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Where’s My Cookie?!

February 13

11:00 am PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: IAABC, KPA


Most of us have had the experience where we cue our dog to do something, only to be met with a confused stare or a hopeful sniff of our hands instead. Then you pull out a treat, ask again, and then magically your dog sits fast and eagerly! It can seem as though the dog is thinking “No food, no work”!

This presentation will discuss how to teach your dog to confidently and happily follow your cues even when you don’t have treats in your pockets! We will be looking at techniques to help both the sports dog work towards entering a trial where no food is allowed, and for the pet dog owner to get that same response at home without having to resort to bribery. The reward WILL be coming even if you’re not holding it!

The primary focus of this presentation will be teaching your dog how to work with the rewards set at a distance. We will discuss:

  • Being aware of what currently signals to the dog when behaviors are going to be rewarded.
  • Teaching a marker cue for rewards off our body so the dog understands when the rewards are available (and when they aren’t quite yet)!
  • Does the dog need to see the reward upfront in order to be able to work?
  • What the reward procedure will look like when you are at a trial.

This presentation will briefly discuss responding to more than one cue before the reward, but we will not be able to discuss how to get rid of treats completely, nor extending the duration of work without a reward.

Presented By:

Laura Waudby

Laura Waudby (she/her) trains and competes in obedience, rally, and agility. She was halfway to her OTCH with her UDX corgi, Lance, before his early retirement. She also has championship titles in USDAA and UKI agility. Laura was previously a service dog trainer for 10 years in a variety of roles from directly training the dogs for their specific jobs, to helping the puppy raisers and clients with how to train their dogs.

Due to the special behavior needs of her duck tolling retriever, Vito, Laura has developed a strong interest in learning how to create motivation and confidence in dogs that struggle, either through genetics or through less than ideal training, to make it to the competition ring.