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Sculpting the Cue

May 9

11:00 am PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: IAABC, KPA


According to an old tale, a person once asked the artist Michelangelo how he was able to carve his famous statue of David from a single piece of stone. Michelangelo apparently replied that he simply chipped away every piece of stone that wasn’t David.

Emily believes that training cues is also a sculpting process. When you create a cue, you are either molding it from scratch as if it were clay or you are carving it like a sculpture and chiseling away at all the extra aspects. A newly added cue is like an unfinished statue of David. The trainer must sculpt and mold the cue to make sure that the learner is responding just to the cue and not to other aspects of the environment, such as the trainer’s position.

In this presentation, Emily will describe techniques she uses to mold and shape new cues as well as how trainers can chisel away at extraneous parts that should not be part of the final cue.


Presented By:

Emily Larlham

Emily Larlham (she/her) runs the dog training business Dogmantics Dog Training in San Diego, California. She is known for her Youtube Channel, Kikopup, where she has posted over 300 free in-depth dog training tutorials. She believes that by putting out free training tutorials that don’t involve any forms of physical or psychological intimidation, it will not only affect how people treat animals but also how people treat other human beings.

Emily began her training career as an animal care-giver in a shelter 16 years ago where she met her dog training mentor Kyle Rayon. After meeting Kyle, Emily quit her job and became an apprentice. After many years of study, learning from both human and thousands of canine mentors, she began her own business. She combines her artistic background and training skills to invent creative, fast, and reliable ways to solve problem behaviors as well as train complex behaviors and tricks. She has been invited to conduct seminars on her techniques for training dogs in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. She has also spoken at conferences such as APDT, APDT Australia, the PPG Summit, Clicker Expo, Clicker Expo Europe, and the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference.