits of self-directed learning while arranging the environment to facilitate directed learning. Impressive behaviors can be taught through Microshaping.
FOUNDATION SKILLS FOR PERFORMANCE & WORKING DOGS
Sunday March 28, 2010
All our dogs are pets first and sports dog second. But there is a different program to develop a youngster that you want to share your hobbies with. Advancements in training have produced dogs with multi-careers in freestyle, heelwork to music, obedience, agility etc, but all need the same foundation skills of focus, connection and reliability. There needs to be a plan of exercises to construct and strengthen performance behaviors and skills. Trainers need to clearly understand:
The range of reinforcement tools and patterns
How to build mental and physical stamina
How to prepare the dog for work, competition and performance
Learn from one of the world’s best trainers how to teach foundation skills critical for any dog that will be doing any kind of performance sport (agility, obedience, freestyle, etc.) or for any working dog (assistance, search and rescue, substance searching, etc.).
Finally, an answer to the questions many of us have pondered (usually in the middle of a performance, task or competition): “How could I have avoided this problem?” “Why was my dog so spectacular at practice and yet the behaviors fell apart now during competition or under pressure?” Learn from Kay how to build rock-solid focus and behaviors that can stand up under pressure and enter the ring with confidence, not anxiety.
This workshop will focus on the development of youngsters for performance and competition and some of the techniques may well benefit older dogs already competing.
ABOUT THE SEMINAR FORMAT:
This Kay Laurence seminar will be a lecture/demonstration format. In our previous seminars with Kay, we have used the “working”/”audit” format. So in the “working/audit” format, the working spots were for participants who brought their dog with them to work at the seminar while the audit spots were observers that did not bring a dog. This seminar will be structured differently. There are no working or audit spots. All participants will be able to watch as Kay demonstrates the “how to” with approximately 10 to 12 pre-selected dogs each day. Kay will be putting together a questionnaire very soon so that we can select dogs for demonstrations. If you would like to have your dog considered for a demonstration, please let me know. For day two demonstrations, dogs will need to be younger than two years old.
This will be an intermediate level seminar. We will not be covering any of the basics of clicker training. If you would like to join us and have no previous experience with clicker training, then I would recommend that you take a basic clicker training class in your area prior to Kay’s seminar. You may also order my book, “Click n’ Connect: Training Your Dog a Lifelong Journey” to understand more about this effective method of training.
For me personally, I just hate to travel to a seminar without at least one dog, because I prefer to travel with a dog and don’t quite know what to do with myself when I’m “dogless.” Understanding that many participants may feel the same way, you may feel free to bring your dog if your dog will crate quietly and comfortably. We have lots of room at this facility so there will be an area to crate dogs. As I mentioned though, unless your dog is selected for a demonstration, there will be no working spots. So please be kind to your dog and only bring dogs that are comfortable being crated in this kind of setting.