give the gift of education
Enjoy giving and receiving this holiday season and beyond with the gift of education! No matter where you or your gift recipients are in the training journey, there are options for everyone.
Check out the gift ideas below and order soon to receive products in time for the holidays. Gift certificates for online options are available through December 21!
Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give them? Give them the gift of choice with a gift certificate from Karen Pryor Clicker Training.
Gift certificates are delivered by e-mail and contain instructions on how to redeem. Available for online courses, training essentials, video on demand, and so much more!
Join the more than 1,700 certified trainers educated through the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program.
KPA takes an innovative approach to developing and supporting outstanding positive reinforcement trainers, combining online learning with hands-on coaching from some of the most experienced teachers in the field.
LEARN WITH US AT CLICKEREXPO
Join us for the world's most innovative animal training conference.
give yourself the perfect gift (trainers need reinforcers, too)
During the holiday season we put a lot of thought into gifts for others. It’s a wonderful feeling to give people gifts that bring them joy. But what about ourselves? Most of us are pretty good at self-criticism but less practiced at self-recognition, and even worse at rewarding ourselves. Read More or Skip Ahead to the Gift Guide.
Reward-recognition literature often focuses on the “task-accomplishment” reward and how/when/why/what to reward yourself for accomplishing specific outcome—like finally cleaning out that kitchen drawer! A good amount of that literature falls into the category of “pop” psychology. Some of it is consistent with behavior science and some of it is a distortion. That’s not the issue that I’m addressing here. I’m focusing on a deeper need—to choose thoughtful gifts for ourselves that help us become “better”—and on operationalizing that need and its reward (shout out to Dr. Susan Friedman) more frequently in order to exhibit the behaviors we want from ourselves.
Is there a category of rewards/gifts that can do that? Yes! Rewarding ourselves with certain activities—what psychologists call “self-expansive” activities—is what leads us to be the best versions of ourselves. And, when we are the best version of ourselves, the people and animals in our lives benefit.
When we are the best version of ourselves, the people and animals in our lives benefit.
Self-expansion theory says that satisfaction with life is greatly increased by engaging in the activities, environments, and relationships where our sense of self expands. (This kind of self-expansion has nothing to do with holiday eating patterns, which lead to self-expansion of a different kind!). The key point is that “people really enjoy the feeling of self-expansion, and, as a result, they try very hard to look for self-expansive opportunities.” (see Self Expansion Theory, Encyclopedia of Social Psychology)
What are self-expansive opportunities? Experiences that help grow an existing talent or acquire a new desired skill are high on the list—like taking a master class in guitar, learning to paint or knit for the first time, participating in a new group or solo activity, expanding your mind, advancing your existing talents and skills, and more.
Can you give the gift of self-expansion to others? Of course you can. Gifting experiences that enable people to grow may not deliver the immediate sugar rush of jelly beans but do show that you know your gift recipient’s real values, desires, and unmet needs.
How do you know gifts hit the mark? It’s all in the recipient response. As the person at Karen Pryor Clicker Training ultimately responsible for the experience students, attendees, and customers have with the company, I look for responses that signal that we have made a self-expansive difference in people’s lives. For example, feedback like the following lets me be confident that for a particular student or attendee we delivered an experience that kept its promise—and then some!
“This has been without doubt the most rewarding achievement of my life. Really life-changing.”
- Graduate, KPA Dog Trainer Professional program
“It lights me up on every level intellectually and emotionally!”
- Attendee ClickerExpo
“Yesterday I completed my Dog Trainer Foundations course.... It was a marvelous experience—a life-changer really.”
- Student, KPA Dog Trainer Foundations
For clicker trainers, the choice to reinforce ourselves should be an easy one because it’s a natural outgrowth of our approach to training. We know that behavior is always occurring and always either being strengthened or weakened by contingencies. To keep training and teaching in energized and smart ways, we must keep growing. Somehow, though, like the shoemaker’s kids with worn-out shoes, some positive trainers end up threadbare.
But we don’t have to miss out.
No matter where you are in your training journey, there are numerous and delightful self-expansive opportunities in the world that elicit exactly the “right” response. Give yourself (or someone you care about) a self-expansive gift this year. Take a course, listen to a lecture, sing in a chorus, discover a new sense of spirituality, find a new community, work to help others, or even explore a new career path. We all deserve it.
If you’d like to “self-expand” with Karen Pryor Clicker Training, check out these self-expansive educational and experiential gifts:
Happy Holidays from Karen Pryor Clicker Training and Karen Pryor Academy!
Aaron Clayton is the CEO of Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT). He joined the company in 2001 and with Karen Pryor, and now with Ken Ramirez, has piloted the company’s growth for over a decade and a half. He is a management executive with approximately 25 years of experience growing service-based businesses. Of all his experiences, Aaron’s involvement with teaching and learning as the president of KPCT has been the most fun and reinforcing (pun intended!).