Spring Seminar

Michele Pouliot Workshop

  • Speaker: Michele Pouliot
  • Dates: May 16 & 17, 2020
  • Seminar Topics:
    Saturday Morning: Dealing with Errors in Training and Performance
    Saturday Afternoon: Training Behaviors at Distance
    Sunday Morning: Conditioning Performance Cues
    Sunday Afternoon: Back Chaining Behavior Sequences
  • To be held at: Western Waukesha County Dog Training Club, W1314 Cedar Drive Ixonia, WI 53036
  • Registration Fees:
    Auditing One-Day: $80.00
    Working 1/2 Day with Auditing 1/2 Day: $110.00
    Working Full-Day:  $140.00
  • More Information Contact:  Khris Erickson  262-542-8851 x118
  • CEUs:
    IAABC 14.5 CEUs
    KPA 14.5 CEUS
    CCPDT has declined to award CEUs


All working spots are full, however we have plenty of space for auditors. 

Click here to go to on-line registration (Auditing)


Michele Pouliot Workshop

Saturday Morning – “Dealing with Errors in Training and Performance”
So many people focus on how to train the dog and never prepare themselves for how to react when things “go wrong”. A handler’s reaction (no matter how subtle) to their dog’s poor response has a huge effect on the dog and its progressive behavior. Learn how to prepare yourself for the inevitable mistakes that occur in dog training, to react and respond in a way that is constructive to the dog’s development and your attitude. 

Saturday Afternoon – “Training Behaviors at Distance”
Training behaviors with your dog close to you is challenging enough, but progressing to fluent responses at distance is challenging in many areas.  Some breeds are more natural at distance work than others but regardless, distance work requires systematic steps to gain results. Michele will discuss and demonstrate how to introduce distance work, apply tools to assist in successful repetitions, and how to progress towards your distance performing goals, including duration in Stay behaviors.

Sunday Morning –  “Classically Conditioning Performance Cues” (Excitement or Calming Cues)
Learn how to condition cues that evoke emotions with a goal of prompting an increase in enthusiasm or a calming effect in the individual dog. Learn how to use a dogs’ natural play or food excitement to create a cue that can raise your dog’s emotions during performance. Learn how to apply the same concept to lower liveliness in overly excited performers. The design and purpose of this training is to have viable cues to use during performance.

Sunday Afternoon –  Back Chaining Behavior Sequences
Most dog sports require chains of several behaviors be put together to demonstrate a skill or perform a routine. A powerful tool to start putting behavior sequences together is a method called back chaining. Ring sport exercises and Freestyle routines are long chains of behaviors put together. This can be stressful for the dog when taught via “forward” chaining (adding one behavior after another).  Michele will show how to use back chaining to increase enthusiasm in the dog to perform several behaviors in a row without reward. Topic can be geared towards an introduction to effective back chaining or more advanced practice of the back-chaining tool.

Click here to a link with information about hotels in the area.

Michele Pouliot

Michele has been a professional guide dog instructor with the largest US guide dog school serving the blind, since 1974. Before entering the guide dog field, she was a professional in the field of horse training, mentoring under Linda Tellington Jones and Wentworth Tellington. In 1972, Michele became active in training her first pet Labrador and became fascinated with the comparisons of how dogs and horses learn, stimulating her interest and pursuit in professional dog training.

“Michele retired from Guide Dogs for the Blind after 42 years of service. During her last 16 years, she held the position of Director of Research and Development for programs at Guide Dogs. That position focused on developing and researching new techniques to improve all areas of client instruction, dog training and puppy development.”

Michele has served as an International Assessor of guide dog school programs for the International Guide Dog Federation. She has completed assessments on guide dog schools in Norway, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Holland and Great Britain.

Over her 40+ years of dog training, Michele has presented scores of seminars across North America and abroad. She has been responsible for bringing science based Clicker Training to guide dog training and promoting the expansion of Clicker Training internationally within the guide dog field.

In her “hobby world”, Michele has actively competed in both horse and dog sports since 1970. After successfully competing in dog obedience for 20 years, she moved into the new sport of agility in 1992. After much fun and success in agility with Labradors, English Springer Spaniels and even Great Danes, Michele took a break from dog sports to focus on her equine hobbies.

In 2006, Michele became fascinated with the sport of canine musical freestyle and began a dog sport journey she continues to love. She has competed in canine musical freestyle with her English Springer spaniel, Cabo, Australian Shepherd, Listo and her young Springer spaniel Deja Vu. Michele thoroughly enjoys this artistic sport that combines the precision of obedience with trick behaviors and challenges her creative side through music and choreography. In 5 years in the sport, Michele has won 4 international competitions and attained 5 Championship Titles. In 2008 she received the first scores of double 10’s (perfect scores) for Technical and Artistic in one routine in WCFO’s Championship division (Perfect Dance Partners). She repeated this accomplishment at the 2009 International competition when all 3 judges awarded double 10’s to her freestyle routine. To date Michele and Listo have earned ‘double 10’ scores a total of twenty-four times. Michele thoroughly enjoys the ongoing challenges in the sport of canine freestyle and the use of Clicker Training to achieve innovative and entertaining routines.

In 2007, Karen Pryor invited Michele to join her faculty for Clicker Expo Conferences. At Clicker Expo, Michele presents on the application of clicker techniques for a variety of dog sports, general training, and for the training of guide dogs for the blind. Karen Pryor and Michele collaborated for the development of Michele’s online freestyle course which is available from the Karen Pryor Academy.

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