Making a difference
No one has to tell those who are in it that the enormity, complexity, and stress of animal welfare work are under-appreciated. Still, if you do this great work, you get the considerable satisfaction of making a difference each day, and success in animal welfare has been measurable. While the number of pets entering shelters is still enormously high at 6-8 million annually, it is down from 13 million in 1973, according to the American Human Society.
Our goal at ClickerExpo is to help you experience even more success. After all, success is very reinforcing. I’ve pulled together my top picks for courses that provide insights, innovations, and practical advice for making a difference in the work of animal welfare.
An ounce of prevention…
Lowering pet-surrender rates has a huge impact on animal welfare. According to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, “pet problems” is the most common reason that owners rehome their pets, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs and 42% of rehomed cats. In the survey pet problems were defined as: problematic behaviors, aggressive behaviors, animal grew larger than expected, or health problems owner couldn’t handle.
If surrender becomes less likely, then we are solving a root problem. The four courses that follow are helpful in the quest to find a suitable home for a surrendered pet. Material from these courses may also help clients keep everyday pet behaviors from transforming into enormous challenges that can result in surrender.
- Streetwise: Polite Greetings on the Street
- Elimination Happens! Canine and Feline House Soiling
- How to Win Friends & Influence Puppies: Effective Socialization
- Effective Affection: How to Get it Right
Taking shelter in science
“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tysononly 40% of the American population has a great deal of confidence in the scientific community. At ClickerExpo, our attendees would show survey results well above that average! Learning is centered on the idea that training and behavioral change stem from science. The more accessible and applicable the science, the more likely we can apply it effectively. Heck, at ClickerExpo we can even discuss it together!
Here are four courses critical to those working in shelter environments, courses that light a path from science to application:
- Arousal: Science, Not Sex
- Choice, Control & Empowerment for Shelter Animals
- Please Sir, May I Have Some Food, Water... and Control?
- Say What? The Terminology Challenge
The Rehab Protocols
- But My Dog Is Not Food-Motivated Unwise behavior practices can create finicky eaters and dampen the extent and pace of behavioral change. Join Kathy Sdao for structured training practices that can make food relevant again for non-food motivated dogs.
- Free Cookies? Non-Contingent Reinforcement for Frustration When applied systematically, non-contingent reinforcement provides a powerful answer to many of the problematic behaviors indicative of frustration. Join Sarah Owings!
- The Anatomy of an Aggressive-Dog Training Plan Emma Parsons goes into the details of making such a plan, taking the process from case histories to training plans for clients.
- Turn Me On... (or Not): Inspiring Others to Choose Positive Reinforcement Transforming an experienced trainer's skill set to a very different training skill set is not an easy journey. Join Michele Pouliot to learn how to navigate the journey successfully.
- Drama at the Door Emma Parsons teaches several ways that dogs can learn how to greet and relax when new people come to visit.
- On Guard: Modifying Resource Guarding Lindsay Wood Brown teaches her successful protocol for reducing a very focused and pervasive problem—resource guarding.
- Keep Your Candle Burning: Avoiding Professional Burnout Kathy Sdao will help you keep yourself centered and productive in environments that challenge even the strongest, most committed.
You are just a few months away from ClickerExpo—see you there! Please continue to make difference in the work of animal welfare.