Monday, March 26, 2007

Highlights from the Clicker Expo

I’m back from Cleveland, revitalized and rejuvenated! What an amazing experience! I got to experience some of the most amazing animal trainers in the world.

Emma Parsons – I swear I thought I was going to cry when she was talking about Ben, her Golden Retriever that started Click to Calm I felt like I was listening to someone tell the story of Lola & I (minus the force trainer hanging him by his prong collar). I’ve read her book but seeing her in person was much more beneficial to me. It lit a fire under my butt and in a weird way gave me renewed confidence.

I was talking to another attendee after Emma’s session & told her it had gotten so bad that one day I told Lola that I hated her. Her repose was “You don’t hate her, you hate the behavior”. I don’t know why it struck me as being so profound…because it’s something I already knew. But it was never communicated that way and it expresses exactly how I feel. My new mantra…”I hate the behavior, I hate the behavior, I hate the behavior…”

Shaping– I attended several shaping sessions & labs. And I realized how bad I am at shaping. I went to Shaping Potluck where Deb Jones, Emma, Kay Laurence, Joan Orr & Helix Fairweather shaped various behaviors in some of the attendees dogs. It was really amazing to watch. I’m a total lumper. I want the end behavior NOW! I’ve got a whole new bag of tricks up my sleeve …I just need to learn to become more patient!

Steve White - I didn’t know much about him before attending the Expo, other than he trained police dogs. But I attended his Shaping lab and his learning session on teaching Crossover Dogs. Both were exceptional. He is excellent in conveying information in layman’s terms and not making the process overly technical.

I was disappointed in a couple of things. One of the presenters I was really looking forward to seeing did not live up to my expectations. The hotel lunches were overpriced and you had to pay for everything. We didn’t even get free coffee in between sessions!

All & all, I had a fabulous time & will go again in a heartbeat. My brain is so filled with info, it’s hard to know where to start. Guess I just need to come up with a plan & run with it!

1 comment:

Marvin The Dog said...

that was an interesting post, especially the bit about "hating the behaviour".....rang a few bells with my Mum!

Glad you had a good time!