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Karen's Letters

On My Mind: “I probably should be doing something else, but I have to do this first!”

I was catching up on the TAGteach list recently and discovered this thrilling news.

Carly Fleming wrote:

I just came across a website and blog by a professor of philosophy at Stanford, about what he calls “Structured Procrastination.” I am a HUGE procrastinator and also a perfectionist (which is mostly what his blog is about). I came across an entry talking about to-do lists that had so many elements of TAGteach in it that I had to share. Some of the ideas he used were:

  1.  Breaking things down into small attainable goals
  2. "TAG points" of 5 words or less (although some of his were a little longer)
  3. Physically checking off an item on the list (similar to getting a TAG or pulling a bead on the tagulator)

I hope someone finds this as interesting as I did. Carly

On My Mind: Visiting with Vets

Did you know that…

…more dogs (and cats) are turned in to shelters or euthanized for behavioral reasons than for any other problem?

…the average veterinary practice in the US loses approximately 15% of its patients a year, when pets are given away or otherwise disposed of by owners, usually because of behavioral problems?

On My Mind: My Dinner with Andre

Clicker friends

At the most recent ClickerExpo, I met two new Certified Training Partners (CTP), graduates of Karen Pryor Academy’s (KPA) flagship Dog Trainer Program. They were Andre Yeu, who runs a dog training school in Toronto, and one of his teachers, Mirkka Koivusalo, from Finland. Soon after that I was scheduled to give a talk in Canada, at the University of Guelph. I e-mailed Andre and asked if after my university gig I could come to Toronto, visit his school, and meet some other KPA graduates from the area. Andre said that would be great!

The Clicker Trainer: Remembering Wendy Schnipper Clayton

A note from Karen Pryor:

Clicker training is not just about training; it’s about living. When we teach clicker training, we want to see clicker skills “generalize,” become so ingrained that the first thought, in any situation, is to think, “How do I use reinforcers here?” instead of reaching for the punishers automatically.

This shift in perspective can change the way clicker trainers act. Newcomers to ClickerExpo often remark at how amazing it is to be in a large group where nearly everyone is calm and friendly. I think the absence of ire makes us all feel safe, even the dogs (who lie down and go to sleep). 

On My Mind: Bedbugs!

I  received a phone call from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). They were looking for a dog-training speaker for a conference about dogs and pest control.