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Trainer Interviews

Thinking Beyond the Cue: Ken Ramirez Takes Animal Training to a New Level

Editor's note: Can an animal think beyond specific cues and generalize to a broader concept? Can you teach a dog to copy a behavior that another dog just performed? Can you teach the difference between big and little? Left and right? When we think of animal training, we don't often think beyond teaching certain cues. ClickerExpo faculty member Ken Ramirez offers a chance to think beyond the cue and rethink what dogs are capable of—when the right training method is used.

Never Stop Learning: Laura Monaco Torelli Comes Full Circle

Laura Monaco Torelli, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) and the newest member of the KPA faculty, has been a professional animal trainer for two decades. Laura was introduced to Karen Pryor's philosophy and training methods in 1991 when Laura began her career training beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins as the Senior Lead Trainer at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. In 2000, Laura moved from marine to terrestrial animals, holding lead trainer positions at the San Diego and Brookfield Zoos. She has trained a wide variety of species, including primates, large cats, birds of prey, reticulated giraffes, Arctic foxes, horses, parrots, macaws, tree kangaroos, red pandas, and, of course, dogs! Laura's career has included one fantastic learning experience after another and is now leading her full circle—back to Karen, as she becomes the newest faculty member at Karen Pryor Academy.

Taking a Bite Out of Dog Bites: Talking Kids and Dogs with Joan Orr

Did you know that 50% of all children in the United States will be bitten by a dog before their 12th birthday?

Karen Pryor and ClickerExpo Faculty on Steve Dale's Pet World

 Karen Pryor, Ken Ramirez, and swedish agility authorities Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh discuss clicker training in this Petcast by pet columnist Steve Dale.

To Agility and Beyond! Agility Right from the Start One Year Later

Agility can be a fun sport for anyone. That is the premise behind Agility Right from the Start, celebrating its first birthday this month. Praised for adding needed clarity to the application of clicker training to agility, the book by Swedish agility experts Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh has taken the agility world by storm.

Its comprehensive approach and focus on good handling has made Agility Right from the Start a must-have resource for both the beginner and the most accomplished competitor. Many agility participants describe the book as the only agility resource they’ll ever need. But perhaps what is most significant about this book is that the foundation skills that Bertilsson and Vegh outline not only apply to agility, but to all dog sports—and to everyday life. What kind of foundation training are we talking about? Training that uses positive reinforcement and that focuses on building behavior step-by-step. This type of training is not only key to creating a happy and confident team, but is the invaluable recipe for getting any behavior you want—right from the start. 

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