Episodes
We recorded this podcast on January 13, a week after the attack on the Capital and the day the House of Representatives was debating the Articles of Impeachment. We’re publishing it on the Martin Luther King Day Holiday, just two days before the Inauguration in what hopefully will be a peaceful transfer of power. We know many people reading this will be wanting to run away at this point. They’re thinking - enough! I listen to these podcasts to get away from the news. I don’t want to run...
Published 01/18/21
We’re in the middle of a fun conversation with Helene Lawler. Helene is a professional dog trainer. If you have listened to the previous episodes you know that she has become balance obsessed. Last week we ended with a question about loopy listening. If you’re familiar with my work, you have heard about loopy training. Helene has used this teaching strategy to develop what she refers to as loopy listening. Loopy Listening adds more details to the Loopy Training cycle. It reminds you...
Published 01/13/21
We’re in the middle of a fun conversation with Helene Lawler. Helene is a professional dog trainer. If you have listened to the previous episodes you know that she has become balance obsessed. It’s so exciting. Once that genie pops out of the bottle, there’s no shoving it back in. Everything changes when you see your training and your learners through the balance lens. I love talking about balance. Good balance - physical and emotional - sits at the core of everything that I teach....
Published 01/08/21
Helene Lawler is a dog trainer who has become fascinated by balance, so of course we had to have a conversation. What has she been learning from horses that applies to her dog training? In this week’s episode Dominique asks the question “What is Balance?” Before you listen to the podcast, think about what would you say. Now listen to the podcast to find out how Helene and Alexandra answered her question.
Published 12/29/20
Helene Lawler is a professional dog trainer. She shares her house with 14 herding dogs so to say that she loves dogs is an understatement. Helene has been a regular listener to these podcasts. That’s what prompted her to attend our first virtual Science Camp which was held in Sept 2020. What ignited Helene’s imagination was the work we did on balance and rope handling. The day after Science Camp one of her clients presented her with what she thought was a poisoned cue issue. The...
Published 12/22/20
This is part three of our conversation with Mary Hunter. Just before Thanksgiving we spent a delightful afternoon catching up with Mary. We started out talking about gardening and the growing of cilantro. That led us to extinction and then to shaping and finding approximations that create early success. We talked about Carol Dweck’s work on growth versus fixed mindsets. We described several strategies for becoming more creative in finding constructional approaches to training, We...
Published 12/18/20
Mary Hunter is a behavior analyst. She coaches people with their horse and dog training. She was our guide through the Listen and Learn Audio course on Applied Behavior Analysis. Our conversation with Mary Hunter began not with horses, but with gardening. When Mary shares a story whether it is about gardens or horses, there is always a point it. She uses her stories to illustrate important training concepts. So our conversation about growing plants - and sometimes failing at growing...
Published 12/11/20
Episode 124: Mary Hunter Pt 1: Growing Cilantro - Yes It Is About Training! This week begins a series with Mary Hunter. Mary is a horse owner, a training coach for both horses and dogs, and an applied behavior analyst. She has a great blog: StaleCheerios.com. She organizes the annual Art and Science of Animal Training conference, and she together with Dr. Jesús Rosales Ruiz, she has written the PORTL Manual. She was also our guide for the Listen and Learn Audio course on Applied Behavior...
Published 12/03/20
A windy day was the spark behind a conversation about managing horses when their energy is up. That led in turn to stimulus control and remembering how powerful small changes in the environment can be. And that led us to a favorite subject - using the training to ask questions so our horses have a real say in what we do together. What we are really talking about is listening well.
Published 11/25/20
This week Dominique launched us into an interesting conversation about reinforcers. If you don’t want to use food, or you want to use food creatively, what are some of your options with horses. With dogs there can be so many fun ways to reinforce behavior besides using a food reward. You can toss a ball, play tug, give a belly scratch. With horses because feeding treats is such an easy reinforcer to use, we seem to get into more of a rut in our thinking. So this week we explore...
Published 11/20/20
The rest of this sentence is find a look that pleases your eye. When you look at a horse what do you like? If you’re looking at ten pictures of your beloved horse, what characteristics make you choose this photo over that one? This is the question we explore in this week’s podcast. What pleases your eye, and why is this important to think about when you train, and especially when you feed your horse?
