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Ain’t Got a Cue: Making Every Movement Count

May 8

7:00 am PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: IAABC, KPA


Imagine if the only difference in what you say or do between your dog running from heel position to a target far away and doing a down in heel position is no more than an inch in where you feed the previous treat.

What if you could teach a dog about 80 different behaviors without a single obvious gesture or verbal cue on your part?

How quiet and subtle would you need to be for your dog to almost read your mind to get it right?

What exactly is a cue anyway?

Join this talk to explore the idea of using shaping via carefully arranged antecedents to get fluency without frustration.

The more aware we are of our own movements in a training session, the clearer our communication becomes with our dogs. Fine-tuning our mechanical skills and focusing on reinforcement strategies to create clean training loops without long latency can transform our training partnership.

In this session, it is time to ditch the cues for a moment and focus on using shaping to get an awesome training session. We will do a spring cleaning of all the “background noise” that tends to sneak into our training and thereby start laying the pathway to reliable cues.

Presented By:

Catja B. Pedersen

Catja Pedersen (she/her) is living with a retired older cocker spaniel who still loves to work and a younger Australian koolie who is starting to compete.

Since 2009, when she finished her instructors’ course via Canis academy, Catja has been working full-time teaching training online, at in-person workshops, and conferences.

She has competed in the highest level of working trials, including obedience, tracking, and search and rescue and has also been working with drug detection and rally obedience over the past years. But no matter the topic, her focus is on developing the basic skills through clean training sessions and fluency in a trainer’s skills.

She is passionate about clean training, fluency, shaping, back chaining, and giving the learner choice in the training.

For Catja, practicing the basics and having great mechanical skills is one of the things that will elevate your training to the next level. She believes that every dog handler can and should work with their dog and planning your session to be as clean and efficient as possible will create more reinforcement opportunities for both learner and teacher. Her first focus is to teach 80 different basic skills that make it possible to teach just about anything “advanced” later. Dividing all training into the smallest behaviors possible, before even thinking of adding the cue and setting the stage for clean training loops, is a high priority. She uses shaping wherever it is possible and always tries to have a clean, smooth session, with clear information for the dog while removing all background distractions.

Meeting the learner where they are and getting to be a part of the process where team grows together, is the most rewarding thing for her. Catja works with learners on all levels and believes in continued education for everyone.