Narnia Pet Behavior and Training, Inc.

Using Classical Conditioning in the Treatment of Aggression and Anxiety

Presented by Kathy Sdao and Ken Ramirez

About Kathy | About Ken | Online Registration

Friday with Ken

Reinforcement Strategies - Most experienced trainers recognize the value of finding reinforcers other than food or treats. However, not every trainer knows how to establish new reinforcers nor how to evaluate their effectiveness. Ken will share his perspectives and experience with non-food reinforcers (both novel and natural) and explain his approach to strategically implementing them into a good training program.

Problem Solving - As a consultant, Ken is frequently called upon to resolve training challenges. These have ranged from problematic zoo animals to difficult working dogs to the more common pet challenges. In every case, he utilizes a problem solving flow chart or matrix that guides him and his clients to an effective solution. He will share that process with participants and use one or two cases studies to demonstrate how to use the tool effectively.

Evolution of the Modern Trainer - Ken will use a review of the trajectory of his career to examine the growth and changes in the training community to help explore what is possible and how far the training community has progressed. This presentation will take a brief peek at a variety of concepts including relationship building, husbandry training, mimicry, remote training, complex chains, and so much more. This final section is less about how to do these things and more about seeing what possibilities exist.

Saturday with Kathy

Trainers often overlook the value of classical, or Pavlovian, conditioning. Clicker-training, a specific application of operant conditioning, is certainly a powerful way to teach animals a variety of useful voluntary behaviors. But in situations where a dog's emotional reflexes are engaged --including anything from mild fear, conflict and novelty to phobias, aggression and separation anxiety -- skillful use of classical conditioning is often beneficial. Classical conditioning works especially well as the initial training; it can lay a strong foundation for subsequent operant techniques. As trainers and guardians, we need to understand the scientific principles and core concepts of classical conditioning, but more importantly, we must learn to develop the ability to apply these procedures in real-life, less-than-perfect settings. Because classical conditioning is always at play, knowing how to use it to our best advantage gives us tools and potential previously untapped. Case studies and videos will be included.

Comments from previous seminars:
  • Energy! Passion for the topic! Ability to truly listen to questions and comment. Empathy for problems of attendees. Respect for peoples' opinions.
  • Kathy's enthusiasm is second to none. It is always infectious to be around someone who is passionate about their work and excited about it. I'm a huge fan!
  • Depth of knowledge based on both education and wide experience. Passion for animals that shines through Energy and enthusiasm in her presentation
  • Obvious passion for the subject matter. Use of relevant and entertaining examples to make topics as accessible as possible. Engagement of the participants in problem solving helped promote confidence building in their training skills.
  • What can you say! Kathy is one of the best speakers I’ve seen & I’ve been to several APDT conferences.

Registration Information

Date:July 22 - 23, 2011
Time:9:00AM - 5:00PM
Location:Hickory Ridge Marriott Conference Hotel
1195 Summerhill Drive
Lisle, Il 60532
10 rooms are at a special rate of $89 per night, mention Narnia.