Debbie is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Registered Behavior Technician working with children with autism. She is well known for her work with fear based behaviors in dogs and providing evidence-based resources for owners and trainers looking to help this population of dogs. Working across species she has first hand experience about the gaps dog trainers have in regard to the science their training is based on, the same science used to teach skills to humans, even those with cognitive differences and challenges. She has studied and trained with Bob Bailey, Jean Donaldson, & Susan Friedman.

Debbie’s no nonsense, no gimmicks approach to learning and training will provide participants with the information they need in order to assess behavior, devise efficient and humane interventions using the least restrictive alternatives available. You will also get information to help you evaluate other training suggestions, methods, and protocols commonly seen in the training industry. Join us for one or both of these informative seminars.

Trainers teach animals to discriminate between stimuli in their environment and their relationship to available outcomes based on the animal’s response to those stimuli. In a nutshell, that’s what we do. We use the principles of ABA to do this, and subsequently strengthen and make those behaviors resilient to extinction based on what we know about how behavior works. Our skill as trainers rests on how well we can implement the procedures that the dog needs in order to discriminate between events in their environment. Keeping and strengthening behavior is based on reinforcement and the schedule it’s on. If we are going to get good at using the procedures, we need to understand them so we can make well informed choices as to what we should try when we hit a wall, or see behavior changes we don’t want. This becomes even more critical when we are seeing fearful, anxious, reactive, or aggressive behaviors in our dogs or our clients’ dogs. These are not the dogs to be experimenting on using different methods or protocols. We know what we need to do to get reliable behavior from dogs, we need to get better at doing it. We have invited a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to join us on one of these days (based on her schedule) to help us think through the behavior questions and training options available to us.

Behavior Basics: There are more than you may think

May 16, 2020

As dog training takes the inevitable, and much needed turn toward evidence-based methods the need for more, better and clearer information about how to think about behavior and create plans for changing it has become critically important. In this presentation you will learn the key factors for being a humane and efficient trainer. This presentation is appropriate for anyone interested in how dogs learn, especially professional trainers.

8 CEUs CPDTs

Fear: It’s Impact on Behavior

May 17, 2020

What everyone must know in order to work with dogs struggling with fear/anxiety based behavior challenges. This presentation is appropriate for owners, trainers, vets, techs, groomers, shelter staff, kennel staff and rescue groups.

6 CEUs for CPDTs

  • Our responsibilities as trainers.
  • What are the functions of behavior?
  • How do animals learn? What is ABA
  • Satiation vs habituation vs desensitization vs counter conditioning
  • Is it learned helplessness or the response to punishment?
  • Types of conditioning and best practices.
  • Behavior assessments.
  • Strategies for getting behavior.
  • Data driven training.
  • Designing a training plan.
  • Helping pet owners navigate the rapids of life with a behaviorally challenged dog.
  • What fear looks like.
  • How fear impacts learning.

  • Common myths & misunderstandings.

  • How to handle a fearful dog.

  • Learning concepts & training techniques.

  • Games & activities for fearful dogs.

  • Medications, supplements & other calming aids.

  • Special focus on working with dogs with few to no social skills for interacting with people.

Behavior Basics

$150individual
  • Early Bird & Group $125
  • Shelter Staff $100

Both Seminars

$275individual
  • Early Bird & Group $250
  • Shelter Staff $200

Fear Seminar

$150individual
  • Early Bird & Group $125
  • Shelter Staff $100

Join us at the beautiful Upper Way Farm Sanctuary in Brattleboro, Vermont. There is some on site lodging and tent sites available. Let us know if you are interested as space at the farm is limited. There are a variety of hotels, and AirBnBs nearby. A light breakfast and lunch will be served on both days. Presentations begin at 9am and end at 4pm. Contact us with any questions. We are excited to have you spend time with us. We are located at Upper Way Farm, 1104 Ames Hill, Brattleboro VT 05301 Tel: 802-257-0152 if you have questions. Visit this page for more specifics about these seminars.

Behavior Basics
Both Seminars
Fear Seminar