ClickerExpo Washington DC

March 22, 2019
Dulles, United States

ClickerExpo Washington DC

$565 - $590

ClickerExpo is the perfect opportunity for training enthusiasts to improve their skills, learn about the latest training techniques and hear from the world's foremost positive reinforcement experts.

The 2019 program features 75+ courses from 20 of the foremost experts and educators in positive reinforcement. Whether you’re beginner or advanced, interested in competition, behavior management or science –  there will be something for you. 

positive reinforcement
animal behavior
March 22, 2019
09:00 - 17:00
March 23, 2019
09:00 - 17:00
March 24, 2019
09:00 - 17:00

2300 Dulles Corner Blvd
Dulles, VA 20171
United States

Canine expert
Dog trainers

Alexandra Kurland

Alexandra Kurland began her instructional career as a dressage rider and teacher and as an accredited TTouch Practitioner. In 1998 she launched the rapidly growing field of clicker training for horses with the publication of her first book, Clicker Training for Your Horse.

Emma Parsons

Emma Parsons has been training dogs for more than 20 years. She specializes in managing and rehabilitating the reactive and aggressive dog. Emma is a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA), as well as a ClickerExpo faculty member.

Lindsay Wood Brown

Lindsay Wood Brown is a board-certified applied animal behaviorist (ACAAB) with a master's degree in psychology and a concentration in animal behavior from Hunter College. Lindsay is a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) course developer and has served as a KPA faculty member since 2012.

Kathy Sdao

Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She has spent more than 30 years as a fulltime animal trainer, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. Kathy received a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of Hawaii.

Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. He obtained his Ph.D from the University of Kansas in 1995 under the direction of Dr. Donald M. Baer.

Michele Pouliot

Michele Pouliot began her animal-training career through her love of horses. She attended the Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm, studying under the tutelage of Linda Tellington and Wentworth Tellington.

Eva Bertilsson

Eva Bertilsson has a master’s degree in behavior analysis and a passion for all things related to behavior, learning and animal welfare. She grew up with horses, rabbits, and other animals, and ventured into dog training in the early 1990s.

Ken Ramirez

Ken Ramirez, the Executive Vice-President of animal care and animal training at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, develops and supervises animal care and animal health programs, staff training and development as well as public presentation programs for the entire animal collection of more than 32,000 ani

Chirag Patel

Chirag is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and Pet Behaviour Counsellor working in the UK. Previously he wass the manager for The Training and Behaviour Centre at Dr Roger Mugfords Company of Animals. He now runs Domesticated Manners Pet Training and Behaviour.

Susan Friedman

Dr. Susan Friedman is a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Problem-Solving: A Practical Consultant’s Approach
As a consultant, Ken is called upon frequently to resolve training challenges. These challenges have ranged from problematic zoo animals to difficult working dogs to more common pet challenges. In every case, he utilizes structured problem-solving processes and tools that guide him and his clients to an effective solution. Ken will share that process with participants and use several case studies to demonstrate how to problem-solve effectively. Become a better, more confident problem-solver with Ken!
Questioning Common Training Ideas and Practices
Join Chirag Patel for a new look at common ideas and practices in behavior and training. There are many things that we do because they are popular or sound like common sense, but what does the “science sense” say about them? Topics discussed in this Session will include teaching quiet, impulse control, frustration-tolerance exercises, classical conditioning, and puppy-play biting.
A Moment of Science: Clicker Training 101
You might be new to clicker training. Or maybe you’ve been using it but are confused by the terminology or uncertain why we do things the way we do. Here’s an introductory course on learning theory and the key scientific principles that govern clicker training. The information you’ll learn here will inform the many choices you make as a trainer and will improve your application of clicker training techniques.

