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Wait for It: Discussing Duration in All Its Forms

May 7

6:00 pm PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: IAABC, KPA


Duration comes in many forms in dog training. Down stays, calm holds, or a sustained sit pretty are what we normally think of when adding duration to behaviors. However, performing motion behaviors such as heeling or leg weaves are duration behaviors too.

For some dogs duration comes naturally. However, for others, every fraction of a second of duration is fought for over time. Some dogs are content waiting for the next cue, while others want to jump ahead and do the next behavior as quickly as possible. These dogs need different approaches, however the concept of duration remains the same: do the thing until I ask for another thing.

The other aspect of duration is the emotion and energy level that the dog is in while performing the behavior. Down stays require a different energy level than that of a heads up heel. Both are duration behaviors, however, the desired state of mind of our dog is vastly different. Sara will discuss how to create the optimal emotion in your behavior through the strategic use of reinforcement delivery.

Sara will also provide different methods of adding duration to your calm stationary behaviors and stays, including the Multiple Reward Stay and Reverse Luring. She will also talk about how to create duration in your motion behaviors as well through gradual fading of helper cues and decreasing rate of reinforcement.

So sit and stay! You’ll want to settle in for this presentation.

Presented By:

Sara Brueske, KPA CTP

Sara Brueske (she/her) has been training dogs since she was a young child and has experienced a significant variety of breeds and sports during that time. After graduating as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) in 2011, she jumped into the professional dog training world. She began teaching group classes and private lessons at On the Run Canine Center in Minnesota. At the time she was also competing in agility, disc dog, and fostering for local rescues.

In 2014, Sara was hired by Purina as a dog trainer to perform dog sport shows at Purina Farms in Grey Summit, Missouri. Her number of dogs quickly grew to fill the need of the job. Currently, she has 10 dogs of varying breeds and origins including border collie, Boston terrier mix, several Australian koolies, and Belgian malinois. Sara and her dogs work to convince people to do more with their dogs, teach about responsible pet ownership, and to get involved in the dog sport community.

After six years working as a full-time performer, Sara now teaches on the topic of dog sports. While disc dog and tricks are some of her specialties, she also is passionate about creating clear communication between handlers and their dogs as well as teaching how to build a solid foundation for any sport. Sara believes in positive reinforcement not only for dogs, but also for their handlers. Her biggest joy in training is watching a handler and dog become partners and grow as a team.

Currently, Sara trains in the sports of disc dog, agility, IGP, mondioring, scentwork, and dock diving as well as being a trick dog enthusiast. She actively competes in agility, mondioring, dock diving, and is planning on trialing in scentwork soon.