TAGteacher Spotlight: Emelie Johnson Vegh and Eva Bertilsson

evaemelie1Swedes Emelie Johnson Vegh and Eva Bertilsson are Certified Level 3 TAGteachers, authors of the book Agility Right from the Start and work together under the name Carpe Momentum. Emelie studied to be a high school teacher in English and Swedish, and Eva has a degree in education and psychology – but after getting together to work within Carpe Momentum, giving classes, hosting seminars, writing articles and the recently published book Agility Right from the Start, neither has time to pursue a more traditional career in their field.

Emelie and Eva came into contact with clicker training at roughly the same time (around 1997), but before knowing each other. They met while competing in agility one hot summer, and found that they both shared a great passion for training and discussing training. After having begun teaching together, they noticed that clicker training made them good animal trainers – in their classes everything was split into small pieces for the dogs and the rate of reinforcement was kept high. But for the human part of the team? As instructors they felt that they wanted to share everything and give all the tools they could to their students, but just cramming their heads full didn’t feel right. How was that setting anybody up for success? Eva spent some time searching the Web, looking for ideas. She came across TAGteach and promptly wrote an email to Theresa McKeon and Beth Wheeler, and that is how the first Primary Certification Seminar came to be hosted in Dingle, Sweden, in 2004.

Since then, Emelie and Eva have worked their way to a Level 3, now educating and certifying others in TAGteach in Scandinavia. They’ve written a few articles in Swedish on the subject and in their book Agility Right from the Start, there is a passage briefly introducing TAGteach and many of the exercises come with suggestions of TAG points for the trainer/handler.


We highly recommend this book! It is not just agility done right it is TAGteach done right as well! Click here to find out more or buy the book

 Parenting Webinar with Emelie

TAGteach Tip: Ask for One Thing (Understand Multitasking)

You know when you really want someone to learn to do something? And you really want them to do a bunch of other things as well, because all the things are really important? They’re all so important that one can’t be done without the others and they all have to be done right? We’ve got the solution for you! Could it be multitasking?

Actually… it turns out that there’s really no such thing as multitasking as far as your brain’s concerned. Neuroscience research has shown us that when you’re doing many things at once, your brain is task switching, rather than multitasking.

Are You as Good a Multitasker as You Think You Are?

Here’s a simple exercise from Psychology Today that illustrates this (it’ll take you less than a minute – so come on – try it):

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TAGteach Tip: Ask for What You Want (Don’t Think About Elephants)

You’re thinking about elephants aren’t you? I know you are! Despite the very explicit and clear written instruction in the title and even a carefully designed picture (worth a thousand words apparently), you are doing precisely the opposite of what I have wanted you to do. Is this a reflection of your inability to understand and follow even the simplest of instructions? Perhaps you are stubborn, slow to comprehend, lazy or just plain contrary? Or perhaps I have gone about the whole “not thinking about elephants” thing entirely the wrong way?

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Back Chaining: The top secret teaching tool that is the key to professional success

Professional trainers and professionals with advanced degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis know about the trainer/teacher’s secret weapon for extreme reliability. That is… back chaining. If you are a teacher, coach or parent who teaches skills to others, you need to know about this too!

Back chaining is a concept foreign to many and counter-intuitive to most who first learn of it. We want to talk about it briefly here, because it is a very effective way to build highly reliable behaviors and it is one of the key techniques that any TAGteacher should understand and apply properly. A reliable behavior is one that looks the same each time the subject performs it. For example, with forming the letter “E”, we would consider the behavior to be reliable if the child drew the letter the same way every time and the letter was drawn correctly.

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