Simon is a speaker, author, innovator, animal trainer and behaviourist, and is currently working with the Netherlands Police Agency. He started working with hunting dogs in 1989. When he joined the police force he became one of the youngest patrol dog handlers and worked with these dogs for several years. He became an avid student of animal behaviour, which led him to work with some of the most knowledgeable and influential animal behaviourists in the world. In 1996, Simon embarked on a new, highly specialised and innovative police project, working with radio guided camera dogs was one of the many topics of this program. It was during this time, through a focus on positive reinforcement, creating safe and supportive learning environments, and setting up efficient data tracking systems, he reached new heights in training.
In the years that followed, he started programs such as hard surface tracking, laser guided attack dogs, detection dogs for special operations and trained many different detection dogs and their handlers. In 2002 he selected and trained the 16 dogs and handlers to start USAR, focused on search and rescue operations. In all of these fields, he worked dogs in these operations. In 2006 he started to create combinations of dogs and electronics, radio directional canines equipped with sensors and carrying small robots into operations.
Clear communication and finely defined criteria, to achieve a high rate of reinforcement, shifted unwanted behaviour into wanted behaviour, for both humans and animals. Training animals to perform in high risk operations led to a whole new shade of animal training through the development of protocols, training materials, and specialised equipment. All of this made it possible to train and deploy animals beyond the known limits. During these years Simon wrote many training protocols and developed innovative training apparatus. He is convinced that following protocols, collecting data and educating trainers is the key of the success. But the most important issue is taking out the traditional punishment training methods and replacing this with operant conditioning techniques.
The plan for the workshop is a mixture of theoretical and practical lessons. It will be a dynamic workshop with a rotation of one-hour keynotes and 1.5-hour hands on training. In this way attendees will be able to process the information and also work with dogs (while Simon coaches). There will be 10 working spots (dogs with their handler). There will also be opportunity for auditors (observers without dogs). Scent work, building training plans (protocols) and coaching handlers are all topics of interest to Simon and he loves to work with them. He is an engaging speaker, so everyone will be in for a fun and informative few days.
This is a workshop not to be missed as Simon comes from a real-life training background filled with innovation and success. Even if you don’t intend progressing with scent work, the information on creating protocols (training plans), implementing those protocols and data analysis (review) will be invaluable.
- Saturday 5 September to Monday 7 September 2020 – 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
- The organisers and/or instructor may nominate which dogs will work the session or exercise.
- Handlers working a dog may arrange for workshop co-participants to video sessions when they are working their dog (for their personal use only) but may not video other dogs or Simon lecturing. It is not appropriate for multiple dogs to be recorded on the same video recorder. Please note you may be asked to leave if you do not comply with this request.
- Qld – To be advised
Camping/Accommodation: Is not available at the Workshop Venue.
Food/Drinks: Water, tea and coffee available. All else, including lunches, BYO
Handlers with Dogs
- Handlers with Dogs will be limited.
- Whilst order of receipt of nominations will be taken into account, working places will not necessarily be allocated on a first come-first served basis.
- Those requesting Handler with Dog positions will need to submit payment in full for an Auditing spot. Once a request for Handler with Dog spot is accepted, balance of payment will be required within 48 hours. Payments can be made via direct deposit (preferred) or Paypal.
- No prerequisites for working spots, all levels welcome.
Auditors (observers without dog)
- For the benefit of those attending, the number of Auditors may be limited.
- In order to secure your place, payment in full will be required within 48 hours of your registration being accepted. Payments can be made via direct deposit (preferred) or Paypal.
- Audit spots will also offer a great deal of information and the ability to witness the fast change of behaviour of the human-canine combinations at work.
Dogs at the Workshops
- Please note that dogs may not, at any time, be left tied up. Dogs may be on-lead with their handler, or will be required (preferably) to be crated (or penned/suitably confined), when they are not working.
- Unless you have received specific permission to do so, additional dog(s) that have not been registered to work the sessions, may not be brought to the workshops.
- In the interests of all present, dogs that continually bark will need to be removed from the premises.
- These requirements will be enforced.
- Handler with Dog – $700-00 for the full 3-day workshop 5-7 September (maximum 10 dogs)
- Auditors (observers without dog)
- Saturday 5 September only – $150-00
- Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 September – $275-00
- Saturday 5, Sunday 6 & Monday 7 September – $400-00
- Please refer to our Terms and Conditions of Entry/Participation
To obtain further information contact Cathy Slot on 0448 815 135 or by email