Let's Make Some Noise!: Techniques to Build Your Dog's Confidence

Learn how to increase your dog’s confidence and his ability to function in all kinds of situations that involve noise and movement.

Our dogs are subjected to a great many things that make noise and/or move. When your dog comes to understand these factors as good news, rather than as scary or distracting, your dog’s life becomes less stressful—and tremendous learning opportunities open for both of you. When noise and movement are welcome, even initiated, your dog has the foundation for skills that are crucial in competition training. You enable your dog to perform at his peak by offering the chance to learn these skills.

Eva and Emelie are top agility instructors in Scandinavia and the authors of the important new book Agility Right from the Start. They developed this training approach to noise and movement for the agility dog that needs to happily take on loud noises and different movements in his environment while training and competing, or while negotiating various obstacles. But this training is invaluable to all dogs—competition dogs and pets alike. Being able to not just tolerate but enjoy, and to some extent control, noise and movement is a life skill all dogs in today’s society should have. This topic is one of Karen Pryor’s favorite sections of Agility Right from the Start.

In this Session, Eva and Emelie will demonstrate, among other things, how to teach your dog to like noise and movement, how to teach your dog that he can create noise and movement on his own, and how to teach your dog to work for noise and movement! This Session is also an excellent opportunity for trainers to see great examples of the transition from classical to operant conditioning.

Come join Eva and Emelie and experience joyful noise.

Eva Bertilsson | Emelie Johnson Vegh

Eva Bertilsson has a master’s degree in behavior analysis and a passion for all things related to behavior, learning, and animal welfare. Always fascinated by the processes of learning and teaching, she grew up with horses, rabbits, and other animals and ventured into dog training in the early 1990s. For many years Eva spent most of her time training and competing in agility, obedience, and other dog sports. Nowadays she focuses mostly on helping others, working as an educator in a wide variety of settings—from puppy classes at the local dog club to husbandry training in zoological settings to seminars for teachers on the science of behavior.

Eva has also been directing a Swedish regional government project aimed at improving behavior management practices in the animal-care industry, with missions ranging from teaching positive reinforcement training to high school students and their teachers, to building a Fear Free veterinary care community in Scandinavia.

Eva lives in the village Ljungskile, on the west coast of Sweden and north of Gothenburg, but spends much of her time traveling. Border collie Tizla makes sure Eva’s free time is filled with outdoor activities and enriching training projects.

Emelie Johnson Vegh began training dogs as a teenager, after many years of involvement with horses. Her first dog was a mixed breed that competed successfully in both agility and obedience. Emelie's first Border terrier came into her life in 1994; all together she has had three terriers. The Border terriers have been involved in agility primarily, but also in some freestyle and ground work.

Emelie lives in the very south of Sweden, in the country's third largest city, Malmö. She shares her life with her husband, two sons, a daughter, and Kelpie, Scout. In addition to dog sports, she enjoys training in general, and is very interested in sports psychology, running, multisport, and yoga. Emelie is also an author of fiction novels.

Together with business partner Emelie Johnson Vegh, Eva runs their collaboration Carpe Momentum. Eva and Emelie's goal is to help people acquire knowledge and skills in science-based, modern, humane, and empowering teaching strategies for the benefit of learners of all species. They teach seminars on the general principles of behavior and learning, and coach trainers in the art of structuring great training sessions regardless of the venue or the species.

“E&E” are the first TAGteach faculty members in Europe, offering consultations and workshops about applying positive reinforcement techniques with human learners in all imaginable areas. The colleagues’ first book, Agility Right from the Start, was published by Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) in 2010. The book outlines Emelie and Eva’s philosophy and structured approach to training, making it a worthy read not just for agility enthusiasts.