Kay Laurence - Learning About Dogs

Kay Laurence - Learning About Dogs

Kay Laurence of "Learning About Dogs" in the U.K. and Sue McGuire, a manager of a canine program at an animal shelter near San Francisco join forces to talk about the life we live with dogs. Kay Laurence brings with her more than 40 years of experience working and teaching dogs. Her unique and insightful perspective provides dog trainers and dog people a new way to learn about dogs. Sue McGuire provides the unique perspective of interacting with hundreds of dogs in shelters.... Show More

Episodes

Giving a cue and responding to a cue is a conversation where questions are asked answered. We give cues and the dog can answer, dog will also give us cues and we need to listen.

This edited BONUS version of the Cue Technology episode is a must listen.

Kay Laurence of Learning About Dogs, as usual, has a unique and fascinating approach to the ... Read more

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Connection is about being aware of each other. There is a way to find comfort and pleasure in walks for both parties. To become a Master Dog Walker, you will need to develop skills to achieve success.

Every Dog Every Day from Learning About Dogs.

You can asse... Read more

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"Too often the focus of luring is about 'getting the behavior' and not enough about the process of teaching or the learning process.If we focus on the process of learning, that will have an impact on every behavior the dog learns," says Kay Laurence of Learning About Dogs.

Read the full article here.

In ... Read more

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Connection is our base behavior. It is where learning begins.

What are base behaviors and why go through the process of teaching them?

"It’s about teaching the dog to move to the platform as a choice, or to move the foot as a choice, or to lower their head as a choice, not necessarily about where they just got the reinforcer.  The base position becomes a place where the dog chooses to go to, when they ... Read more

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Click - shove

Click - shove

Click - shove

How many of us have heard that in order for understanding to happen when clicking and reinforcing behavior, the “treat” must be delivered within three seconds of the click?

That training protocol was to prevent any other behavior from sneaking in between the click and the reinforcer. Boy is that looking at the process too narrowly.

Learning fast does not  me... Read more

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Living with dogs successfully requires us to have an awareness of behaviors that are "stuck" together. Often times it's a lack of understanding of chains and sequences that gets us into trouble.

Jump-sit= You can't get one without the other.
Bark-treat= A good way to reinforce a bark.
Slow to pick their head out of the gopher hole yet they come eventually= creates a slow come whe... Read more

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Our minds are spinning over the terminology we hear at behavior conferences and dog training seminars. 
We dog people LOVE naming things

  • Start button behaviors 
  • Decompression walks
  • Consent
  • Click fishing.....what??
  • In this episode of Learning About Dogs, Kay Laurence cautions trainers to avoid marketing and fancy terms and ... Read more

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    You enter ring at a venue, the routine starts, you look over at your dog and a sinking feeling starts. As you start to go through the exercises, your dog looks as if he has NO idea of what you cue.

    You become frustrated, think you need to train harder, think your dog needs more practice and you begin to list off any number of possible reasons. All of them likely are quite valid or not.

    Have you ever taught ... Read more

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    June 4, 2019 23 min

    Dogs are exquisite at knowing when a behavior they are doing needs to be slowed down, held or ended quickly. We as handlers need to be strong observers of when these behaviors happen naturally so that when we are requesting a dog to "hold their station" it's filled with understanding.

    Back in the olden days, trainers were taught about the three D's--distance-duration-distraction. You can predict that ... Read more

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    Our language fails us at times when we want to describe what we are seeking when teaching a dog to continue to do an activity.

    "The use of the word duration is far too inadequate," says Kay Laurence of Learning About Dogs.

    The episode continues the conversation about the lack of clarity and understanding impacts the learner&... Read more

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    TAKL2020 is a blend of a study course and a mentoring program. You can follow either route or a combination through self-selecting and self-progress. This is an online course.

    The course encourages self-directed learning and critical thinking developing a new mind-set that will project forward to every dog you shar... Read more

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    This is a deep dive into a discussion over what influences  a behavior response.The science tells us that reinforcement or consequences, either strengthens or maintains an existing behavior.  But what if the plan is to modify an animal's behavior? Then, you must have an awareness of how contingencies play a role."Too often people want to use consequences to change a behavior," says Kay Laurence of Learning About Dogs. Wha... Read more

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    Contingencies change behavior, reinforcers maintain or strengthen behavior.

    Contingencies will include the environment, the space the dog feels is around them or not, any threats, what you are doing, what they have learned, their genetic traits, their early learning and of course …. you. All these elements can change, and because they change, the behavior changes.

    In this episode, a deep discussion topic fo... Read more

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    Are there signs your dog are showing that indicate to you as a handler to continue a training session? How about knowing when a break is needed to let the learner collect and rest? In this episode, Kay Laurence and Sue McGuire converse about ways to pace learning to suit the learner in front of you. "How the behavior is carried out is more important than the behavior itself," said trainer Chris Bond. This includes making... Read more

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    Skilled teaching by luring leaves a learner with a strong sense of achievement and a clean behavior with good understanding. Luring is by definition, the direct use of the reinforcer to elicit a behavior. The operative part of that sentence is the direct use of the reinforcer. In this, our second episode on the art of luring, Kay Laurence and Sue McGuire chat about how the use of luring with a "Cup on a Stick," ... Read more

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    April 17, 2019 27 min

    Luring is by definition, the direct use of the reinforcer to elicit a behavior. The operative part of that sentence is the direct use of the reinforcer. Luring has fallen out of favor with some in the dog training world by those who consider themselves "free shapers." Kay Laurence and Sue McGuire chat about how this protocol, like many others, is only as good as the skills of application.

    Learning Abo... Read more

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    April 9, 2019 15 min

    In this episode, Kay Laurence and Sue McGuire dive into the belief that one should teach a dog to look at handlers in the eye.  For years, trainers were told to teach "Watch Me" as a way to make sure the dog was paying attention to the handler. This forced focus comes at a cost. Are there other ways to know if your dog is ready and able to receive a cue? This episode is one of many to come that will tackle "dog train... Read more

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    April 2, 2019 18 min

    When teaching a behavior, we want to surround the stimulus with an environment that encourages success, not error. As a part of teaching  of behaviors to our dogs, we should prepare a range of events to "fade-in." In this episode, Kay Laurence and Sue McGuire discuss the practical use of the "Fade In" protocol. This idea was documented more than 50 years ago as part of the concept of "errorless learning."... Read more

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    March 26, 2019 25 min

    A strong understanding of cue technology when engaging with our learners is of  paramount importance. Kay Laurence and Sue McGuire discuss the process in which our dogs can be  provided clarity during the teaching process if we, as handlers and teachers, are aware of what we are "saying" while teaching. This episode is one in which we strongly recommend listening to a few times because the subject is meaty! 
    Here i... Read more

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    March 19, 2019 31 min

    In this episode, Kay Laurence and Sue McGuire continue a discussion about what it means to do "clean training." The topics include how to plan for the behaviors you plan to train and making a decision on what to train. But before any behavior is taught, a comprehensive profile of the behavior should be completed. The profile will help trainers answer whether the behavior is a "benefit to the dog."
    Here is a ... Read more

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