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Advanced Concepts in Motivation Turning Your Reward into an Event with Michael Ellis

10-13-2011 -- 3 Hours, 17 Minutes, 11 Seconds

This is the latest in Leerburg's series of training videos done with Michael Ellis.

It's a training video that follows Michael's curriculum for his course on Motivation and Play at his school for dog trainers in California: michaelellisschool.com

The work in this DVD (or video on demand) teaches trainers of all breeds (large and small) and trainers from every dog sport (agility, obedience, and protection sports) the advanced concepts of how to motivate their dogs.

The goal of this training is to teach dog trainers how to turn a reward into an event for their dog. When trainers can learn these skills they are going to be able to manipulate the motivation and drive of their dogs.

The chapters for this training video are:

-Learning Moving Skills Without a Dog
-Rewards Are An "Interactive"
-Techniques for Increasing Motivation
-Borrowing Techniques From the World of Protection Sports - Not All biting is Protection
-How to Manage Your Dog's Genetics
-Establishing Rules

In our chapter on Learning Moving Skills Without a Dog, Michael introduces trainers to movement skills they can learn without their dog to help develop and increase a dog's motivation and drive. In this chapter trainers will learn:

-Backing drills
-Lateral drills
-Line/luring drills
-Weight shift/balance drills
-How to use your legs and not your back
-Tug/toy presentation without a dog
-Food handling without a dog - how to hold and deliver
-Why straight line targeting - the problem with hooking
-Getting bit is bad for the handler and dogs motivation
-Misses - How and Why?

In the chapter titled Rewards Are an "Interactive Event" trainers will learn:

-Movement is reinforcing during a reward
-Contrasts between a "reward event" vs. "normal behavior"
-The differences between "hunger drive" and movement-based "prey rewards"
-Variable duration of the "reward event" and its effect on post-reinforcement pause/attention
-Using auditory stimulators to stimulate motivation
-Chasing and searching are better than having
-Tugging, Chasing, and Eating

In the chapter for Techniques for Increasing Motivation Michael covers:

-Using restraint and frustration to build motivation
-Learning to balance and use HUNGER and a tool
-How "social isolation" can be a tool to increase motivation
-Patterning arousal levels/classical conditioning
-What activities intensify through rehearsal, which don't
-Restricting and channeling your dogs' energy use
-Appropriate toys and treats
-Violating your dog's expectations. Using food and toys in the same training session.
-Balancing possession without creating conflict

In the chapter, Borrowing Techniques From the World of Protection Sports, we explain the following:

-Restrain/frustration revisited
-Using back pressure to build motivation
-Building the "STRIKE" as a factor of motivation
-Revisiting Targeting
-Revisiting the Auditory Stimulator
-Letting the dog "WIN"

The chapter on How to Manage Your Dog's Genetics will cover:

-Spatial awareness and sensitivity
-Possessiveness - the pros and cons, learning to initiate
-Internal vs. External dogs and how to motivate each

In the chapter, Establishing Rules, we cover:

-When to add rules without causing confict
-How strict should you be?
-Capping drives
-The balance between motivation and rules

Categories: Leerburg Training DVDs, On Demand, Training with Food Rewards, Michael Ellis


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This is an outstanding overview of Michael Ellis's view of dog drives and motivation, and how to interact with a dog to encourage useful tendencies while avoiding unuseful tendencies. I own most of the other ME video's (all outstanding), and I felt this one explained in more detail the "why?" for many of his techniques. I found this video very helpful and feel I have a deeper understanding of how to use the ME system to optimize my own dogs training.

I felt this video was a stong peice of ME training system and strengthened my overall understanding of these training methods.

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