Plucky Paws Training Workshops provide dog owners with hands-on, personalized assistance with common training topics. Each workshop features a different area of exploration, and a variety of positive reinforcement training techniques are covered. Whether your puppy or adult dog struggles with behavior challenges or would benefit from foundation training, Plucky Paws Training Workshops are a perfect fit for your furry friend!
January: Hone Your Clicker Skills
If you’re not already using this revolutionary dog training tool, you should be! We’ll review the behavior science behind marker-based training and play group and partner games to hone our clicker mechanics including observation, timing, treat delivery, and clean cueing. This workshop is a chance for you to build your clicker training skills without your dog present—dogs do not attend this workshop.
February: Canine Enrichment
Dogs who are left to their own devices quickly become bored and decide to create their own brand of fun by engaging in destructive chewing, excessive barking, and persistent attention seeking. During this workshop we’ll explore a variety of approaches to enriching your dog’s environment and creating constructive opportunities for natural doggie behaviors.
March: Targeting New Behaviors
Targeting is a straightforward technique that’s tons of fun to practice! Once your dog understands how to touch his nose or paw to a target, the possibilities are virtually endless. Targeting can be used to address behavioral concerns, or to provide a foundation for more complex cues and tricks. In this workshop we’ll work on hand targeting, touching a target stick, and targeting a neutral object.
April: Capturing New Behaviors
Positive reinforcement training focuses on rewarding your dog for desirable behaviors instead of punishing him for undesirable behaviors. Capturing is a highly effective way to let your dog know exactly which behaviors you prefer, such as quiet and keeping four paws on the floor. During this workshop you and your dog will learn about capturing to increase polite behaviors, as well as capturing for trick training.
May: Shaping New Behaviors
Complicated behaviors are shaped by successive approximations until your dog reaches the goal behavior. When your dog builds behavior slowly by performing baby steps along the way, he gains confidence and increases his problem-solving abilities. In this workshop you’ll use the clicker to shape your dog to target a mat, and you’ll discover the amazing power of the “free shaping” technique, in which we step back and let the clicker do the talking.
June: Impulse Control Games
Most unwanted canine behaviors are simply normal, natural behaviors that nevertheless present a safety issue in our human world. Dogs are opportunists and often act before contemplating the consequences of their behavior, which can be dangerous to both themselves and their humans. We’ll touch on the behavior science behind impulsivity, and engage your dog in hands-on practice to develop his powers of self-control.
July: Jumpy-Mouthy Dogs
Does your dog relentlessly jump up on everyone he meets, or constantly put his teeth on skin or clothing? If so, he’s a jumpy-mouthy dog! Dogs who persistently jump and mouth need guidance and consistency on the part of their humans, and need to learn alternative, incompatible behaviors. We’ll cover why this unsafe and undesirable behavior occurs in puppies and adult dogs, and what you can do about it.
August: Counter Surfers & Food Stealers
Is your dog like a little vulture, always lurking about for the next scrap that might fall to the floor, or devouring unattended food on your countertop or kitchen table? During this workshop we’ll address the particular aspects of mouth-centric impulse control, as well as management strategies to help your dog be successful around irresistible edibles.
September: Targeting for Grooming & Medical
This workshop introduces participants to targeting techniques that help reduce fear and aversion while increasing confidence and choice. If your dog becomes reactive, fearful, or shut down during handling for grooming or medical purposes, let’s help him feel better about his triggers. If your dog actually enjoys a trip to the groomer or vet, let’s keep it that way!
October: Tricks & Treats
Trick training is valuable for dogs of all breeds, ages, and temperaments. Not only are tricks sure to impress friends and family, they also require your dog to master a wide range of complex physical and cognitive skills. In this workshop your dog will practice foundation behaviors for several fun and adorable tricks. Get ready to have serious fun being silly!
November: Prep Your Dog for the Pawlidays
The holiday season is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and travel…all of which can be frightening or overarousing for our dogs. Bring your holiday concerns to this workshop, where we’ll investigate how to help your dog to feel calmer and more secure about guests, excited children, dinnertime manners, and long car trips.
December: Play-Based Training
Did you know that engaging your dog in play is an incredibly effective way to train? Just like us, dogs learn best while they are having fun and feeling good. Training through play maximizes the benefits of exercise, stress release, and mental stimulation, a win-win combination for any dog! We’ll investigate the important function of canine play as displaced prey drive, cover play behavior deficit for dogs who show a lack of play, and teach hyperaroused dogs how to “put on the brakes” during play sessions.