Learn From Practice, Discussion, & Real Casework With Clients
Sample Week (Week 11)
Wondering what it would be like to attend the Dog Training Internship Academy? To give you an idea, here’s an overview of the eleventh week of one session. At this point, students are halfway through the curriculum and have solid experience trouble-shooting behavior modification plans and dealing with clients.
TUESDAY Online lecture/discussion with visuals (slides, videos, and various documents).
Burning questions. Here, students ask any questions of immediate concern before the planned discussion begins.
Debrief week’s assignment. Students have been asked to list any problems they anticipate in successfully resolving current behavior modification projects, to categorize and prioritize these, and plan possible solutions. This week, problem categories include: technical training issues, client compliance with management, challenges with transferring training to client.
Two student assignments are analyzed. One concerns a variety of client management issues in a reactivity training case. The second concerns how to help a client prioritize multiple behavior issues in a multiple dog household. We review relevant management and goal-setting slides during the discussion.
Case study review. Students review a real-life case study involving a newly adopted dog who is lunging and barking at people and dogs out on walks. Discussion involves how the environment is contributing to the behavior and recognizing the role client stress plays as well. Students formulate questions they would ask the client to gather more information.
Behavior topic. We discuss resource guarding and options for managing and modifying the the behavior. This includes assessing the situation to keep both clients and dog safe. Students watch video content illustrating the behavior and approaches for modification.
Backchaining behavior. We discuss the how-to of backchaining complex behaviors in preparation for students’ upcoming “dead retrieve” assignment. Students have questions about typical behaviors to backchain and the group brainstorms a starting point for the training plan as well as how and when to move to the next steps.
Wrap up. We go through the logistics for the upcoming week, including previewing the content of a quiz.
WEDNESDAY Students practice a client consultation first-hand. Afterward, they debrief and one student has questions about how to promote buy-in and compliance with clients. A round table discussion produces a variety of strategies that have proven successful for the other students and instructors.
SATURDAY Students bring project dogs to the training center for coaching, or work with their project dogs while participating online.
It’s week 3 of a 5-week project involving their second project dog. Behaviors students are working on include sit-stays for greeting strangers, down-stays on a bed while visitors enter the home or family eats a meal, recalls from high-level competing motivation, leave-its for food dropped on ground during walks, and a CER to wearing a muzzle.
One student is having difficulty with the last stage of their project dog’s muzzle CER. The instructor and class observe and brainstorm together.