Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why Host a TAGteach Seminar? Part 2

Most people who host a TAGteach seminar are those who have already attended one seminar and want to know more and want to spread the knowledge to others. We asked some of our hosts why they decided to host a seminar, after all, why would anyone want to come to the same thing again? The fact is, the seminar experience is different every time because much of it is dependent on who is there. The attendees are usually fascinating people with a lot of insight and experience to offer.

From time to time we will post the responses to our question "why host a TAGteach seminar?".

I am Doris Vaterlaus from Switzerland and I have been into clicker training since 1994. I was one of the first to introduce this kind of teaching and training to our country, while at the same time giving workshops and lectures in other European countries, for example Germany, France, Austria and Italy. I have used training with a marker + rewards for various species, mainly dogs, but also horses, ponies, goats, and a chicken (at the Baileys), as well as giving advice on how to retrain animals with behavioural issues, such as a parrot, many dogs and their owners, horses and cats.

About 10 years ago, I helped a young girl with dyscalculia – and she improved extraordinarily quickly. She is now working as an office assistance in her community.

The longer I am into this positive and respectful way of teaching and learning, the more I realise that we are, first and foremost, teaching people how to communicate with their animals and how to train them to reach their goals.

That’s why, in 2009, I organised the first TAGteach Certification Seminar in Switzerland and the first in Europe, inviting Theresa McKeon as presenter. We were an international group of trainers from different professional fields; alongside dog trainers the group included veterinarians, a forestry engineer, parents and teachers of autistic children and trainers for assistance dogs.
This seminar gave me a deeper insight into training people and brought me to a further level of teaching – for example, it led me to a new dimension of clicker training.

Theresa showed us the 5 most important points of application:

1. General input = explanations, ideas
2. Application for the planned task
3. Defining the TAGpoint = focus on one single point
4. Last step: = marking the success of the single step
5. Finally: Reward this step

A TAG means: success – no TAG means: goal not reached

I had always had the idea of organising another seminar of this kind, then, earlier this year, Christine from Germany contacted me and we decided to give it another try, this time in the North of Germany, in order to reach another group of interested people.

I am looking forward to another interesting seminar and to meeting new people who are just getting to know this kind and effective way of teaching and learning.

This event will take place in Hamburg, Germany on 16 and 17 October, and will attract many trainers and teachers from various professional fields. Visit or for more information.

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