Training Matters 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 itcan 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
Check back here periodically to find out about upcoming classes and events!
Dog Training Classes
Puppy class and adolescent/adult obedience
Saturdays beginning June 22 – July 27
10 a.m. for puppy class and noon for adolescent/adult obedience.
1104 Ames Hill Road
Puppy class, for dogs aged 8-14 weeks, focuses on socialization, typical puppy training issues such as housebreaking, chewing, jumping up and mouthing, and basic behaviors such as sit/stay, come when called and walking on leash. Adolescent and adult dog obedience classes will teach a broad range of essential behaviors such as sit/stay, down/stay, walking on leash, come when called, leave it, drop it and relax on a mat.
Contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-689-0707 to register or to inquire further.
More than feeder toys: Best practices for enrichment and dog play groups
Dr. Lindsay Mehrkam
October 12-13, 2019
Training Matters is proud to host Dr. Lindsay Mehrkam of Monmouth University in New Jersey for this two-day event on applying behavior analytic principles to the practice of enrichment as well as reviewing her exciting research in conducting canine play groups in animal shelters.
For Dr. Mehrkam, providing enrichment isn’t just about giving animals things to do. Enrichment is about achieving behavioral goals and providing the best welfare for captive animals, psychologically and physiologically. At this seminar, Dr. Mehrkam will discuss functional strategies of enrichment provision and how enrichment can increase functional behaviors while decreasing dysfunctional ones. She will explain how to apply the gold standard in designing enrichment programs, the SPIDER framework promulgated at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: setting goals, planning, implementing, documenting, evaluating and re-adjusting. Different types of enrichment as well as how to track whether individual enrichment strategies are achieving their goals will be reviewed. Additional topics include making adjustments to the program and keeping enrichment programs fresh for dogs and humans.
Finally, Dr. Mehrkam will talk about what her four-shelter study of dog playgroups is revealing about the enrichment value of such groups. Questions she’s been asking include what are the effects of the different types of playgroups that are being practiced currently in terms of group sizes and the use or non-use of aversives to manage the groups. Dr. Mehrkam additionally explores what the potential advantages and disadvantages appear to be in conducting dog playgroups.
“Dr. Mehrkam is an applied animal behaviorist, animal welfare scientist, and doctoral-level Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (Certificate Number: 1-15-17919, Certified February 2015). Her primary research interests focus on the benefits of human-animal interaction, enrichment, and training for improving the welfare of both animals and people in society. As the director of the Human & Animal Welfare Collaboratory (HAWC) and the faculty representative for the Six Flags Field Experience Program, her teaching and research programs in applied animal behavior, learning, and well-being have led to grants, publications, workshops, internships, and service learning opportunities in animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, animal sanctuaries, among others. Dr. Mehrkam’s research has published widely in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at national and international conferences. She has been recognized through popular media outlets, grants, and scholarly and industry awards, including the Association for Professional Dog Trainers, Maddie’s Fund, and the Animal Behavior Management Alliance. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Mehrkam serves as the Vice President for the Applied Animal Behavior Special Interest Group for the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and as an advisory board member for Big Oak Wolf Sanctuary.”
Husbandry for Healthy Pets: End the Fear!
With L’Art Au Poil’s Yanick Dion AP and Marie-Claude Desbiens
October 20-23, 2019
L’Art au Poil has been training groomers in fear free grooming in Canada and Europe for many years. A few years ago, some dog trainers local to their grooming school near Montreal asked L’Art au Poil’s founders to develop a basic course so that they, too, could learn how to do essential grooming tasks force and fear free. Whether a dog trainer or other canine care professional, now you can learn the basics of fear free grooming at Training Matters LLC in Brattleboro, Vermont, the only U.S. location for this workshop. Participants will learn about subtle cues to pay attention to in the grooming process, how to condition grooming equipment, the mechanical skills required to perform basic grooming procedures, as well as how to trim nails, clip, shave, clean ears, bathe and perform other grooming tasks without instilling fear and stress in the animal.
Click on the links below to learn more and go to Paypal to register.