So what do 400+ dog trainers DO for three days in Chicago? Here at Clicker Expo in Chicago, those of us who didn't bring our dogs are glomming onto those 150 trainers who did bring dogs - we need our "doggie fix," after all.
We go to educational sessions on such topics as "Aggression Treatment and Context," "Microshaping," "What a Cue Can Do," and many more.
The topics are fascinating: how to prevent (imagine that!) a dog from becoming a reactive dog, how to build your dog's confidence, how to use games to teach your dog, how to improve your observation skills (so you can be a better teacher for your dog).
In addition to the education (which is tops!), we're also having fun getting reacquainted with one another, making new friends, and socializing.
As you might expect, when drifting through the crowd, the conversations revolve around dogs. And business. And occasionally some current events happening in the world - especially if dogs are involved, like the natural disasters in Japan.
It's a great escape from the real world for a few days, a chance to immerse myself into the science of dog training and behavior, and meet new friends!