October MDSA Online Workshop - Clicker Training: Principles & Techniques with Applications to Canine Musical Freestyle


Workshop PresenterCindy Ludwig

About Cindy:  Cindy is a professional dog trainer and Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (certified clicker trainer) and has been teaching owners to train their dogs using clicker training for the past 4 years. She owns Canine Connection LLC which has recently relocated from Dubuque, Iowa to Columbia, Missouri.


Cindy and Opal

Cindy and Opal

Cindy is also a professional adult educator whose teaching career spans 4 decades. Her demo dog, Opal is a "career changed" Golden Retriever from a large, national service dog organization that deemed her unsuitable and un-trainable using traditional methods. Since leaving the program Opal has been successfully clicker trained by Cindy to be a certified service dog and the first Dog Scout in Iowa. Cindy and Opal enjoy canine musical freestyle and were part of the Badger Kennel Club annual drill team performance at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin when the two lived in Iowa.

The following online workshop details are provided by the presenter, Cindy Ludwig.

Workshop Goal: To enhance participants' knowledge and understanding of clicker training principles and techniques with specific instruction for applying these principles and techniques to basic dog training as well as canine musical freestyle

Description:  In the first two weeks, I will cover essential concepts such as the key defining features of clicker training, how to condition the dog to the clicker ("loading" or "charging" the clicker) capturing, shaping, clicker mechanics, luring, prompts and how to fade them, stationary and moving target training, when and how to add a cue, how to change a cue, how to chain behaviors and more.  We will also discuss the difference between cues and commands, different types of cues and the use of verbal cues versus hand signals.

I will demonstrate how to teach eye contact, a.k.a. attention or focus and various types of targeting with applications to basic dog training and canine musical freestyle. In the remaining weeks we will discuss how to teach basic dog training as well as freestyle behaviors using clicker training.

Opal at work

Opal at work

I plan to provide as many instructional videos as possible and appropriate to aid the learning process as well as video transcripts and additional instructions and links to articles written by experts to supplement the instruction for participants wanting a more in-depth understanding of concepts and technique.

Cindy Ludwig