Barking Shit Show
March 19, 2024 | 1pm – 4pm ET | $100
A weed is just a flower growing in the wrong place, right? But what if the weed starts becoming so invasive it takes over and crowds out or damages the other desired plants you really want to grow in your garden?
I know you came here for dog training content, not gardening content, but this metaphor does apply to dog training. So many dog behaviors are totally normal part of the canine repertoire, but become problematic when they pop up in the wrong places. Barking is one of those behaviors. Dogs bark and that is no surprise. There are plenty of contexts where barking is totally normal, even desired… but there are also times when barking shows up where and when we decidedly do NOT want it, and then it becomes a problem. It can even become something of a behavioral kudzu and start taking over your whole training session and strangle your trial performance.
Barking is communication. Sure, but what do we do about it?
What is your dog telling you and does he have to be so loud about it?
In this workshop, we’ll be talking mainly about dealing with excessive barking/vocalization in training contexts – we’ll be digging into barking as a behavior, or could it be multiple behaviors? Why it shows up in training, practical strategies to prevent problematic barking from junking up your training, and also strategies to deal with it when it happens anyway. Of course, all of our strategies and exercises will be based on our positive reinforcement training philosophy, so we are very concerned with reducing or eliminating barking without sacrificing your relationship, or your dog’s speed, enthusiasm, or general emotional state. We want our cake and to eat it too!
We will be mainly focused on training and sports-related barking examples, so if you have a dog that barks their head off on the start line, squeaks every time you cue them to heel, or dissolves into a… well, barking shitshow during training sessions, this is definitely going to be material that applies to you. Of course, good training is good training, so while we will touch on some examples of barking around the house (lifestyle or hobby barking), and the principles will certainly apply in other contexts as well, but we won’t be specifically covering other types of barking like separation anxiety or dog-dog reactivity.
This workshop will include a little on the concepts around barking and vocalization, why it shows up in training sessions, and a lot of practical training strategies. This is a WORKING workshop. So in addition to explaining concepts, we will also be including training exercises you can do at home.
This workshop will teach you:
- Why barking might show up in a training session and how it can get built into behaviors
- How to prevent barking fits from derailing your sessions
- How to handle barking episodes when they happen anyway – WITHOUT ruining your dog’s enthusiasm
- Strategies to clean up “noisy” behaviors
This live workshop includes time to implement the exercises in real life as well as get your questions answered.
**Note: This workshop is specifically about barking that shows up in training and competition contexts. We will not be covering other situations where barking might be part of the problem, like aggression, reactivity, or separation anxiety.
Join us for a 3-hr workshop to learn about implementing reinforcement cues.
It’s not really a webinar, and it’s not really a book club… but it’s guaranteed to be a lot of fun and VERY nerdy.
As with our other workshops, you will receive a little homework to read in advance with example videos.
Excessive barking can be really frustrating, but there is hope!
After signing up, you’ll receive a little (well, more than a little) homework material, which will include written information, example videos, and some training exercises to try on your own.
On March 19th, at 1pm Eastern, we’ll hold our live virtual workshop where you can show up to ask questions and actually try the exercises with your own dog (off-camera). We’ll go over the homework exercises, and then build on them. I know the best way to actually make sure you use the information is to do it right then and there. So we have built time into the workshop so that you can hear instructions, see a demo, and then go try it with your dog – figure out what questions that exercise generates and then ask them while they are still fresh in your mind!
The workshop is recorded and you can watch it back anytime by going right back to the same link.
About Shade Whitesel:
Shade Whitesel (she/her) has been training and competing in dog sports since she was a kid. Always curious in how dogs learn, she has successfully competed in IGP/IPO/Schutzhund, AKC obedience and French Ring. Her retired dog, Reiki vom Aegis, IPO 3, FH 1, French Ring 1, CDX, was 5th at the 2010 AWDF Championships, 7th at the 2012 AWDF Championships, 1st at the 2011 Northwest Regionals, and 2nd at the 2012 Dutch Shepherd Nationals. Along the way, Shade has received a perfect score in the IPO tracking phase on two separate dogs, and a perfect score in IPO obedience with Talender von Grunheide. Shade currently competes with Reik’s son, Ones, who has his IPO 2, and AKC Preferred Novice title and is looking forward to hitting the trial field with her youngest dog, Talic, who is looking very promising for all the things!
Though Shade is owned by highly motivated working line German Shepherds and is known for her toy skills classes, she especially enjoys teaching foundation skills to all manner of dogs and their people. Good training and learning start at the beginning.
What started out as an experiment — competing at the National level in IPO without the use of an e-collar — has now turned into a firm commitment to the positive method, and the desire to teach other trainers and dogs how to be successful in the bitesports with as little aversives as possible.
Shade’s personal website can be found here.
About Hannah Branigan:
With the belief that everyone (dogs and humans alike) learn best in an environment free of criticism, Hannah breaks down complex skills into bite-sized, accessible pieces, and develops practical techniques that leave her students with a sense of achievement and success. She is on a mission to make training effective + enjoyable for dogs and their handlers, which means optimizing positive reinforcement techniques across species.
She is fascinated by behavior and learning, and passionate about bringing innovative, science-based solutions to the dog/human learning space. Hannah has a background in both human sports and biology. Now she applies that knowledge and experience to the world of animal training and canine competitive sports.
She enjoys training and competing with her own dogs in a variety of sports, and has titled her dogs in Obedience, Agility, Conformation, IPO (Schutzhund), and Rally. Her competition obedience DVDs, Obedience FUNdamentals and Beyond FUNdamentals, have received rave reviews from trainers all over the world, and her students have earned advanced titles and in multiple countries.
While primarily interested in the training process, she finds the high scores, prestigious awards, and national rankings she has earned to be very reinforcing. Hannah is the host of the popular dog training podcast, Drinking from the Toilet, which focuses on the (often inconvenient) intersection between positive reinforcement philosophy and reality.