Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Part Three: APDT Practicum

Home two days and already using ideas in behavior change programs for clients, saving up for purchases from FitDogs and Good Dogs of America, as well as planning for January, Dog Training Month where I'll kick off the C.L.A.S.S. program.  A conference can be a huge boost to planning, profits and the APDT offers trainers a plethora of benefits.

I was impressed by the laundry list of practical benefits of membership.  The APDT conference offered an invaluable networking opportunity, and benefits of membership are members-only email list serv, the BarkBoard discussion board, an online membership directory and listings of regional trainer networking groups, just for being an APDT member.  We are always telling our clients to socialize and famliarize, this holds true in joining any organization.

While at this year's 2011 APDT conference a few new board members were elected, but my favorite is Casey Lomonaco of Rewarding Behavior's Dog Training, New York.

The conference planners provided on-site networking opportunities in the Round Table Discussions (I attended one where we talked about Treibball), lunch offerings (a concession of goodies), the question and answer sessions with speakers (after presentations) and in the Exhibit Hall filled with everything a dog trainer could want from demonstrations to freebies. There was a business card, brochure and tattoo competition. Who won what is still unknown to me. What it was, was a chance to see the various designs and see where everyone was located. A huge community board allowed personal notes for meet and greets in a central location.

Goodies. Besides socializing, this is one of the fun parts of the conference, all the freebies and goodies from the conference goodie bag filled with treats, clickers and more. The day prior to the conference I helped fill these bags and there were lots of others doing so as well. The bags themselves were really nice and provided by Kong.

In the exhibit hall, booths were set up and had various free items, such as frisbees, pens (lots and lots of pens), contest sign-ups. Did I win? Who knows, obviously not. Still I got Frisbees, free bones for puppy Valor along with bags and bags of free treats.

Not only did I meet Facebook friends, but specific group friends, like members of Truly Dog Friendly and Force Free Trainers Group. From left to right (all are Facebook friends, Force Free Trainer's Group; and members of Truly Dog Friendly) Leslie Fisher, Maryland; Laura Dorfman, Chicago; Marilyn Wolf, CCPDT board, Florida; Diane Garrod, Washington; and Rise VanFleet, Pennsylvania.

Continuing in the spirit of education - because as you know, "education is empowerment for dog trainers" I will use one thing I learned daily until October of next year, when the 2012 APDT conference will be held in northern Kentucky/Cincinnati, Ohio. The date is October 17 through the 21st. Saving pennies now to attend and in the meantime, completing all the ideas that pertain to me and my business, Canine Transformations Learning Center. Until, next year - I'm "Catching the Next Wave."

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