I am breaking the number one rule of marketing. I am selling what I think trainers need, and not necessarily what they want. I am only selling certification camps right now, and not shorter seminars, where people can get an intriguing look at some dynamite tools.
Because I try to always deal with others with integrity. I do not always maintain the standards I aspire to, but I sincerely try. I truly believe that it is in the best interests of trainers, owners, and dogs that people get certified in these techniques. I would rather have fewer trainers using these techniques, but have them be competent. That is because otherwise, the trainer’s money is wasted, except they were entertained, and I have not helped any dogs. Trainers exist to help dogs. Let’s get to it.
We currently have many trainers certified in these techniques, and they are changing the lives of people and dogs wherever they touch them.
I once did things differently. Before the internet was in every home, people could not see these techniques and learn enough about them to make a choice to become proficient, without seeing them in action, in person.
So, I did 2 day seminars. I saw almost every dog improve dramatically, but I saw that the people were not able to process all that they had done. They were confused, even as they were successful with their dogs. After a very successful session with a dog ‘on the way out’, one trainer said that I had ‘stressed’ her dog. So, concerned, I whipped out the video tapes of her session, and with another trainer present, we watched. The dog was happy! The dog was happy, relaxed and successful. The owning trainer blurted out – “You stressed me! I am not used to training going so quickly and I cannot keep up.”
Ahhh!!! That is a different problem. So, I went back to school and attained a Masters of Science in Education. I learned that no matter how perfectly information is presented, a person can only take in a very small percentage of information presented in even a short, 20 minute session! We often hear a trainer say, “My take away was….”
Wait a minute! You just spent 4-5 days travelling and learning and you have ONE new piece of information to use? I would want my money back.
But, how can this be changed? A person cannot easily change the way their mind works. How can we make sure that a trainer really gets the value out of a presentation AND is ready to help dogs, using these tools? Through experimentation and feedback, I learned that people need about 5 days to start to feel comfortable with the things they are able to do in three days (but don’t quite consciously understand in that time). Of those 5 days, some are spent in intense study and learning, some time is spent in exploring where these tools lead, and some is spent in getting comfortable transitioning these tools right into their already successful businesses. But there was still a problem. The problem was stress.
The people in the classes often felt a lot of stress on their journeys to attain useful proficiency in the tools they were paying good money to learn. It appears that people are generally curious and they are often distracted from learning about a particular thing until their curiosity about various aspects of that thing are satisfied.
So, I mentioned that with guidance, trainers were very successfully turning dogs around in three days. But, those trainers generally did not see their own success. They were tired, confused and disoriented. They did not understand how they could be so successful using tools they did not understand or find intuitive to use.
With more background information, this problem started to disappear. I started by sending large sets of notes to people coming to a seminar. People were more comfortable and did better. The notes evolved into online classes. It soon became clear that those people who really engaged in the online learning before the class, did significantly better in the certification camp, and they were much less stressed, and they had more fun, AND they could spend that valuable time when we were together to focus on the things that can only be worked on in person – the physical skills and applications.
This is why every camp has a prerequisite class which is scheduled at least ten weeks before the camp. I am dedicated to your success, and in good conscious, I do not want to sell you a product that you will not be able to use. You pay me to provide information on some incredibly powerful tools, but you also are paying me to use my extensive education in learning, to ensure that your money gives you the greatest value possible.
I think it is nice to go to a seminar to watch interesting things and hang out with friends and colleagues, and even have some good food out. But I don’t think it is very strategic. When I go to learn how to do something, I don’t want to return with a fuzzy feel good – I want to understand, and be able to use, the tools I paid to learn about. I found that when I did give two day seminars, I had many, many returning clients, but very few trainers out there actually helping dogs with these incredible tools. With the advent of the certification camp, that changed.
The SATS System
SATS is short for “Syn Alia Training Systems”. Here it is in a nutshell: to prepare animals for successful lives with humans, we have 2 major challenges.
First, they need to understand how to manage their emotions and cope with stress. This is important for their heath, the safety of others, their ability to live in a human home successfully, and their readiness to learn and perform.
The skills of coping with stress and managing emotions is the subject of “Perception Modification.
Once the animals gain critical skills in coping with stress and managing their emotions, they are ready to really learn about life in general, and their jobs in particular. This is the domain of “Bridge and Target” training.
In Bridge and Target, we develop our ability to efficiently and effectively communicate ideas to animals, and then to label these things, and use the labels to communicate with the animals about things that will happen. It is mind blowing and it works!
So those are the two certifications: ‘Perception Modification’ and ‘Bridge and Target’.
Perception Modification comes first, and prepares the animal to learn and the trainer to teach.
Then comes Bridge and Target, and training can be elevated to conversation. For anyone teaching complex tasks like search and recovery, service dog work, guiding, or detection, Bridge and Target is a game changer.
If you want to learn these materials, please start with Perception Modification class. Then you can go into either/both Perception Modification certification, and/or Bridge and Target class.
Soon, I will be offering a new seminar. This will not be aimed at certification. It will be a short, fun seminar. It is about animal training – how to teach any animal, anything. How to get them started safely and successfully. Please say tuned.
Introduction to SATS and currently scheduled classes and camps
If you are looking for more information on SATS, here is a link to 2 sets of slides. The first is an introduction to SATS – with videos of cases. The second is information on the classes and camps available this year: https://synalia.com/launch