Join us this summer…

Your PORTL to Shaping

Discover how to take your training skills to the next level

Three individuals, deep in conversation, during a PORTL game at a shaping workshop in Germany

Join Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and Mary Hunter for two intensive days of lectures and hands-on exercises using PORTL.

2019 seminar dates:

August 17-18, 2019: Your PORTL to Shaping
Hurst Conference Center, Hurst, Texas
(near the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport)

September 28-29 2019: Your PORTL to Shaping
San Diego, California.
Please note, the California seminar will be hosted by Emily Larlham. Please visit her website for more information and to register.

These seminars 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 seminar will be limited to 30 attendees to allow ample time for discussion and questions and so that participants can receive individual coaching during the shaping exercises.


Your PORTL to shaping

August 17-18, 2019

Hurst Conference Center, Hurst, Texas

(near the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport)

This is a foundation seminar for participants who have not attended a previous PORTL workshop. We will spend the weekend talking all about shaping. You will get to experience a variety of PORTL shaping exercises as both a teacher and as a learner.

Saturday – 9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Saturday morning


Lecture: Shaping: Principles and techniques

Exercises: PORTL foundations

Saturday afternoon

Lecture: Shaping behavior

Lecture: Resurgence: What it is and how to use it

Exercises: Capturing and shaping behavior

Sunday – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Sunday morning

Lecture: The constructional approach to behavior change

Exercises: Criteria

Sunday afternoon

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 the August 2019 “Your PORTL to Shaping” seminar is $300.

Visit this page to register

Your registration fee includes the two-day seminar, seminar materials and handouts, and lunch on Saturday and on Sunday. Coffee will also be provided in the mornings.

CEU information: CEUs will be available for the following organizations:

CCPDT: 11.5 CEUS for trainers and behavior consultants
IATCB: 11.5 CEUs
KPA: 14.5 CEUS

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.


Seminar Location

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.

Hotel information

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.

Airport Information

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 will be available 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. So, please leave your dogs (and other 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.”