A Sample Week
Learn From Practice, Discussion, & Real Casework With Clients
Wondering what it would be like to attend the Canine Training Academy? To give you an idea, here’s an overview of the fifteenth week of the program. At this point, students are more than halfway through the curriculum and have solid experience trouble-shooting behavior modification plans and dealing with clients.
Sample Week (Week 15)
MONDAY 6–9PM Students bring project dogs to training center for coaching.
It’s week 3 of a 4-week project involving the fourth dog. Behaviors students are working on include sit, stays for greeting strangers, down-stays on a bed while visitors enter the home or family eats a meal, recalls from high-level competing motivation, leave-its for food dropped on ground during walks, stays for teeth brushing and nail trimming.
One student is having some difficulty raising criteria on number of steps taken between reinforcers in training heeling. One student is unsure about the mechanics and order of events of presenting the US in the process of installing and recognizing a CER to tooth brushing.
TUESDAY 5:30–6PM WebEx briefing for next day’s consult observation. Covers learning goals for students and logistical planning.
Case is intermittent on-leash barrier frustration and redirected aggression between two dogs in clients’ household. This will be third session with these clients. Clients are doing the training.
Instructor concerns students are alerted to during the briefing are:
Clients’ expressed concerns about following through on management instructions (walking dogs separately/Gentle Leader practice) and recording incidents in order to track progress.
Clients’ tendency to see any incidence of problem behavior as evidence of poor progress
If either of these concerns are not moving toward resolution, instructor will try to move the clients toward day training.
WEDNESDAY 7–8PM Client consult at clients’ home.
One student handles stimulus dogs, one videos the consult. Other students will view video later, for discussion on Saturday. Progress is made on both concerns about clients’ implementation of the training regime.
SUNDAY 10AM–1PM WebEx lecture/discussion with visuals (slides and various documents)
Burning questions. Here, students ask any questions of immediate concern before the planned discussion begins.
Debrief week’s assignment. Students have been asked to list any problems they anticipate in successfully resolving current behavior mod projects, and to categorize and prioritize these and plan possible solutions. This week, problem categories include: technical training issues, client compliance with management, challenges with transferring training to client.
Two student assignments are analyzed. One concerns a variety of client management issues in a boundary training case. The second concerns how to help a client prioritize multiple behavior issues in a multiple dog household. We review relevant management and goal-setting slides in Client Consultation presentation during the discussion.
Transfer of training to client discussion. Students have previewed one student’s video of his recently completed behavior modification project (a long duration “go to bed” DRI to resolve table begging and surfing during the owners’ mealtime). Students brainstorm steps in the transfer process from trainer working dog to clients implementing independently. We review relevant follow-up slides in Client Consultation presentation during the discussion.
Reinforcement schedule discussion. We discuss the value of variable ratio schedules in training long duration behaviors, using the example of the student’s heeling training challenge from the previous day’s coaching session. We review relevant reinforcement schedule slides in the Learning presentation during the discussion.
Classical conditioning order of events review. We discuss teeth brushing application from the previous day’s coaching session. We review relevant slides showing timeline diagrams of classical conditioning process in Learning Theory presentation during the discussion.
Wrap up. We go through the logistics for the upcoming week, including a preview of the content of a quiz to be distributed Monday (reinforcement schedules, CER installation issues).