This is part 3 of our conversation with Kyle Hetzel. Kyle is a zoo keeper. He used to work with big cats, sea lions, giraffes, wolves and other wild animals. But he is currently working in the children’s zoo section of a large west coast zoo. Kyle wants to bring what he has been learning from the wild animals to the handling of domestic animals.
In Part 1 Kyle introduced us to some of the exotic animals who were his early teachers. In Part 2 we shifted the conversation to barnyard...
I was tempted to call this episode: “Just Because People Tell You Something Can’t Be Done, Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Be Done”. But I thought that might be a little long so I called it instead: “Cow CAN Stand on Three Feet.”
This is part 2 of our conversation with Kyle Hetzel. Kyle is a zoo keeper. In this episode he shares his experiences working with barnyard animals. Kyle started out working with big cats, sea lions, giraffes, wolves and other wild animals. But he is currently working in...
There are many paths that bring us to horses. Kyle Hetzel has taken one of the more unusual ones. Kyle is a zoo keeper. He has worked with big cats, wolves, marine mammals, giraffes, but these days he is working with domestic animals in the children’s zoo section of a large west coast zoo.
Working with wild animals has taught Kyle the importance of team work and cooperative care. He wants to bring what he has been learning from the wild animals to the handling of domestic animals. In...
There were so many titles I could have given this episode. Another good one would have been: “We Haven’t Known What We’ve Known”. That’s a quote from Dr. Jesús Rosales Ruiz. It refers to this huge jig saw puzzle we’ve all been working on that’s called animal training.
But in the end I decided to call the episode “Happy Alligator Toes” because how often do you get to use a title like that? You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out what it means. What would you guess? I wonder if...
Science Camp was held over the weekend of Feb 19-21. Dominique and I didn’t want it to end so we invited one of the participants, Lisa Clifton Bumpass to come share an afternoon’s conversation with us. Lisa is a dog trainer turned zoo consultant. She’s been a regular attendee at the horse clinics I give in Half Moon Bay CA. What Lisa learns from the horses she takes back to the teams she works with in zoos. It is so much fun to think that the work we’re doing with horses is helping...
Science Camp was held over the weekend of Feb 19-21. What a wonderful, head spinner of an event that was! Dominique and I didn’t want it to end so we invited one of the participants, Lisa Clifton Bumpass to come share an afternoon’s conversation with us. Lisa is a dog trainer turned zoo consultant. She’s been a regular attendee at the horse clinics I give in Half Moon Bay CA. What Lisa learns from the horses she takes back to the teams she works with in zoos. It is so much fun to think...
Just when you think you’ve said all you need to say about food delivery, you discover you’ve only begun to scratch the surface. The reinforcement patterns play an important role in teaching and maintaining behavior. So when Dominique said she wanted to talk about food deliver, we were off and running into an interesting afternoon’s conversation.
Last year I switched all my clinics over to a virtual format. This year I will be doing the same. Normally, we would never take an entire podcast to talk about these events, but these are not normal times we are living in. The virtual format has opened up so many more opportunities to reach out to people, I wanted to make sure you understand the format and the content of these clinics.
In a sense they are an online course that unfolds through the year. The format means that it doesn’t...
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...
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...
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....
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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?
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.