Your PORTL to Shaping
Discover how to take your training skills to the next level
These workshops will allow you to practice your shaping skills with another human as the learner. You will also get to play the role of the learner, which will give you more insight into how people and animals learn. Throughout the weekend, you’ll learn about behavior principles and techniques that will help you create optimal learning situations when working with both animals and people. You’ll also learn foundation skills that will help you problem solve and think more creatively when designing training solutions.
Each workshop will be limited to a small group of attendees to allow ample time for discussion and questions and so that participants can receive individual coaching during the shaping exercises.
To learn more about PORTL, please visit the Behavior Explorer website.
2022 workshop dates: August 6-7, 2022
Your PORTL to Shaping
Hurst Conference Center, Hurst, Texas
(Near the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport)
ASAT generally hosts 1-2 PORTL workshops per year. These events are held during the summer months in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
For a complete list of PORTL workshops in other parts of the United States and around the world, please visit the Events page on the Behavior Explorer website.
Your PORTL to shaping
August 6-7, 2022
Hurst Conference Center, Hurst, Texas
(near the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport)
We’ll spend two days discussing how to shape behaviors. You will get to experience a variety of PORTL shaping exercises as both a teacher and as a learner. Lectures and video examples will be used to illustrate key concepts.
Saturday – 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Lecture: Shaping principles and techniques
Exercises: PORTL foundations
Lecture: Shaping behavior
Exercises: Capturing and shaping behavior
Sunday – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Lecture: The constructional approach to behavior change
Lecture: Are errors necessary for learning?
Exercises: Putting it all together: Advanced shaping challenges
Q&A with Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and Mary Hunter
Registration for this workshop is $300.
Your registration fee includes the two-day workshop, your very own PORTL kit to take home with you, additional materials and handouts, and lunch on Saturday and on Sunday. Coffee will also be provided in the mornings.
If you would like to purchase a copy of the PORTL manual, you can purchase a discounted copy for $18 when you register for the workshop.
CEU information: CEUs are pending. In the past, we have been able to offer CEUs for CCPDT, IATCB, IAACB, and KPA.
If you require CEUs for a different organization, please contact us.
Refund policy: A refund can be given if it is requested 30 days before the start of the seminar. Refunds will be issued for your full registration fee, less a $50.00 processing fee. No refunds will be issued after this date. All refunds must be requested in writing. Please contact us for more information.
Corona virus policy: We anticipate holding an awesome event in summer 2022! We will follow CDC guidelines for masking, social distancing, etc. to ensure a safe event. Please be aware that the situation with the corona virus is continually evolving. We reserve the right to cancel the workshop if conditions during summer 2022 make it not feasible to have an in-person event. If the event is cancelled due to the corona virus, you will receive a 100% refund for your registration.
Hurst Conference Center: 1601 Campus Dr, Hurst, TX 76054
The Conference Center is located near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and is approximately 30 minutes from Dallas and 15 minutes from Fort Worth. It offers free parking in a covered garage. More information and directions can be found on the Hurst Conference Center website.
We suggest staying at the Hurst Hilton Garden Inn, which is connected to the conference center. The hotel offers free wi-fi and also has a free shuttle to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Dallas has two large airports, the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and the Love Field Airport.
Frequently Asked Questions
I finished my registration, but didn’t get a confirmation e-mail. Am I registered?
First, please check your spam folder. However, if you did not receive a confirmation email, your registration might not have gone through. Please contact us and we can check your registration status.
Will CEUs be available?
CEUs are pending. In past years, we have offered CEUs for CCPDT, KPA, IATCB, and IAABC.
Can I bring my dog?
The seminar will consist of lectures, hands-on activities with other humans, and discussions. There will not be opportunities for demonstrations with dogs or other pets. So, please leave your pets at home!
Please note that the conference facility does not allow dogs or other pets inside the building, except for working service animals.
Dr. Rosales-Ruiz and Mary Hunter have given PORTL workshops to audiences of both professional animal trainers and behavior analysts throughout the United States and in Europe. Attendees find PORTL to be both educational and enlightening and are eager to continuing using it after the seminar as a tool to gain insight into learning and behavior. Here are some comments from previous workshop and seminar attendees:
“I LOVED the PORTL workshop. So many useful lessons to help us think carefully about our training and gain empathy for our learners!”
“I am going to have all my trainers practice this game with each other.”
“PORTL was a huge ‘ah ha!’ moment for me as I experienced being the learner. It really highlighted some critical concepts that the teacher must consider, especially in lesson planning.”
“PORTL really helps you to understand things from your dog’s viewpoint.”
“Dog trainers tend to forget that our primary job is to teach the dog owners how to train their dogs, not for us to train their dogs. PORTL helps us understand how to teach owners step-by-step.”
“PORTL – wow! I learned so much from one simple exercise. I finally understand resurgence from seeing it happen.”