I'm sitting in the Atlanta airport after a wildly successful Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) for Animal Training and Behavior workshop, thinking about how far the students have come since they started.
All Academy students start at the beginning, regardless of experience. KPA leaves nothing to chance, teaching the basics of dog training and behavior first, then moving into progressively more complex concepts.
In this third weekend, the students showed off their training success — they taught their dogs modifier cues. What's a modifier cue? It's teaching their dog the difference between left and right; high and low; large and small.
They also taught their dogs the names of objects, such as ball, leash, and phone. So not only could their dog go pick out the leash in a pile of objects, but they could even put several of the same objects in the pile and tell them to get the BALL on the LEFT.
You may not have any need to teach your dog such complex behavior, but isn't it cool to know that your dog is capable of learning such amazing skills?!
I'm looking very forward to our next workshop in May where the students will wow me again with their training accomplishments. Their dogs have a blast at the workshops, too, tails waggling enthusiastically the entire time they're working.
It's definitely poetry in motion.
I do love clicker training and KPA!
So the next time you think something's too complicated to teach your dog, think again! Get in there and see just how much you can teach your dog — it's so much fun!