The Power of Pattern: Counter Conditioning Games with an Operant Twist

Learn the power of Pattern Games, a set of exercises designed specifically to empower dogs to initiate their own counter-conditioning procedure. Pattern Games combine the power of operant conditioning with counter-conditioning.

Why patterns? Dogs learn best within a clear and comfortable rule structure that involves a flow of feedback between learner and trainer. Patterns offer dogs this structure, or system of rules, they can operate while feeling safe. From the safety of patterns, dogs learn to function well and feel relaxed around things they worry about. Patterns are also easy for both dogs and trainers to learn, and allow for creativity, as any short, repetitive behavior chain can be transformed into a new pattern game. Your dog can make up his own!

Leslie McDevitt

Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CDBC, CPDT-KA, is a dog behavior consultant, author, and speaker. She specializes in teaching counter-conditioning and biofeedback techniques to empower working, performance, and pet dogs to feel safe and comfortable so they can function confidently in stressful environments. Leslie has taught the material from her seminal book Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog to people and dogs all around the world. She is also the author of Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program and her soon-to-be-released third book, Reactive to Relaxed: What's Next in Control Unleashed. Most recently, Leslie has been consulting at the University of Pennsylvania's Working Dog Center, teaching a bunch of super-high energy Dutch shepherds to relax and focus so that they can do their patrol and scent-detection training without getting excited or distracted by the various environments they must work in. Since the publication of the original Control Unleashed (CU) book, Leslie has had a lot of time to update, revise, and add new games to the CU program and looks forward to sharing them at Clicker Expo!