Congratulations to our very own Ken Ramirez who was the recipient of the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers Board of Directors.
Ken Ramirez believes that animals are capable of far more than we give them credit for—when training is fun! For example, animals can learn to identify a specific object among a group of both familiar and novel (unfamiliar) items. This concept, called Match-to-Sample, is one of the must-have core concepts that are used to train broader concepts such as Modifier Cues, Adduction, Mimicry, and even Counting!
Thinking Outside the Treat Pouch: Secondary Reinforcers
When you give your dog a treat for a job well done, you are using a primary reinforcer, which is something that an animal needs to survive (i.e., food, water, shelter). While food reinforcers can be extremely useful, adding non-food reinforcers, or secondary reinforcers, will help you expand your skill set by giving you alternatives for influencing behavior. This is a particularly useful tool when working with animals from a distance (competition training), managing exotic animals, performing husbandry behaviors, or any situation where it’s not safe or appropriate to use treats.
Can Dogs Count?
When we think of animal training, we don’t often think beyond teaching certain cues. However, Ken Ramirez encourages everyone to think beyond the cue and rethink what dogs are capable of. With the proper foundation, dogs can be taught a variety of concepts, including the concept of counting! In this video, Ken uses the concept of “matching-to-sample” as a mechanism to ask the dog, Coral, multiple questions about a set of objects in a tray. How many tennis balls? How many Kongs? Coral chooses from a series of sample boards to indicate how many of those specific objects were in the tray.
The Keep Going Signal
The Keep Going SignalKen Ramirez, EVP and Chief Training Office of KPCT, revisits the Keep Going Signal (KGS), a confusing training tool. Ken spoke about the KGS at ClickerExpo this year, and, at the recent Art & Science of Animal Training conference in Texas, he watched Bob Bailey and Steve White each speak about Keep Going Signals, presenting two very different tools …