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Backchaining – The Only Chain Your Dog Needs!

February 11

11:00 am PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: IAABC, KPA


Backchaining – ah, that is just the thing where you are doing it all backwards, right?
Yes, it kind of is, but it is also so much more…

Predictability is great for both our and the dogs performance, and clean training loops and reinforcement strategies are some of the strategies we can use to get that. Having built our base of behaviors, we want to get to the next level- and backchaining is the prize for doing your foundation work with care. In this presentation we will dive deeper into the subject of backchaining and discuss why a behavior chain that is backchained, is glued so strongly together. We will also explore stimulus control, and how to turn our cues into a “green light” in the chain, while also figuring out what we should do if a mistake happens in the chain.

How to start from a “not yet existing” behavior, to a behavior that can be used for backchaining, is also a topic that we will dicuss. By making sure that we have prepared our self and our learner in the best way possible, we can harvest all that’s in the chain. In this presentation we will lay the pathway to behavior chains that are reliable, while discussing the double effect of each behavior in the chain. We will also touch on the testing phase and explore the option of chaining those annoying moments into something that is great for us.

Hopefully this will inspire you to backchain even short behavior chains, and maybe even doing some backchaining with yourself.

Working on duration behaviors? Backchain it.
Working on details in a precision behavior? Backchain it.
Working on sport exercises? Backchain it.
Working on every day life skills? You guessed it.. Backchain it.

Most behavior chains have the option to be backchained, and this lesson will hopefully inspire you to do just that.

Presented By:

Catja B.Pedersen

Catja (she/her) is living with a retired older cocker spaniel, who still loves to work, and a younger Australian Koolie, that is starting his first competitions.

Since 2009, whe she finished her instructors’ course via Canis academy, Catja has been working full-time teaching on the topic of training, both online and 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 years. But no matter the topic, her focus is on developing the basic skills through clean training sessions and fluency in the trainers skills. She is passionate about clean training, fluency, shaping, backchaining and giving the learner choice in training.

Practicing the basics and having great mechanical skills is one of the things that will elevate your training to the next level, in her opinion. She believes that every dog handler can and should work with their dog, and that 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 makes it possible to teach just about anything “advanced” later. Dividing all training into the smallest behaviours 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 the team grows together is the most rewarding thing for her. Catja works with leaners on all levels and also believes in continued education, for everyone.