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The “Must-See” ClickerExpo Guide for the New and “Newish” to Clicker Training

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Just starting with clicker training or making the switch from traditional training? Here is the how, what, and why of attending and getting the most out of ClickerExpo.

  1. Good Company! If you are new to clicker training, you’ll be in good company. Nearly 20% of our typical audience self-identify as beginners.
  2. Top Floor. Skip the learning curves on best practices, because we know the best training practices and what will help you learn and apply them. Start at the top floor! That's why we host ClickerExpo—so attendees can race ahead no matter where they begin.
  3. Star Faculty. Our faculty members love teaching eager learners. You’ll find that beginners get the same dynamic teachers as even the most experienced trainers do. We pull out all the stops to give you an incredible experience.
  4. Come with or without Your Dog. We have plenty of Learning Lab opportunities to learn with your dog, with coaching from the ClickerExpo faculty. If your dog is well-suited for our conference environment and will be a good learning partner for you, come with! Most attendees come without their dogs. (About one third of attendees come with dogs.) You won't feel out of place no matter which decision you make.
  5. Easy, Simplified. Not sure what to take? All courses are experienced-rated so you can find the courses that will engage you quickly. Want even more guidance? We have an entire three-day curriculum with our recommendations about what to take at every time slot, every day! Have a look at the Foundation Curriculum. Need a glimpse? Here are three excerpts from the Day One schedule.
Only Five Weeks Left to Register!
ClickerExpo St. Louis (March 16 - 18)

A Moment of Science, please!
One of the signature benefits of ClickerExpo is that “star” faculty members teach courses for every level of experience. As a case in point, Kathy Sdao delivers this five-star class at the start of ClickerExpo. The course is specifically designed so that both new trainers and experienced trainers who are just starting to absorb clicker training will develop a rock-solid understanding of the science that drives the principles and practices of modern training. Kathy’s dynamic, engaging style will have you wondering why you didn’t major in this stuff in college; it will give you the grounding you need to get the most out of ClickerExpo.

Building Behavior: Shape the Future
Shaping is a powerful process through which new behavior is taught using a marker and reinforcement. If you’re going to be clicker training, you’re going to be shaping. For the person or animal learning, shaping is the most fun game ever invented! For the trainer, it’s a thrill to use and a lifetime skill. In an entertaining way, Laura VanArendonk Baugh introduces you to shaping as a concept, principle, and skill. Then you can practice hands-on in the Learning Lab or observe others. You’ll soon be looking shipshape.

Inside the Mind of a Trainer: A Narrated Demo

Ever wished you could get inside a trainer's head while he or she was training? What training choices do trainers make in the moment, and why? In this real-time narrated demo, Karen Pryor Academy Director Lori Chamberland will work individually with several attendees’ dogs, describing to the audience her training steps and observations as she trains. You can even volunteer to have your dog in the demonstration! Lori's training examples may include reinforcer choice and efficacy, body-language observations, when shaping isn’t linear—when is it time to raise or lower criteria and why? Yes, there will probably be a few training mistakes in the course of 90 minutes! Lori will identify mistakes “in the moment” and share her plan for correcting them. This Learning Lab is guaranteed to show how dogs have a lot to teach us!

The Foundation Curriculum

Have a look at the detailed guide, the Foundation Curriculum. It includes a day-by-day, hour-by-hour schedule with side “trips” to consider for special interests and circumstances.

If you are a horse trainer or owner exploring clicker training, see the horse “track!” (pun intended!)

See you in St. Louis!

Register for ClickerExpo St. Louis, March 16-18, 2018.

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