Over The Top - A Workshop Dedicated to Our High Arousal Dogs

Over The Top - A Workshop Dedicated to Our High Arousal Dogs

Instructor: Leslie McDevitt & 5 Other Control Unleashed Speakers
Course Type: On-Demand Workshop

This item is not eligible for storewide discounts


This 2-day workshop was held at Quicksilver Canine in North Carolina on May 27 and 28 and it livestreamed as well. The workshop was designed to teach you how to help your dogs modulate their arousal level to find the perfect balance of excited and relaxed that they need to succeed in sport and life. All of the skills learned, some presented in sport contexts and some presented generally, will bring you on a deep dive to understand how to support your Over the Top dog in whatever context you need.

You'll learn about the neuroscience behind arousal regulation from Dr. Sophie Liu and Lindsay Wood Brown and then dive into practical ways to teach it with Leslie McDevitt, Hannah Branigan, Julie Daniels, and Adam Skandarani. Leslie lays a foundation from the most up-to-date and newest Control Unleashed exercises. Hannah and Julie do their magic and share how they work with Over the Top dogs to help get them regulated and comfortable whether they need support at an obedience or agility trial or just need support in their own skin. Adam shares how they work with dogs who need arousal regulation support entering the ring and preparing to compete in any sport.

Over 12.5 hours of lecture and working sessions!

  • CCPDT CEUs: 16.5 CEUs for trainers and 1.5 CEUs for behavior consultants
  • IAABC: 18
  • KPA CEUs: 16.5

Session Topics

Leslie McDevitt: Please Chill Out About All the Things

Leslie covers three important Control Unleashed games - Down for the Count, LATTE, and Give Me a Break - and then explains what to do once your dog is fluent in each game. How do you integrate the environment into the game, how do you make adjustments to customize the game for your specific criteria, and how do you generalize the game. She focuses on three important concepts: agency, decompression, and cue transfer.

After her presentation, Leslie and the other instructors work with dogs doing the games.

Lindsay Wood Brown: Spit or Swallow? Going Deep on Food Eating Behavior

Why is food eating behavior so important?

If you need to shift arousal, you need to get a different topography of behavior. You can do that by teaching the essential skill of eating. Once you have that skill, you can do anything.

Of course, over the top dogs are the ones that tend to ignore food or spit it out. So Lindsay takes a deep dive into how to condition food as a new reinforcer and assess progress along the way.

Julie Daniels: One Foot in Front of the Other - Movement Patterns to Help Over the Top Dogs

Movement is important. It wakes up the central nervous system, pushes oxygen into brain cells, and causes the release of beneficial neurotranmitters, including dopamine and serotonin which decrease anxiety and depression in dogs and humans. This makes movement key in decreasing arousal in your over the top dog.

So how do you add movement to help your dog when you're in a very stimulating environment like an agility trial? Julie looks at a number of pattern games to help you.

In the working session that follows her presentation, Julie discusses how she trains 1-2-3 and then she and Adam help dogs with the Chair Game and Super Bowls.

Adam Skandarani: Calm the F*%k Down, Already: Crazy Calm Start Lines

Adam discusses general rules for managing your dog's arousal, managing our own arousal, the Take a Breath exercise, changing from passive attention to active attention at a trial, and "Do you even have a brain?!" tests. They also discuss their own nose work routine from getting out of the car at a test to what to do after the search.

In the working session following their presentation, the focus is on Take a Breath and Do Even Have a Brain tests.

Dr. Sophie Liu: Over the Top! And into the Neurons...

What do we mean when we talk about arousal and arousal regulation in dog training? We're really talking about emotional arousal, which is a key part of your dog's temperament. Emotional arousal indicates your dog's sympathetic nervous system has a link to their stress reactivity; how they perceive stress and how they respond, and the intimate connection with their physiological state. Sophie explores emotional arousal and it's relationship to behavior in training as well as explaining the biological and neurological point of view of what happens when your dog is stressed. The end goal in our training is to have an optimal state of arousal with focus and motivation.

Hannah Branigan: Shaping and Arousal - Fast, But Not So Furious

We want many of the things that come with arousal - speed, full range of motion, focus, intensity, enthusiasm, etc. But, we don't want everything; for example, we don't want screaming, spinning, biting at clothes, crashing jumps, loss of accuracy, etc.

What strategies can we use to keep the good parts of arousal but minimize or eliminate the bad parts?

What is included with your purchase?

  • Access to all course materials on both mobile devices and your computer
  • Downloadable content for off-line access when you're out training
  • No expiring content—you can go back any time to read and watch lessons. There is no time limit.

How to complete registration after payment

After you complete your purchase using your credit card or PayPal, you will receive 2 email confirmations: the first is a receipt acknowledging that your order has been received and the second email contains a link for the Conference Unleashed classroom in the Clean Run Learning Center. Click on the link in the email to complete your registration for the conference. If you already have a Learning Center account, you will go directly to the classroom. If you do not, then you will enter your email address and a password to use for this Learning Center program and any future ones you purchase. Please be aware that this is a separate account you are establishing on https://cleanrunonline.com/home, and it is not the same as your Clean Run website account (although you can use the same email and password for both accounts). 

Cancellation Policy

Please be aware that there are no refunds for on-demand/self-study courses, on-demand lessons, or webinars.

We suggest that you read the information provided carefully before making your purchase. If you have any questions about whether the content is right for you, please email us.