Creating Desirable Behavior Around Distractions

  • Overview

  • Required

  • Schedule

  • Prerequisites

  • CEUs & Pricing

  • About Your Instructor

Course Begins: February 12, 2024

Duration: 4 weeks

Instructor: Michele Pouliot

Course type: Instructed Course

Full Students have instructor support in the class Forum to ask any questions you have during the course.

Auditors have access to course material only.


Michele demonstrates and explains how to train reliable behaviors around surprises, temptations, and all those daily events that present challenges for dogs. Trainers working with companion and sports dogs, as well as guide dogs, will benefit from this!


This course will help you:

  • Identify what environmental cues trigger undesirable behaviors in each individual dog
  • Create an effective training plan, teaching the dog to choose desirable behavior without human prompting in mild, and even highly distracting situations
  • Successfully manage challenging situations for both dog and handler

To receive CEUs and/or a certificate of achievement, students must:

  • Review the recorded lectures
  • Successfully complete the course quizzes

This is a 4-week course with instructor support. Each week includes a recorded lecture and quiz.

Students will have access to the course material for 1 year from the date of their most recent IAABC Foundation purchase.

Week 1 - Introduction

Week 2 - Preparing to Train

Week 3 - Stationary Offering of Desirable Behavior

Week 4 - Desired Behavior in Motion & Maintenance

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Full Student:


Cost: $285



Cost: $175 **

Cancellation Policy: We will refund 90% up to 30 days pre-event. A 50% refund will be available up to 15 days pre-event. After these deadlines, no refunds will be issued.

Instructor: Michele Pouliot

Michele Pouliot has professionally worked with dogs and horses since the early 1970s, beginning her animal-training career through her love of horses. Michele studied horsemanship under Linda Tellington-Jones and graduated at the school’s highest riding instructor level. When Michele took a position at an equestrian center in North Dakota she acquired her first dog, a Labrador. One of her riding students was a local dog trainer who coached Michele in training her puppy. Michele quickly became hooked on dog training which altered her career path focus and led to her interest in training guide dogs for the blind. Michele continues to have horses as a hobby and a life love.


In 1974, Michele joined Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), the largest guide dog school in North America. In addition to personally training over 350 guide dog teams over her 42-year career, Michele steered the organization away from historical punishment-based techniques to positive reinforcement methods.


Since 2001, Michele led her school, and dozens of guide dog programs around the world, in the adoption of clicker training for all aspects of guide dog work. Michele is known worldwide as a pioneer in the guide dog industry. In 2016, the International Guide Dog Federation presented her with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for her innovation, creative development, and international service to blind clients and guide dog programs.


Since retiring from her guide dog career, Michele continues to teach and consult for guide and service dog organizations, in addition to teaching training for dog sports. She was invited by Karen Pryor to join her faculty for Clicker Expo Conferences in 2007. Michele considers Clicker Expos to be highlights of each year, as she learns as much from her faculty associates as she provides to others. She presents regularly at USA and European Clicker Expos.


Michele has been very successful in a variety of canine dog sports since 1972. Michele was active in competition obedience for 20+ years, gaining four OTCH titles (Obedience Trial Championships) with her personal dogs. She has also competed in tracking and agility. In 2005, Michele discovered a new sport, Canine Musical Freestyle, and fell in love with this creative hobby. She quickly became a leader in the sport, earning multiple Championship titles with her Australian shepherds and English Springer Spaniels in addition to winning national and international competitions. Michele and her Australian Shepherd, Listo, made canine freestyle history under the World Canine Freestyle Organization as the first team to ever receive perfect scores in both Artistic and Technical categories. They repeated this incredible achievement a total of 24 times under different judges.


Often referred to as a “Trainers’ trainer”, Michele is known as an extremely clear, down to earth, enthusiastic teacher who demonstrates her love for animals and people every time she speaks. Although enjoying spending more time at home through retirement, Michele continues to passionately teach across the globe on positive reinforcement training.