Shelters can be a stressful environment for dogs. Fortunately, there are simple, low-cost enrichment activities that can be implemented to provide comfort, reduce stress-induced behaviors, increase confidence, and promote adoptability. Enrichment can also be used to teach shelter dogs how to interact with their environments in a way that delivers a positive outcome. One easy way to provide enrichment is with shaping, the process of gradually teaching an animal a new action or behavior by clicking and treating the animal during each step of the process.
KPA CTP Joy Chia and her dog-enrichment school appear in a recent (March 21,2021) Channel News Asia (CNA) online article, and accompanying video, about the Ponggol Seventeenth Avenue neighborhood in Singapore. Joy offers well-supervised excursions, games, dog sports, and enrichment lessons for her canine students, including lessons focused on musical instruments, art, and reading. Read the article. Watch the video.
Brittany Thomas, KPA CTP, met a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) when she was pursuing her certification as a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS, Behavior). Brittany remembers being impressed by the trainer’s manner with pets. “It seemed like she could get them to do anything; it seemed like magic! I was inspired by her ability to communicate with these animals, and I wanted that experience and skill for myself.” Brittany completed the KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in October 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana, with Laura VanArendonk Baugh.
Bringing a new cat into a home with other cats? Let’s face it: cats are territorial, so you will want to be sure to introduce your cats slowly to minimize fearful or aggressive interactions. In the beginning, you will want to confine the new cat to a separate room to encourage them to get used to one another’s scent. Eventually, you will be able to progress to a controlled face-to-face meeting, allowing visual contact through a barrier, such as a pet gate, baby gate, or screen door. But how do you progress to visual contact while avoiding a stare down or confrontation? Try training!
Training your dog is not only essential for teaching life skills and avoiding problem behaviors, but it also offers an opportunity for you and your dog to have fun together! In this video, KPA CTP Kristen Lee is teaching her dog Jenna to “tell her a secret.” Kristen trains this behavior by teaching Jenna to nose-target her ear.
Ken MacLeod, KPA CTP, has been a newsmaker in recent months. Profiled in Modern Dog magazine and featured on the Oh Behave! podcast on Pet Life Radio, Ken has a training business, My Positive Pup, in New Jersey—and beloved dogs of his own! Demand for his training services, including virtual instruction, has increased dramatically over the past year, as many individuals and families acquired dogs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Waltham, March 22, 2021—Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) is pleased to announce that its Dog Trainer Foundations and Dog Trainer Foundations Immersion courses are now available in Korean, with teaching support provided by Korea-based KPA Certified Training Partners (CTPs). Led by KPA CTP Alex Lee, KPA Country Manager for Korea, and his trainer-education team, these courses make it easier for anyone to learn modern positive training methods to improve their relationship with their dog.
Multiple International Freestyle Champion Michele Pouliot frequently dazzles crowds with her Head-Tuck Bow routine. In this video, Michele shows you how you can teach this behavior easily at home using raised platforms. The platforms help to keep the dog’s front and rear legs stationary while Michele uses strategic reward placement to encourage a head tuck. Once the head tuck is established, she begins to separate the platforms to increase the distance between the dog’s front and back paws. As the dog becomes comfortable with this new position, Michele extends the treat behind the dog’s front paws, slowly building duration until the dog achieves a full head tuck bow!
Training puppies? Consider incorporating a stationing platform into your training plan! A stationing platform provides many benefits. It not only serves as a designated and safe space for training, but it exposes puppies to novel surfaces, keeps puppies focused (the puppies will know that it’s training time), and helps you observe and manage behavior. Platforms also help you manipulate body position more precisely so that core skills can be learned more quickly, a powerful advantage for dog sports. You will be amazed to see the many ways that you can use a platform!
As trainers, we need to be able to depend on our dogs’ ability to respond to the correct verbal cue and not to other stimuli. Verbal cue discrimination training is an important skill; it ensures that your dog responds only to the correct verbal cue and not to other words. It is particularly useful in dog sports, such as canine freestyle, where many verbal cues are given and the dog must differentiate between them.