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Solving Arousal Problems with Stations and Patterns

February 11

9:00 am PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: IAABC, KPA


Stationing is about calming the mind with structure. Control Unleashed is about keeping the mind calm through predictable sequences and conversational training. The two tools work well together!

Reinforcement drives behavior, sure, but emotions drive reinforcement. We want to help our dogs remain in control of their emotions. The CU patterns introduced by Leslie McDevitt invite our dogs to report to us about what concerns them in the environment. CU games are well thought through and full of choice for our dogs. The games are designed to let our dogs ask for the next piece of the pattern when they’re ready. Stations help with that, especially when the environment is big or complex. Stations also help us keep clean movement cycles in our training, so each piece ends in position to start the next piece. Stations give our CU dogs more ways to understand us and communicate with us.

The station is a safety zone where the human keeps the world away. It’s home base. It’s also a touchstone, a well-defined place that the dog can use to opt in for the next thing, or opt out, depending on the activity. Different stations can cue different actions and each station will have emotional significance for the dog. If we do it right, bringing a station to an environment will help our dog feel optimistic about what will happen there. The station supports the CU patterns in every way.

In this presentation we’ll look at some CU games and how they can benefit from stations. We’ll look at stationing as a behavior initiated by the dog in order to tell us about their feelings. To use stations in that way we must teach stationing through a Dog’s Choice approach. It’s not difficult, but it’s different! Your dog’s love and trust for stationing will open up another layer of communication in your CU practice.

Presented By:

Julie Daniels

Julie Daniels (she/her) is a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor (CCUI) and is also certified in TAGteach methodology (Level 1). She is owned by two Border Collies and a very dog-savvy cat. She also gets to live and work with an Australian Koolie, a Staffy mix, and a 14-yr-old Jack Russell mix.

Julie lives in Deerfield, NH, where she owns Kool Kids Agility and teaches Control Unleashed and FDSA classes. For 28 years she ran dog training camps at her world-renowned White Mountain Agility. Some of the theme camps she developed there were Wild Child, Speed-Em-Up, Novice Genius, Jumping Genius, and the WMA Instructor Certification Course, which honed the skills of hundreds of teachers and thousands of dogs worldwide.

Julie has competed and won with many different dogs including two Rottweilers, a Springer Spaniel, a Cairn Terrier, two Corgis, and five Border Collies. She is a two-time national agility champion and a two-time international champion. She’s the only person to make USDAA Grand Prix finals with a Rottie or a Springer, and she did it two times each. She was the expert voice of Cynosport agility for many years, doing livestream video commentary at international events seen all around the world.

She is the author of four agility books and three DVDs. She teaches classes for FDSA including Baby Genius, Empowerment, Cookie Jar Games, Crazy Good, Magic Mats, and Control Unleashed Pattern Games for Sports and Life Skills.