Workshop offer

Since 2012, we have been organizing workshops intended for "breeder public", with focus on the application of the positive reinforcement methodology. The workshops follow each other logically so that the person who passes them can use the theory optimally in practice.


1a) Introduction to positive reinforcement
about 3-4 hours;
number of participants: up to 70;
form: classical lecture
necessary aids: computer with current Windows version with data projector and sound amplification
  • What is positive reinforcement training and why "training for treats" does not always mean "positive reinforcement". Positive does not necessarily mean good and negative does not mean bad, all that is more complicated. Clarification of myths in animal training and revealing of learning logic.
  • Training like dialogue with the animal - what "words" does it consist of?
  • Aids and tricks for common tasks. What is actually the target?
  • Application of positive reinforcement in correction of behaviour of different species - examples of changes of undesirable behaviour through positive reinforcement training
  • Examples from the world - Czech Republic, Europe, Florida, Colorado, California (Moorpark College – „school of animal trainers“)

1b) Positive reinforcement in detail
limit 70 persons,
form: classical lecture,
time 6-7 hours,
computer game of positive reinforcement for each participant and working texts for individual tasks included,

necessary aids: like 1a + whiteboard or flipchart to draw diagrams; each participant should have a notebook with current version of Windows with Adobe Flash Player (for computer game playing)

  • Positive reinforcement, why and when does it work? - deep physiological and psychological essence of both positive and negative reinforcement
  • Tricks to keep motivation
  • Tricks for shaping, practice of shaping and other learning ways
  • with computer simulation (download to own notebook with Windows 2000 + the latest version of Adobe Flash Player)
  • Corrections and changes of behaviour - analyses and practical exercise
  • Group work
  • Leader versus dominator - on current views of the hierarchy in the animal world and its role in training methods

Both versions 1a and 1b can be joined within one weekend day at the cost of minor reduction of both topics  (1a 2,5 hours, 1b 4,5 hours in the afternoon). We apply this option most frequently in weekend workshops out of Prague.  
1c) Positive reinforcement for horsepeople
limit 50 persons,
form: classical lecture with possible simple practical demonstration from the ground,
time 5-6 hours,
necessary aids: like 1a + whiteboard or flipchart to draw diagrams. If the organizer wishes a practical demonstration, he should make available horses according to more detailed agreement.

The sense of this workshop does not consist in learning of individual skills and tricks with the horse but in clarification of the basic principles of application of positive / negative motivation on animals in general, with focus on horses and other big hoofed animals. The workshop is divided into two parts; in the first, we discuss the basic concepts and logic of positive reinforcement animal training similarly to workshop 1a. In the second part, we focus particularly on the things needed when we decide to motivate positively a big and strong animal as a horse. We emphasize motivation, the first steps to establish work safety in positive motivation, to prevent "begging" behaviour, to eliminate rewards, work with stress and get used to new stimuli.

At the end of each of both blocks, we can insert a practical demonstration of the first training steps - for example making the animal associate the clicker sound with a treat, learning to know the target, luring the animal by the target to quite problematic areas. It is not work from the saddle, only from the ground, and such practical demonstration must be agreed in advance.
1d) Positive reinforcement - Training is dialogue
limit 70 persons,
form: classical lecture,
time 5-6 hours,
texts for the participants will be included
necessary aids: like 1a + whiteboard or flipchart to draw diagrams.

This workshop originated in connection with the book "Training is dialogue in which your dog also has a say" (F. Šusta, Plot Publishers) It suits both for those who have passed the preceding workshops and for beginners. The workshop presents the training through positive reinforcement as a dialogue with the animal, consisting of the words I WANT THE CUE (animal) - CUE (human) - BEHAVIOUR (animal) - BRIDGE (human) - REWARD (given by human, consumed by animal) and summarizes the whole dialogue in the steps in which it is built in practice, i.e. from the last to the first "word". Additionally to videos of trainings of exotic animals and sea mammals, it relies particularly on analyses of videos of specific cases from training centres. They concern mainly corrections of problematic behaviours like aggression, fear, superstitious behaviour and bad habits, correction of different agility elements. There are also videos of several specific pairs discussed in the book. The workshop includes also "training plays" in different versions.

VIP materials

If you have login and password, you can download special material include unique training game.