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Loopy Agility Training

May 23

10:00 pm PT


Great training happens in loops. Trainers set up their environment so that the wanted behavior is most likely to happen and then when that behavior does happen, a well-placed reinforcer is delivered. After that reinforcer is collected, the loop restarts. We all love watching training sessions that move seamlessly in that loop.

How can we achieve that in agility training? How do we make that happen during sequencing, during coursework, during our regular group class, while training alone? In this presentation, Megan will go over the details to make loopy training a reality. How to choose your loops within coursework, decide which reinforcer works best, how to respond to errors, and how to transport your dog from the end of one repetition to the beginning of another.

Problem behaviors (sniffing, spinning, barking, biting, bar knocking, tunnel sucking, etc) creep in when there are cracks in our loops. When we learn to observe our dog’s behavior surrounding the coursework, we can identify the cracks before those problematic behaviors take over our training.

This presentation is for any agility or dog sport competitor, as clean loops are the goal during any training session of any sport!

Presented By:

Megan Foster

Megan has been involved in the dog sport world nearly her entire life. Though her family did compete in obedience, agility was Megan’s passion right from the start. With over 20 years experience, she has competed with a variety of dogs, including an American Eskimo and West Highland White Terrier, Shelties, Border Collies, and Parson Russell Terriers, and has worked with an even larger variety of breeds. She got her first dog, a Sheltie, when she was 7 years old and since then she has competed with six of her own dogs and seven dogs belonging to others. Her accomplishments include many ADCh (USDAA Agility Dog Champion) titles, MACh (AKC Master Agility Champion) titles, Regional and National Championships, and representing the US on the European Open in 2015. Megan was also a USDAA judge for over 10 years, providing valuable insight into course design, course analysis, and handling styles throughout the United States.

Megan has been teaching agility full-time, in person and online, for 6 years, through her training school, Synergy Dog Sports. Her passion for sharing knowledge with her students drives her to constantly be learning, growing, and evolving. Megan became a OneMind Dogs Assistant Coach in 2016 and finished her Coach Certification in 2018. She believes in developing a system of communication based on the dog’s perspective and what dogs naturally understand and then individualizing that system for the humans that train and run them. Synergy Dog Sports is named for the truly great things a team can accomplish together when they focus on using the strengths of both the dog’s mind and body and the handler’s mind and body, and improving on any potential weaknesses.

Megan currently has three dogs of her own; Smack (11 y/o border collie), Shock (7 y/o border collie), and Shrek (3 y/o Parson Russell Terrier) and lives with her partner, Graham, and his dogs, Skittles (11 y/o Sheltie) and Skrik (4 y/o Border Collie) in Stanwood, WA.