Kathy Sdao, applied animal behaviorist, former marine-mammal trainer, and dog professional, is a gifted teacher who enjoys sparking her students’ interest in the science of animal training. Start your ClickerExpo experience on Friday with this Session and you will have the foundation and vocabulary to help you understand, enjoy and benefit from the rest of the program.
Animals in Control: “Start-Button” Case Studies
“Start-button” behaviors are behaviors that are taught to an animal partner to direct the pace and progress of another behavior or procedure. For example, a dog that learns to nod “yes” to indicate he’s ready to start the teeter movement, a horse indicating that the ferrier may pick up his foot, a cat ready to start a pairing procedure of vacuum cleaner = goodies, and a giraffe indicating that he is ready for tactile work are all start-button behaviors.
Making New Mistakes
Errorless learning refers to training techniques that are designed intentionally so that the learner does not make mistakes while learning new behavior. Errorless learning is often contrasted with trial-and-error learning, in which efforts may be correct or incorrect with the intention of mistakes also assisting in the learning process.

Are errors beneficial to learning? Does “error-free” learning create superior behavior? How do mistakes help or hinder the learner? Do errors develop resilience? Is it even possible to ensure that learning is errorless? If errors do have the capacity to support learning, how do trainers avoid negative outcomes (for example, decline in confidence, increased mistakes)? This Session on errorless learning versus learning with mistakes will lead you to ponder your own training program.
Location, Location, Location: Refining Behavior with Reward Location
Real estate agents know the power of “location.” Clicker trainers should understand and take advantage of the power of “location” as well.

Many positive reinforcement trainers use a variety of methods for reward delivery, depending on the goals for the behavior being trained. Styles of delivery can affect the learner in different ways (for example, raise energy, promote stillness, reset for the next repetition, support a specific position). Can the use of reward strategies be taken even further?
What a Cue Can Do: Developing Cueing Skills
Effective cueing is essential for achieving reliable responses. The process of adding cues in clicker training is different than in other training methods. Getting behaviors on cue is often the most difficult concept for new clicker trainers to understand because the process is somewhat counterintuitive.
The Learning Planet
Earth is often called the blue planet because of its impressive oceans. However, at least as impressive, but less well considered, is the extent to which Earth’s inhabitants—mammals, insects, and even plants—change their behaviors based on experience, specifically consequences. Consequences also change brain function and gene expression—the “whole shebang.” In this Session, different aspects of the learning planet will be discussed, guided by Susan Schneider’s book, The Science of Consequences, and several other seminal works. Key points will be illustrated with video examples.
History and Insights from Skinner to Goldiamond
The history of operant conditioning is fascinating—full of people, their personalities, and their insights. With a little look at “hidden” or lesser known history, we can see both the direct line of connection between the giant mind of B.F. Skinner to current practices, as well as the links and breakthroughs of great behavior scientists, like Israel Goldiamond, that also directly influence (or should) practices today.
Reactive Dog Class Update
This presentation will be an update of the Reactive Dog Class, taught with the new Click to Calm methodology in place. Utilizing the new design, students are reaching their goals much faster than ever before. For example, in the original set-up of the class, in Week Six, handler/dog teams were still at the point of exposing their dogs to other dogs (neutral) from the vicinity of their barriers. Now, after making a change to the ratio of reinforcement (acknowledgment versus disengagement) as well as adding movement, in Week Six handler/dogs teams are now “bouncing off” of each other sooner—as well as starting to parallel walk and demonstrate other cooperative activities.
Arousal: Science, Not Sex
High arousal. Over arousal. Low arousal. Arousal as a behavior description is ever-present in our conversations about animals within shelter, performance, and working environments. Across training settings, we’ve attached the label readily without an agreed-upon definition of its meaning. What does arousal mean? What is the relationship between arousal and emotion? How does arousal relate to other descriptors we use (often interchangeably) like drive, frustration, aggression? Is there a functional component to arousal? Is use of the label beneficial for training conversation or does it muddy the waters? Let’s unravel the science of arousal and consider the applications within training practices and behavior-change plans. It’s not sex, but for behavior nerds it’s still sexy!
From Clues to Cues: How Cues Evolve Out of the Shaping Process
Cues evolve out of the shaping process, or rather, the most meaningful and useful cues that you choose should evolve out of the process of shaping behavior. This core insight helps Alexandra Kurland be very thoughtful about her selection of cues. To understand why, remember that the conventional wisdom and practice are that a behavior is “put on cue” after your learner can perform it reliably, accurately, and so on. While that convention is highly useful, it hides a powerful reality. Cues—information that helps an animal learn what earns reinforcement—are often being communicated to your learner unintentionally in the process of shaping behavior.