Clean Run - March 2011 - (Page 41)

teaching Focus and impulse-control classes Introduction By Deborah Jones, PhD In this series of articles I will share how I have developed and taught FOCUS and impulse-control classes. I will also provide class lesson plans as well as ideas and tips on how to best manage classes. But I haven’t done it alone; my fellow FOCUS trainer, Judy Keller, has shared in the development of these techniques and exercises. Judy is very good at giving constructive feedback that helps make classes better. Over the past 20 years I have taught classes, workshops, and seminars on a variety of canine-related topics. In my “real life” I am a college professor, and one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is developing class lectures and activities. I am an organizer, at least as far as my work goes (my house does not reflect this). Thinking about how information can be most effectively presented and shared to enhance learning is something that I enjoy. I am constantly tweaking my class notes, rearranging material, adding new examples, and so on. I approach my dog training classes in the same way. My goal is to give students the best information possible and to provide helpful feedback during class time. teach one. FOCUS is an acronym that defines the important aspects of our training system—Fun, Obedience, and Consistency lead to Unbelievable Success. The “fun” aspect of FOCUS involves developing a mutually enjoyable working relationship between dog and trainer. We want training to be a win-win situation for both dog and trainer. The “consistency” aspect involves developing clear and predictable guidelines and structure in our interactions with (and expectations of) our dogs. And the reward for taking the time to develop a focused relationship is “unbelievable success.” The FOCUS training system relies heavily on the use of a behavioral marker (the clicker or a verbal substitute) and reinforcers such as food, toys, play, petting, and praise (depending on what is most valuable to an individual dog). If your students are not familiar with clicker training techniques, don’t worry. The step-by-step instructions and progression of exercises will teach them proper clicker training in the process of training their dogs. This is a wonderful opportunity for successful multi-tasking. The exercises we teach in class are designed to • Establish focus on the trainer • Teach prompt responses to cues • Introduce impulse control We want to help trainers develop a strong, positive working relationship with their dogs. Without a foundation of FOCUS training, people often become frustrated with their dogs when things 41 The “obedience” aspect includes teaching our dogs to develop impulse control and teaching them to be responsive to our cues. What and Why? You are probably wondering what a FOCUS class is and why you should March 11 | Clean Run

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - March 2011

Clean Run - March 2011
Editorializing: Go Get the Dog
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Who Needs a Training Partner?
Difficult Students, Difficult Dogs, Happy Endings
Ready, Set, Trial! Volunteering at Agility Trials
The Breeders Behind the Dogs
Working on Stimulus Control
Teaching FOCUS and Impulse-Control Classes: Introduction
Power Paws Drills: Long Way, Short Way
Help for Heel Pain: The Facts About Plantar Fasciitis, Part 1
Hydrotherapy for the Canine Athlete
Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Seminar Dollar
When Pigs Fly: You Can Do It
You Know Your Dog Is Aggressive If... Part 5
Want the Best Training Results? Then Play!
Challenges for Rising Stars

Clean Run - March 2011