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On My Mind: Sparks Flying at SPARCS Conference

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On My Mind Sparks Flying at SPARCS Conference

From June 20-22, 2014, I went to a new kind of dog conference held here in New England:SPARCS 2014. The conference was in Newport, Rhode Island, a two-to-three hour drive from the Karen Pryor Clicker Training offices in Boston. Three of us went: me, Lori Gwyr, who is the director of Karen Pryor Academy, and Lily Strassberg, who is designing online courses for KPA.

What was new?

First, the speakers were all scientists, and scientists who study dogs: dog behavior, dog cognition, dog emotions, and the long old bond between dogs and people. Canine behavior and, especially, canine cognition have become very fashionable lately; I personally know several people heading up canine cognition labs in different universities. One scientist went so far as to say "The dog is our new chimpanzee."

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