The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has launched the first in a series of practical force-free dog training workshops and educational seminars at the new Canine Behavior Center on King Lake in Wesley Chapel, FL. The first workshop took place 27 – 28 September, 2014 at the state-of-the-art dog training and educational facility, which is set on 23 fully-fenced acres against the backdrop of the lake, a 500-acre inland water feature hosting some of the state’s richest bird species.
Sponsored by The DogSmith, the inaugural two-day workshop “Refining Your Training Skills” was developed by dog trainer and training instructor Emily Larlham in response to her own question, “how can we as dog trainers improve our training skills?”
“The definition of ‘refine’ is to remove unwanted elements or to purify,” explained Larlham. “The focus of this seminar was on how we can open our awareness and consciousness to our own actions and those of our dogs. We investigated how the choice of the marker, reinforcer, reinforcement delivery, reinforcement placement and what we do between training affects our training.”
Both working spots and auditor spots were available at the workshop. According to Larlham, attendees were a like-minded crowd and included dog trainers, dog enthusiasts, therapy dog handlers and a veterinarian.
“I was honored how far some of [them] had traveled,” said Larlham. “There were even two lovely ladies who had flown in all the way from England. As for the dogs, they were all rock stars. I particularly enjoy it when the group of dogs is very diverse in breed and size. To name a few of the doggie attendees; there was Banshee the Papillon, Demi the Corgi, Jada the Doberman, Bree the Brittany and Copper the Norwegian Elkhound. Each time I work with a different dog I learn so much and I am grateful to the dogs and handlers who attend.”
Feedback from attendees has already been overwhelmingly positive: “It was a wonderful event that exceeded my expectations,” said Jamie Popper, Lead Trainer at Dogwilling Positive Training Solutions. “The facility [was] spacious and comfortable, and the property has everything a dog owner attending a seminar would want. The separated play areas were perfect when we needed to let our dogs stretch their legs [and] I definitely enjoyed the hands on interactions.” “I thought Emily was really interesting and gave me some great ideas,” added Jean Hewitt of The Puppy Ladies. “It was wonderful to go to a seminar and not be bored to death with the four quadrants of learning.”
The seminar will be available for purchase from Tawzer Dog as well as Larlham’s Dogmantics Dog Training. A further five PPG events have already been scheduled at the Canine Behavior Center in 2015, including two force-free dog training instructor workshops, a force-free dog training workshop, a Tellington TTouch® seminar, and a loose leash walking seminar for professionals and dog owners. An up-to-date schedule can be found on the PPG’s website under Continuing Education.