Since ClickerExpo is focused on training better, veterinary professionals may wonder if there is anything at Expo for them. The answer is a resounding YES! Each year, the number of veterinarians and veterinary technicians in attendance grows because of the value these professionals receive from attending. Here are the top five reasons ClickerExpo 2018 is a must for veterinarians and those who work in the animal healthcare profession.
- Incorporating positive experiences through the practice.
Increasingly, the veterinary profession is incorporating the practices and tools of modern training to reduce animal stress and increase cooperative care. Low-stress, low-fear is the wave of the future—and the future is now.
- Veterinary Transformation: Fear Free Initiative, Debbie Martin’s new course, focuses on how veterinary practices are rapidly adopting the positive training model through the Fear Free initiative. Adoption of these practices leads to improvements in patient care, client satisfaction, and practice satisfaction. Win, win, win!
- A new Learning Lab created by Laura Monaco Torelli, Deep Impact II: More Behaviors that Profoundly Change the Vet & Groomer Experience, focuses on healthcare behaviors and successful handling dogs at the veterinary office or groomer. This course is a much-anticipated sequel to the hit Lab that Laura ran at ClickerExpo 2017.
- Horses. Come to this Session with Jen Digate to see real-life examples and detailed protocols of horses trained in the positive paradigm to collaborate with de-worming, hoof care, veterinary procedures, and more!
- Debbie Martin is... Out in Front: Preventive Behavior Services Trainers Can Offer Veterinary Hospitals. This Session discusses the best ways trainers and veterinary hospitals can work together to get out in front of future behavior problems and, together, offer value to clients. With behavior issues the number-one reason pets are relinquished, it is imperative that veterinary hospitals provide preventive behavioral services for their clients/patients.
Frequently, clients look to their veterinarians for professional advice on far more than just healthcare concerns. In 2018, ClickerExpo offers 12 courses that focus on core skills, helpful to everyone learning more about training and/or how to get started. Core courses help veterinarians improve their assessments of client needs and guide clients toward the right professional trainer.
- Kathy Sdao’s A Moment of Science: Clicker Training 101 is a must-see for all animal-care professionals.
- To Lure and Not to Lure: Effective Use and Omission of Lures in Training
- Another recommended Session and Lab combination is Laura VanArendonk Baugh’s Building Behavior: Shape the Future
- How to Win Friends & Influence Puppies: Effective Socialization is another crucial course relative to puppy training, a topic where advice is often well intentioned but misinformed.
- Streetwise: Polite Greetings on the Street. Learn a methodology for polite greetings that is effective even for the “over-greeter.” This process creates a much more versatile learning environment for all involved.
But don’t stop there—check out all the skill development courses:
Aggression is one of the most common problems that pet parents face, and these parents bring their behavior concerns to their veterinarians quite regularly. ClickerExpo offers many courses about both aggression and general behavior management. The more understanding veterinarians have about the types of aggression and the various treatment options, the more easily they can guide their clients in selecting the right behavioral approach. Expo course options range from the in-depth exploration of aggression to the management of other related behavior problems, like resource-guarding and house-soiling. Faculty members in this area include Emma Parsons, Lindsay Wood Brown, Debbie Martin, Sarah Owings, and more…
- Anatomy of an Aggressive Dog Training Plan. Emma Parsons works with veterinary practices each and every day fashioning training plans for aggression. Go through case histories and create training plans that work for trainers and veterinary professionals
- Free Cookies? Non-Contingent Reinforcement for Frustration. Demand and frustration-related behaviors are often hard to live with and can damage the human-animal bond. Non-contingent reinforcement provides a powerful answer to many of these issues. Join Sarah Owings for an eye-opening approach that invites many new possibilities of increased understanding between humans and animals.
- On Guard: Modifying Resource-Guarding with Lindsay Wood Brown. In this combination Session and Lab, Lindsay will explain a highly regarded protocol for behavior change with dogs that demonstrate aggression to people in a resource-guarding context.
- Drama at the Door! Dogs love to run to the door to greet visitors! Some want to launch themselves at the newcomer with an abundance of joy, while others recoil and go into full attack mode. Still others come forward in order to investigate, but burst into a frenzy of barking easily. Regardless of the reaction you are used to, in this Session with Emma Parsons you will learn several ways to teach dogs how to greet visitors and relax when new people arrive.
- Elimination Happens! Canine and Feline House Soiling. Learn some quick tips from Debbie Martin for helping pet owners be successful teaching appropriate elimination habits to dogs and cats. Find out what questions to ask to determine if the behavior is related to a medical condition, to lack of training, or to stress or anxiety. Attendees will work through case examples to apply their new knowledge and history-taking skills.
This is just a sampling of ClickerExpo offerings, so don’t stop! See all the courses on aggression and behavior management.
It is easy to forget that understanding animal behavior requires a science base. There are many Sessions at ClickerExpo that focus on explaining the science of behavior analysis and using it correctly. Dr. Susan Friedman and Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz each offer compelling and mind-stretching explorations into the science of behavior. These Sessions are recommended for all animal-care professionals because they add to the understanding of why animals behave and act the way they do. Four Sessions that might be particularly useful to veterinarians include:
- Say What? The Terminology Challenge. There’s been a breakdown in communication. That’s the basis of Ken Ramirez’s new course in which he tackles the tower-of-Babel-like language that prevents different professions from communicating clearly—even when they have the same intent. Learn to translate. Capisce?
- Arousal: Science, Not Sex. Across training settings, we’ve attached the label “arousal” without an agreed-upon definition of its meaning. What does arousal mean? What is the relationship between arousal and emotion? How does arousal relate to other descriptors we use (often interchangeably) like drive, frustration, aggression? Unravel the science of arousal with Lindsay Wood Brown and consider the applications within training practices and behavior-change plans. It's not sex, but for behavior nerds it's still sexy!
- The Learning Planet. Earth is often called the blue planet because of its impressive oceans. However, at least as impressive but less well-considered is the extent to which earth’s inhabitants change their behavior based on experience, specifically consequences. This truth makes the blue planet truly the Learning Planet. We are not just talking about behavior that changes due to experience. Consequences affect genes and change brains, too. Join Dr. Susan Friedman for a discussion that is sure to fascinate professionals from all fields.
- Effective Affection: How to Get it Right. Pet owners often reinforce unwanted and annoying behaviors inadvertently (such as petting a dog when he jumps up) by giving attention and affection for these behaviors. When trainers are shaping new behaviors, they often default to food as a reward, and find it difficult to use petting, scratching, or other forms of affection effectively in order to reinforce behavior. Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz will describe in detail a powerful procedure that can be used to teach animals how to request and receive affection. A discussion will follow about using affection to shape new behavior effectively, and will include plenty of video examples from a variety of different species.
But wait, there’s more relevant science! So much more—right here.
Whatever your profession, ClickerExpo 2018 features many courses that focus on improving both people skills and business skills. There are far too many of these courses to list them all. However, a few highlights that veterinary professional may find useful include:
- Ramirez & Friedman: Off the Cuff
- Keep Your Candle Burning: Avoiding Professional Burnout with Kathy Sdao
- Turn Me On... (or Not): Inspiring Others to Choose Positive Reinforcement with Michele Pouliot
- Get (Buy-) In or Get Out! Convince Clients to Adopt Your Training Plan with Laurie Luck Passport to Joyful Training with Michele Pouliot
ClickerExpo is an experience for all animal-care professionals. The courses listed above are just a few of the many that veterinarians will find useful. If you work in the animal healthcare field, don’t miss out on all that ClickerExpo 2018 has to offer.