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Courses That Change Lives at ClickerExpo 2017

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People who commit to meaningful change describe a common phenomenon—a moment when they had the insight that changed how they viewed their practices, their path, or their future. A time when they had their “Wow” moment.

Have you had one of those?

Year after year, the most popular rating of ClickerExpo by attendees is “Wow.” Why? ClickerExpo courses have a rare quality; they can be both mind-blowing and super-relevant at the same time. And that’s a great start. To get to “Wow” you need to do your part. You need to be there, be ready, and be open.

I’ve pulled together a few ClickerExpo 2017 courses and the five breakthrough opportunities they present.

1. Learn How the Routine Is Exceptional

The machinery of our brains is not very good at making long-term memories of our everyday lives. Our brains don’t record our lives like a video, where we can play back each day. Events with high emotional content get stored, but the details of the mundane, everyday things we do fade quickly.

Ironically, it’s the improvement in common routines that produces a huge, sustained impact on the overall experience of well-being. Think of the difference between reading by candlelight every night and having electricity. The difference between indoor plumbing and outhouses or trenches.

As far as we know, animals aren’t significantly different in this regard. To improve the lives of our animals and their overall experiences, we can spend time on bettering areas where the routine is causing anxiety, stress, or fear.

Check out these Expo offerings with Laura Monaco Torelli, Peggy Hogan, and Jen Digate. Help make the routine exceptional!

Deep Impact: 7 Behaviors that Profoundly Change the Vet & Groomer Experience

From Fear to Near: Behaviors that Change Horse Husbandry

Fear Factors: Understanding and Reducing Fear across Species

Effective Affection: How to Get it Right

The brand-new Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) course, Better Vet Visits, is another place to find help in improving everyday experiences.

2. Explore the Limitations of Choice

Trainers often refer to themselves, playfully, as “control freaks.” But how contradictory is that?

In traditional training, control is straightforward because it removes choice for the animal. But in positive training process, what does it mean to have control if the animals also have choices? How far do their choices extend? What happens if we push that boundary further than we ever have? How much control can trainers give up?

Here are two courses, one from Ken Ramirez and one from the duo of Emelie Johnson-Vegh and Eva Bertilsson, that will make you think differently about your inner control freak and the limitations of choice.

Dr. No: How Teaching an Animal to Say “No” Can Be the Right Prescription

Animals in Control: The Choice Is Theirs

3. Talk Openly about Our Limits

We don’t often talk publicly about the strain and stresses that teaching has on the teachers, especially when it comes to teaching dogs with significant behavior issues. Let’s lift the veil and start the conversation on two of those issues. Are you really ready to work with reactive dogs? If you are, how can you stay empathic and sane yourself?

You are probably not alone in your hopes and your worries. ClickerExpo courses and lessons from Kathy Sdao and Emma Parsons can act as navigation beacons at those times when it seems like there’s a storm surrounding you.

Keep Your Candle Burning: Avoiding Professional Burnout

Ready or Not…? Working with Reactive Dogs

4. Hear It Again, For the First Time

Most of us have had the experience of hearing something multiple times, but not having it sink in until it was explained in a way that really resonated with our brain. Kathy Sdao explores with you the experience of teaching in a way that is guaranteed to be memorable. Alexandra Kurland presents a change in the paradigm through which clicker training is most often illustrated—a change that goes from straight lines to circular loops. Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson-Vegh condense their competition training knowledge into five memorable principles.

What a Pithy: Making Classes Memorable

Loopy Training

The Fab Five: Concepts that Will Make Your Training Rock!

5. Challenge Orthodoxy

Exploiting experience is something we count on as we gain more of it. What happens if our lessons are based on experience that is narrow rather than representative? Or, if what we thought was true has since been reclassified as false, but we never got the memo?

Susan Friedman breaks ranks with some of the scientific “orthodoxy.” Theresa McKeon proposes that you can be more effective teaching with a toy (as in a fake) dog. Ken Ramirez and Debbie Martin offer a bridge to connect the worlds that sometimes seem oceans apart. Laura VanArendonk Baugh helps you make more connections between the worlds of human learning and animal learning. This time you got the memo!

Ideas that Should Die: Outdated, Outmoded & Misunderstood Behavior Science

Practice Makes Perfect - with Locum!

Crossing Chasms: Understanding Trainer & Veterinary Perspectives on Animal Care

Food for Thought: The New Research on Human Cognition & Links with Animal Learning

You are just a few months away from ClickerExpo 2017. Get ready now, for your moments of “Wow.”

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Aaron Clayton is President of Karen Pryor Clicker Training and TAGteach International, and a member of the ClickerExpo Faculty.