6-Week Online Class

Beyond the Click: Adventures in +R2.0

Starts Oct 1, 2020 ~ Registration Opens Sept. 22, 2020

  • Does your dog struggle with understanding what you’re teaching?
  • Do you have a lot of extraneous behaviours popping into your work, such as barking, spinning, sniffing, foot shuffling, or creative improvising?
  • Does your dog lack motivation or lose interest while training?
  • Or… do you just want to get really nerdy with ALL THE THINGS!?

If you answer yes to any of the above, this class is for you!

Beyond the Click (affectionately known as BtC) was inspired by the concept of +R2.0, a term coined by Amy Cook that so aptly encompasses the latest evolutions in positive-reinforcement-based training.

What is +R2.0? To me, in its essence, +R2.0 is both a philosophy and a set of skills and practices. It shifts us away from a mindset of control and towards making training a two-way interaction in which our animal learners have a voice and a partnership role in the training process.

Practically speaking, we’ll be exploring concepts such as “loopy training”, “errorless learning”, “poisoned cues”, “home positions”, and “marker systems”, for clearer communication. We’ll pay careful attention to emotion through “start buttons” and other methods of offering choice and giving voice. We’ll also work on effective teaching skills, such as training set-up, incorporating balance, and flow-charting. (Please see the syllabus, below, for more details on the course content)

We will then use these concepts to teach practical exercises drawn from the TEAM program, to give you hands on experience and guidance on how to apply them beyond the class. Consider this an advanced foundations course, with skills you can extrapolate to any sport or activity.

“Beyond the Click” is a concepts class with the following objectives:

  1. To teach you the concepts and skills you need become a more effective trainer through the latest in science-based training techniques;
  2. To help you deepen your relationship with your dog by incorporating emotions (theirs and yours) into your training, learning to ask better questions, improving your listening skills, and knowning how to respect your dogs’ answers;
  3. To help you become a more independent trainer by teaching and sharpening the skills you need to reverse-engineer behaviours so that you can create your own solutions to the unique training goals and challenges you and your dog encounter.

The ideas presented in this class have completely revolutionized the way I interact with and train my animals. They may very well do the same for you. So, grab some treats, a clicker, and your dog, and come join the adventure!

Class Syllabus

Unit 1: Getting Started

  • Errorless learning
  • Handler skills
  • The ABCs reviewed / definitions
  • Poisoned cues and handling errors

Unit 2: A Fresh Look at Foundations

  • Marker systems
  • Home position systems
  • Stations and transport (luring)
  • End of training routine(s)

Unit 3: Shaping Revisited

  • Loopy training
  • Micro-movements
  • Rhythms and behavioural momentum

Unit 4: Planning Your Training

  • Topography (of a behavior)
  • Flow charting, planning, and balance
  • Antecedent arrangements
  • ONE thing to do with a box: Props and prompts for clarity

Unit 5: It’s Their Choice

  • Requests, Choices, and Start Buttons
  • NCRs & contra-freeloading
  • Let’s talk about (gasp!) Negative Reinforcement

Unit 6: Putting It All Together

  • Stimulus control: what is it and when do we need it?
  • Reverse engineering your training
  • Where to go from here, and wrapping up

Prerequisites & Supplies

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this class.

Who is this Class For?

This class assumes that you are already familiar with the basics of clicker training and have a fundamental understanding of shaping. While my goal is to make this course practical for every day use, you should also be curious to explore the science of learning and enjoy getting geeky with your training.

This class is particularly helpful for dogs with training challenges such as shutting down, lacking in motivation, becoming overly aroused or frantic, who throw in a lot of unwanted behaviour (barking, spinning, moving around, sniffing etc.), or who get stuck or freeze up in the learning process. It’s also a great course for young puppies and for older or injured dogs looking to keep their brains sharp without putting a lot of stress on their bodies.

This class is appropriate for dogs of all ages and skill levels. Also, the concepts can be adapted and applied to just about any species. So, if you want to sign up with your young puppy, 14 year old dog, five-year old agility super star, or your favourite nanny goat, by all means, please do!

It is helpful (but not necessary) for your dog/puppy/goat to have the following skills:

  • Familiarity with a clicker as a predictor of reinforcement
  • Familiarity with stationing behaviour, either to a mat, a bed, or a crate (it doesn’t need to be perfect)
  • A hand target

Who is this class NOT for?

This class may be a bit too technical for people just beginning their training journey. Please check the course schedule for more appropriate introductory foundation classes if you are just getting started!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions regarding whether this class is for you! Email me at: helene@shapingchaosdogtraining.com

Materials

This class can be done entirely in a limited space such as a living room, kitchen, or even a large bathroom. As long as you have access to about 5’ x 7’ feet of floor space, you should be fine. You can even make do with less.

I strongly recommend that you have some way to video yourself and review your own training. This is just as important for Bronze and Silver students as it is for Gold registrants. You will get so much more from this class if you can set up a camera or your phone, on a tripod, and video your work with your dog.

Gold students: You must have a video camera and a tripod for filming your training, as well as a way of posting your videos (such as a YouTube account)

You will also need to have the following on hand:

  • A clicker and treats your animal training partner enjoys
  • A white board, a chalk board, paper and pens/pencils, or digital note taking ability (check out Scapple.com)
  • 3-4 dice (an internet app works, but actual dice are better. Ideally dice of different colours… time to raid those old box games!)
  • A small bouncy ball

We’ll also be working with the following props. If you don’t have them already, I will suggest objects from around the house you can use. There is no need to buy anything specific for this class:

  • A low platform long and wide enough for your dog to comfortably stand on;
  • a couple of different small platforms big enough for their front feet;
  • a target stick;
  • an upright, cone-like object;
  • a couple of different mats;
  • some kind of station (crate, dog bed etc.); and
  • a jump (two chairs and a broomstick works just fine!)

I will provided more detail in the first lesson so you can collect the objects necessary. All you’ll need for the first week of class is your clicker, some treats, and your video set-up.

This class is offered online via the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy

What People are Saying

about learning with Hélène Lawler

“I have taken a number of online dog training courses from Hélène and I can’t say enough good things about her. Her course materials are very well thought out, organized and full of easily digestible, relevant information. Her feedback is on point, insightful and articulate and helped me navigate the intricacies of training a dog with high arousal issues.”

— Sylvie Fefer —