Published 10/28/20
This week’s episode explores the stimulus control quadrants developed by Dr. Jesús Rosales Ruiz. When I say stimulus control many of you are probably thinking about the four criteria that are used to judge if a cue is under full stimulus control. This is not what Jesús is talking about. He’s looking instead at the conditions under which learning occurs. It’s a fascinating discussion. Don’t fight extinction is an important part of the stimulus control quadrants. You can find out what...
Published 10/23/20
This week's podcast was prompted by a question a listener sent in. She had a terrifying escape with her two horses from one of the California fires. Her experience prompted a question about choice. Her question led us to a discussion of the work of Dr. Jesús Rosales Ruiz on stimulus control. This is a short episode. We decided to introduce the topic this week and then to dive in more deeply in our next podcast.
Published 10/13/20
You’ve been reinforcing your horse for the good behavior you want, and now suddenly that process stops. You’ve just thrown your horse into an extinction process. You’re about to experience the emotional fallout that creates. Stopping positive reinforcement is how we normally describe the extinction process, but what happens when someone stops punishing a behavior? This is another way in which a horse can experience extinction. What does this process create? And does this help us to...
Published 10/02/20
A wrap up of the recent Science Camp sparked a lively conversation centered around choice. We end the podcast with a story that illustrates what choice looks like. We get there by talking about zoo programs, trailering, keystone behaviors, and errorless learning.
Published 09/17/20
Dominique loves to learn. She is forever finding interesting articles and scientific studies for us to discuss. This week we consider one that looks at machine learning and the 85% rule. This doesn’t sound as though it could possibly be related to equine hugs, but it is.
Published 08/28/20
You can learn anything from the internet. Google any subject and you will get a long list of links. But having access doesn’t always help you to know where to start or how to proceed. In this week’s podcast Dr. Susan Friedman lays out a road map to help you in your exploration of any question you want to explore in depth.
Published 08/19/20
Dr Susan Friedman is our guest for this conversation about her recent article: “Why Animals Need Trainers Who Adhere to the Least Intrusive Principle: Improving Animal Welfare and Honing Trainers’ Skills” This is an update of her 2004 article: “What’s Wrong With This Picture? Effectiveness Is Not Enough”. When Susan began consulting at zoos and other animal care facilities, effectiveness was often the first and only consideration. Does the procedure get the job done? Does it get the...
Published 08/14/20
Dr. Susan Friedman joins us for a discussion of the hierarchy of least intrusive, most affective (LIMA) intervention strategies. She has just written an update of her 2004 article: “What’s wrong with this picture? Effectiveness is not enough.” In Part 1 of this conversation we begin where just about every conversation begins these days - with the corona virus. The wearing of masks - whether it should be voluntary or mandated led us into a discussion of control which gave us the perfect...
Published 08/05/20
Last week we began a two part conversation with Suzanne Kernek. Suzanne is a horse owner and a professional dog trainer. She’s also a regular attendee of my Half Moon Bay CA clinics. At the clinics I always love our evening conversations where we talk about the connections that Suzanne has found between the work that I teach and the dog training that is her everyday life. At the end of last week’s episode Suzanne had just commented on the connection between physical and emotional...
Published 07/29/20
We introduce the Equiosity podcast by saying that it is about all things equine with a special emphasis on the horse human bond. So why are we talking about dogs? It’s not just that many horse people have dogs which makes these crossover conversations of interest to many listeners. It’s good to emphasize that the training we talk about in these podcasts can be used with dogs as well as horses. More than that, when we look at how the rope handling can be translated to dogs, the shift in...
Published 07/23/20
Many trainers think in terms of formal training sessions. Others think more in terms of a flow that simply shifts location and emphasis. In this episode we explore both approaches.
Published 07/10/20
In Part 3 Michele Pouliot describes how she assembles a freestyle routine using back chaining. In Parts 1 and 2 of our conversation with Michele we learned how she uses platforms to teach the foundation behavior that she uses in her freestyle routines. Now in this episode she describes how she links these behaviors together to create a consistent performance. We make the connection to dressage tests and other patterns that we ride. So even if you can't see yourself ever teaching a...
Published 07/02/20
We have a long wish list of things we wanted to talk to Michele Pouliot about. Michele is a canine trainer. Many of you will know her through the Clicker Expo where she is a member of the faculty. Michele wears several “hats”. She was the driving force behind converting the training program at Guide Dogs for the Blind completely over to clicker training. One of her other “hats” is canine freestyle. In this week’s podcast Michele talks about how platforms can be used to teach the...
Published 06/24/20
Canine trainer, Michele Pouliot joins us for a discussion of platform training: what, why and how.
Published 06/18/20