“Change something today and make tomorrow better…” – Simon Prins

NEWS

Workshop in Germany

In June I had the honor to work together with the instructors from the Tierakademie in Germany (www.tierakademie.de). Michaela, Viviane and Lisa are doing such a great job in Germany. They are offering a high level of k9 education. Helping trainers to become TOP trainers, sharing information and having so much fun together. This time we held our workshop in a nice place where 7 dog teams could work on the same moment, coached by other participants in the role of human coach or canine coach. We switched roles so everybody could learn. The dog teams were performing different tasks as conditioning towards a laser cue, scent discrimination test, match to sample objects, verbal cue performances, obedience tasks, scent line ups and much more. Besides zooming in on the most effective and efficient way to train animals we also did a lot of ‘human work’.  In a challenging keynote and group discussion we looked into the world of human coaching. Why do you sometimes feel resistance when you coach handlers or trainers? How can we motivate other people? What is our truth? We talked about programming, believes, triggers, paradigms and previous experiences. After all we are motivated by two big topics in life, and those are pain or pleasure. If we can handle these motivators, if we find our path in life it all boils down to communication and better understanding of each other. This all brings us back to the words of my guru Bob Bailey who is telling us; ‘Animal training is simple but not easy’.

Animal training with Bob Bailey

It’s only one month ago since I returned from an amazing animal behavior and training conference. This was held in Hot Springs Arkansas USA. It was 22 years ago when I arrived for the first time in Hot Springs to meet Bob and Marian Bailey. We trained with chickens in their living room, they taught me to understand and use operant conditioning. And this first encounter evolved in a close friendship.
Just before Marian passed away I promised I would spread the word about the amazing work they did. I would do anything within my power to create a ripple in the K9 world. Empowering other trainers and improve training techniques to get better, faster and stronger behavior. To work more efficiently and effectively. To redefine the meaning and concept of ‘punishment’  and highlight the power of positive reinforcement. Because any trainer, can get any kind of behavior, in any circumstances if he is given enough time. I’m never accepting good enough, because we can do so much more.
This conference was amazing. I was honored to share the stage with other amazing speakers like Susan Garrett, Viviana Theby, Margaret Simek, Shelly Wood  and of course my guru Bob Bailey. This conference ‘Bob Bailey and friends’ was by far the best I ever experienced. It was also a moment in history when Bob Bailey officially announced to step back as a active coach, surrounded by his friends in the famous orca shirts. For me a week full revelations and setting new goals.
Starting my own business ACT! in 2018 was exciting and challenging. In just one year ACT! expended enormously and is active over the globe in many different countries. Teaching animal trainers the basics of operant conditioning, evaluating training programs, helping setting up data systems to be more effective and efficient. And designing, together with local trainers, the best possible protocols for their work. ACT! is creating a big shift in the dog training industry with a heavy emphasis on human empowerment, education, and, of course, animal training. We are already scheduling workshops for the year 2020! Please follow us on our FB page or website to stay up to date on our events and happenings. For all of you, do what you love the most and keep growing by stepping out of your comfort zone!

Nosework workshop Finland

In Finland we worked with ‘Trust The Nose’, an amazing enthusiastic group. Thank you Karita Häkkinen for organizing this workshop. We were able to pull students and their dogs out of their comfort zones and teach them new lessons. As soon trainers understand that making mistakes is beautiful because this will make you grow, the learning curve went straight up! New goals were achieved, group efforts were made and successfully run. And trainers walked away feeling more empowered. Keep up the good work in Finland and enjoy training!

Nosework workshop in Denmark

In April we worked with the fabulous group of Merete Stenaae and Johanna Allanach and their friends. We had an amazing time with lots of fun and revelations. All dogs and their lovely trainers learned new things, discovered new tactics. We will see each other back in Augusts 2019 during the summer camp!

Wildlife detection dog workshop

In January 2019 I had the honor of working with members for the Wildlife Detection Dogs in beautiful Switzerland. It was an amazing workshop. Not only did we get to connect with other wildlife detection trainers, but also the superior work they do with their dogs. All of the dogs present were already solidly imprinted on their specific target scents such as: lizards, bats, bed bugs, mushrooms, river otters, and more. Aside from this, there were also dogs used for blood search.

My compliments to all those who participated. Together, we created a safe learning environment where people felt comfortable sharing information and making mistakes. We used line ups, scentwheels, and other tools for basic exercises that helped sharpen the skill sets of both dogs and their human handlers. We also did a lot of side practical searches, effective problem solving, and learning how to develop efficient working protocols. All of this and, of course, how to collect and analyze data.

I’m proud to say everyone walked away more equipped, more patient, and also with a different viewpoint on mistakes.

I send my thanks to everyone for their active participation and wish them the best as they go out with their amazing dogs to get a better understanding of the wildlife all around us and also protect endangered species. A special thank you to Jelena and Denise (Wildlife Detection Dogs e.V.) organizing this event at such a beautiful and practical training site!

IMPACT 2018

Thank you Dave Hibbert to give me the opportunity to speak at IMPACT 2018. Sharing my topics as ‘How to improve your detection work’ and ‘Using technology in animal training’ planted seeds in the minds of talented animal trainers in the audience. Also focussing on the ‘State of Mind’ work done by Kimberly Artley (packfit.net) is a game changer in the modern animal training industry. Glad to see friends like Tobias Gustavsson presenting about tracking. And meeting other great speakers. Seminars like IMPACT 2018 will have a huge influence in the dog training world. Because people are sharing ideas and experiences with a common goal. Trying to understand how we can train our animals better so we can make the world a bit safer! Thanks to all participants for your energetic feedback.

The magical kong in K9 Cops magazine

The Magical KONG

Magical Kongs

Its not a magical Kong or magical whistle thats being used as a bridge signal that will make the difference between good en bad training. Its about the timing, skillsets and criteria that the trainer will bring into the training. Read the article about: Magical Kongs

Work double blind with detection dogs!

It’s important that trainers and handlers understand the difference between false negative and false positive alerts, as we’re always influencing our dogs in multiple ways. Read the article about: K9 detection teams need to train double blind

Don’t ban training tools. Ban bad trainers!

There is a discussion going on which training tools we need to blacklist. Im convinced that forbidding the use of e-collars or prong collars will not stop the punishment training. We need to start discussing training methods and educate our trainers and handlers. Read the article about: Don’t ban training tools. Ban bad trainers!

Animal Training Documentary

In december 2017 Bob Bailey and Simon Prins were invited to visit Houston USA. They were interviewed about their work. Working together for 20 years means a lot of interesting stories. This documentary will give a insight in their amazing training concepts.

K-9 Cop Magazine

Simon’s an active contributor to K-9 Cop Magazine, a popular and highly regarded USA based magazine

K-9 Cop magazine april/may 2017

“De Jager”, Dutch magazine

Simon’s an active contributor to “De Jager”, a Dutch Magazine (apologies, this interview is written in Dutch).

Wat kunnen voorjagers leren van Simon Prins

Interview with Sophia Yin
(The Bark)

To remember my good friend Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, (September 28, 2014)  I will place the interview I did with her and Bob Bailey. Sophia was an applied animal behaviorist. A long-time The Bark contributing editor, she was also the author of two behavior books.

Remembering Dr. Sophia Yin

Magazine Our Dog

Read the articles from the Dutch magazine Our Dog, written by Simon Prins. (all in Dutch, sorry about that)

  1. January 2017 Efficiënt trainen
  2. February 2017 Training
  3. April 2017 Aanpassen
  4. June 2017 Aai honden