Training Matters, located at 1104 Ames Hill Road in Brattleboro, Vermont, is pleased to offer occasional seminars, workshops and classes to introduce residents of Brattleboro and surrounding communities to the latest thinking on positive dog training and animal behavior.
These sessions are packed with interesting and practical dog training strategies and information for other companion animal owners.
- Former zookeeper and professional dog trainer Sara Matters covers topics ranging from basic manners and obedience training for dogs to animal behavior across species, from parrots to pigs. Future sessions may include:
- Basics of canine behavior,
- How animals learn,
- Operant conditioning in zoo animals and how it can work for your pet,
- How to keep your animals adequately stimulated when life gets hectic or the weather is lousy and why it’s important
Additionally, Training Matters hosts applied workshops and other educational seminars for animal training professionals and other animal care practitioners. Applied workshops cover topics like evidence-based enrichment provision and force free husbandry training. Informational seminars include topics such as the elements of applied behavior analysis that all trainers and animal care professionals should understand to do their best work, how to work with fearful animals, and the latest science on topics such as neuroscience and cognition.
Check back here periodically to find out about upcoming classes and events!
Covid-19 policy: We are proceeding with events in person as of August 2021. As a backup, we will have Zoom rain dates in case live events cannot proceed as planned. The Zoom-date, if you will, will be at the same scheduled time as the scheduled event, but will be held via Zoom. Partial refunds will be offered if that is the case.
Our facility is a large one, capable of holding up to 90 people under previous guidance recommending social distancing of 6′ between people. None of our events will be anywhere near this large. Our events are intimate, small, relaxed gatherings and we want to keep them that way. We require that attendees be vaccinated, boosted, and masked indoors. We will keep up with Covid restriction recommendations for gatherings and adhere to those. We are simply hoping to proceed as normally as possible at any given time.
TEAM: Training Efficiently and Mindfully
From Dogs to Donkeys: What training other species can teach you
June 3-5, 2022, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Join Sara Matters, MA, ABCDT, Debbie Jacobs, CPDT-KA, RBT, Jennilee Hogancamp, M.S., BCBA for three days of evidence-based information and practice related to learning and behavior change at Training Matters’ Lemon’s Hope Sanctuary in beautiful southern Vermont. Guest presenters include Greg Hanley, Ph.D., BCBA-D and Lindsay Mehrkam, Ph.D., BCBA-D. Behavior change professionals, whether they are animal trainers or human educators or both, are invited to hone their training and teaching skills with the animals of Lemon’s Hope Sanctuary, sheep and a goat, miniature horses, guinea pigs, cockatiels and resident dogs and cats. Other individuals of other species may be recruited to participate as well. We hope to include beginning animal trainers, behavior analysts, behavior technicians, as well as experienced animal trainers of a variety of species, and other animal care professionals.
There will be daily seminars on applying the science of behavior analysis to training and interventions. Among the topics we plan to cover are:
- where the other behavior sciences sit in relation to applied behavior analysis
- why ethology, neuroscience and cognitive science matter in relation to how we train
- how to systematically plan for working with a member of any species
- behavior analysis of challenging behavior
- using function-based assessments
- developing successful interventions
- using enrichment in interventions
- task analysis (or, writing training plans)
- data collection
- training habits and practices to cultivate
- talking or writing about behavior using behaviorally appropriate language
In addition to listening to presentations on these and other topics, attendees will practice their training skills with sanctuary and other animals. The animals are almost all rescues, and they vary in sociability as well as physical ability. We will discuss each individual and what they are able to do or not able to do, and where things stand with their training and socialization. We will provide species and individual-specific considerations for working with these animals, and discuss beginning or more advanced training as appropriate for and interesting to the trainer/learner team. We may also compare teaching one behavior to more than one species, such as haltering.
Our location in Brattleboro offers many opportunities for relaxation in down time: swimming, biking, boating, walks or hikes in soothing landscapes. Unique local attractions will also be recommended, so that you can round out your educational experience drinking in the beauty of Vermont.
CCPDT CEUs: 14 for trainers, 5 for behavior consultants
IAABC CEUs: 22.5
CUs for behavior analysts: pending
Mini Seminars with Sara Matters and Debbie Jacobs
Short, single-session and single-topic seminars conducted by Debbie Jacobs and Sara Matters reviewing training and management solutions to common behavioral issues pet owners face. The goal is to increase owner understanding of how to handle specific behavior concerns as well as how to tackle behavior issues generally using humane, science-based methods. Check here periodically to see if a new one is scheduled.
Understanding Your Rescue Dog: Why they do what they do
Friday, July 30, 6:30 p.m.
This second post-pandemic seminar focuses on the difficulties adopters of rescue dogs often face. Adopters will learn what they need to know about their dog’s behavior to make life easier for dogs and humans alike. Debbie Jacobs provides expert help on addressing these safety hazards for dogs and their owners. $20. Pay cash or use the PayPal button below. Register by paying via the PayPal button or by emailing Sara at email@example.com.
POSTPONED UNTIL ?
Husbandry for Healthy Pets: Hands on, force free training for every dog care professional
Marie-Claude Desbiens and Yanick Dion, CDT
August 14, 15, 16, 17, 2020
Even before recent advances in fear free handling of companion animals took off with the popular online programs offered through Fear Free, Marie-Claude Desbiens and Yanick Dion of L’Art au Poil Ecole in Quebec were introducing groomers and veterinarians around the world to restraint and force free grooming and medical husbandry of dogs and cats. Watching Marie-Claude and Yanick, and professionals trained by them, work with animals is not just fear free, it is delight-full.
Now L’Art au Poil is extending this training to all animal care professionals and dedicated pet parents. Experienced trainers are blown away by groomer Marie-Claude and trainer Yanick Dion’s husbandry training skills as well as Marie-Claude’s grooming process, and her in-depth knowledge of the biology of healthy canine hair and skin. At a recent training retreat, trainers likened watching Marie-Claude work with dogs to going to church.
Training Matters will share Marie-Claude and Yanick’s expertise in this hands-on workshop for trainers, veterinary professionals, shelter workers, groomers, breeders, day care providers and pet sitters. While working with dogs and/or cats, attendees will get practice with force-free husbandry essentials, including grooming and medical procedures, and how to quickly train animals to behave fearlessly and confidently when being brushed, clipped, bathed, getting nails trimmed, having blood drawn, receiving injections, even having their temperature taken! The emphasis will be on health-physical and behavioral-and hygiene. This workshop will extend whatever you may have learned from an online program and give you the experience of applying it with live animals under expert guidance. This is a rare offering.
Marie-Claude and Yanick’s former professional students have valued the improvement in their practices after training with them. Students’ businesses improved as did the students’ enjoyment of their work. Dedicated pet owners and breeders are encouraged to join us. Stop stressing out about routine grooming and medical care requirements for your dogs. Learn what you can do at home safely and successfully with your pet, saving time, money and worry. This workshop will pay for itself in no time!
CEUs for trainers are pending.