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Trainer Retreat Information

Event Location: 1104 Ames Hill, Brattleboro VT

Please do not make any non-refundable reservations or payments for travel or lodging until we can confirm that we have enough participants to run the program. We will determine this at least 30 days prior to the first day of the program.

Cancellation Policy

Registrations are transferable.

Cancellations received in writing less than 7 days prior to the start of the event are not refundable

Cancellations received in writing 8-14 days prior to the event will receive a 50% refund

Cancellations received in writing 15-29 days prior to the event will receive a 75% refund

Cancellations received in writing more than 30 days prior to the event will receive a 100% refund


October is a lovely time to be in Vermont. It is New England and we could get snow, rain or unseasonal heat. Each day will be spent both inside and outside in a field or barn with animals.

  • Raincoat
  • Hat for sun/rain/warmth
  • Sweaters/jacket for layering
  • Warm socks
  • Closed toed shoes or boots/comfortable for walking
  • Mittens/gloves
  • Notebook for use during training
  • Computer/phone/camera (for note taking and documenting training mechanics)
  • Water bottle (we have great water)
  • Tick/insect repellant

Included: Beverages, snacks, 2 breakfasts and 1 lunch and 1 dinner will be provided. There is a refrigerator available if you want to bring your own food. There are shops in Brattleboro about a 15 minute drive away.

Lodging and Accommodation

The nearest city is Brattleboro Vermont. There are chain hotels in the area, a downtown hotel (The Latchis) and a variety of Air B&Bs in the area. Nearby neighboring towns include Guilford and Marlboro.

There are two bedrooms, each with a single bed, available in the ‘bunkhouse’ located at Lemon’s Hope/Training Matters. The rooms have access to a kitchen and bathroom with shower. During the day the kitchen and bathroom are used by other attendees of the event. These rooms are available for $50 per night. For more information or to reserve a room, contact Sara at THESE ROOMS HAVE BEEN BOOKED FOR 2022 AND NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

Food, Health & Safety

Please feel free to share any dietary restrictions, medical concerns, and pronoun preferences with us. We will do our best to make it possible for any-body to join us, based on the current facilities and property. Contact us with questions or requests.

Topics & Ideas

We welcome hearing from you about any topics you’d like to see addressed or explored or ideas for activities.

Waiver & Release

Please sign and return waiver to us. If you send a PDF please also bring original with you to the event. No changes may be made to content.

Download Waiver


October 21, 2022 Friday

5:00-7:00pm -Meet & greet with introductions, and How We Train 101. Snacks will be provided

October 22, 2022 Saturday

8:30-9:30am Breakfast available

9:00-10:45am-Portable Operant Conditioning Lab (PORTL). This table top game developed initially by trainer Kay Laurence and produced by Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, provides a hands-on opportunity to observe the principles of shaping and reinforcement, in action.

11:00am-12:30pm- Hands-on training with animals. Working in teams you’ll have the opportunity to train animals at the farm. You can start to put your new knowledge to work for you, and practice the unique mechanics for prompting, and reinforcement delivery each species requires.

12:30-1:30pm- Lunch. You are welcome to bring your own lunch, but we’ve also scheduled enough time for folks to head to the nearby Brattleboro Farmer’s Market where local produce, food, and gifts are available.

1:30-2:45-Exploring Enrichment. What is it? What does the science tell us about it? How to use enrichment as part of your training and interventions.

3:00-4:30m-More hands-on with animals. Continue working on a training plan with your animal, watch other people train, get coached on new skills.

5:00-7:00pm- Dinner will be served at the farm. We’ll order out for pizza, build a fire, listen for coyotes and owls.

October 23, 2022 Sunday

8:30-9:30am- Breakfast available

9:00-10:45am- Trauma assumed training. What does it mean to be force-free and avoiding the use of aversives in training. How do the concepts of using a constructional approach and non-linear contingency analysis fit into our training practices. 

11:00am-12:30pm- Animal time!

12:30-1:15pm- Lunch will be served onsite.

1:15-2:15- What are you trying to say? Using the most behaviorally accurate language to describe and explain what we are doing to help others be more efficient and ethical trainers. 

2:30-4:00pm- Animal time!

4:00-4:30pm- Closing & farewells til next time.

This schedule is subject to change. We are happy to accommodate the specific interests and questions of participants.

Downtown Brattleboro restaurant makes it into a 10 best list. 

Behavior is Lawful.

These words changed the world of dog training for me. 
Find out how these three simple words can change everything for you too.