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ClickerExpo Caps First Year: Enthusiasm, Interest, and Excitement

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Clicker trainers from up and down the East Coast, from Canada, and from places as far south as Bogota, Colombia, flocked to the third ClickerExpo forum in Pennsylvania for three days of educational sessions designed to help people Rethink What's Possible (copyright) through the power of clicker training.

Who was there? A wonderful cross-section of trainers and teachers using clicker training with zoos, social work, sports, horses, marine mammals, developmentally disabled children, and of course, with dogs, cats, rabbits, and even turtles.

At ClickerExpo, those who are eager to learn meet those who are eager to teach. The energy is contagious. Here's what some attendees wrote:

  • "I go to (and speak at) a lot of conferences in a different discipline and I've never seen one that kept people so enthusiastically engaged throughout and delivered such a high level of learning for people coming in with widely varying experience bases."
  • "The best part of ClickerExpo was the atmosphere of sharing, friendliness, cooperation, and the opportunity to hear science and technique together."
  • "The faculty was so amazingly informed, skilled at communication, and approachable!"
  • "Although it's brain overload, it is so rewarding."

Enthusiasm for next year

To thunderous applause, Karen Pryor announced that ClickerExpos are now being planned for 2004 and 2005 and that TagTeach© seminars would soon be announced for the fall, which will focus exclusively on the human-to-human applications of clicker training. The session closed with audience providing a standing ovation.

Local teams wins ClickerChallenge

The ClickerChallenge, a race against time in which each team of handlers must teach their team of dogs two to three complex tasks in 45 minutes, provided education and entertainment each afternoon. After winning their divisional playoffs on Saturday, the BenSalem Roses edged out the Aussie Connection (who won their division on Friday) on Sunday, the ClickerChallenge championship day, with a score of 232.5 to 193 out of a possible 300 points. For the final, each team performed three challenges worth a maximum of 100 points each. The Aussie Connection took an early lead with a smashing performance of Hunt the Duck and scored the win. But from there, BenSalem found their stride, handily winning Penelope's Loom with Treena (Marti Wiseman's Shepherd mix, Rescued) handily weaving a tapestry of three pieces of rope between four pairs of legs and edging out the Aussie Connection in Rush Hour, an exercise involving all three dogs on each team.

Champions: Bensalem Roses Runner Up: Aussie Connection
BenSalem Roses:
  • Leeeza Lundell with Amelia (Basenji)
  • MartiWiseman with Treena (Mix)
  • Wendy Doret with Maggie (Cocker Spaniel)
Aussie Connection:
  • Tammy Hilberg with Chief (Australian Shepherd)
  • Candice Cunningham with Sizie (American Bulldog)
  • Sandra Dagati with Raven (Australian Shepherd)