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Trainer Interviews

Teaching Clicker Training Across Borders

Virginia Broitman and Sherri Lippman are the expert training team behind the Bow Wow videos and seminars, and veteran members of the ClickerExpo faculty. While the training team is accustomed to traveling for workshops and consultations, the concept of travel took on a new dimension when the pair traveled to Taiwan in February 2006 to present their training seminar to trainers and pet owners.

Herding Cats in Hollywood

Samantha Martin has been training animals for commercials and films for 15 years. Based in the Chicago area, she has crawled through the subway stations of New York, demonstrated trained rats in Rome for national television, and trained chickens to crow, cluck, flap wings, and hover over chicks on cue for an award-winning documentary. Her raccoon shoots baskets, her groundhog raises a flag, and her duck plays a guitar and drums. And then she has cats—20 of them—which she trains for films and commercials. The Rockcats, starring Dakota, Pinky, Waldo, Tuna, and Nue, take turns playing drums, guitar, and piano. Recently we talked to Samantha about her career and her success with clicker training.

Across the Pond: Kay Laurence

WagMore Barn opened its double-wide doors in 2005, and is already a mecca for clicker trainers across the UK and the world. Fulfilling a long-held dream of Kay Laurence, master clicker trainer, educator and ClickerExpo faculty member, WagMore is the physical center of Learning About Dogs (LAD), Kay's training and publishing business.

Expo Faculty Profile: Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D., ClickerExpo faculty member, is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. As a researcher and mentor to graduate students in Behavior Analysis, he has developed a focus on applied operant conditioning, bringing formal study methods and data collection to real-world animal training sessions. Many of his students have gone on to work as behaviorists and trainers in zoos or as academics exploring the principles of behavior. Dr. Rosales-Ruiz's areas of interest include antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, animal training, and rule- and contingency-shaped behavior. We were delighted when he recently agreed to answer a few of our questions about his work.

A Positive Oasis: Rivendale Learning Center

Steve and Jen White have been training animals positively for more than 25 years—long before clicker training became a household word. Steve has been a faculty member of ClickerExpo since its inception, and Jen has now joined the Expo team as a coach.

Steve brought marker-based training to the training of Seattle's K9 unit, while Jen helped introduce positive training to rehabilitate aggressive dogs at the MSPCA in Boston. Since their marriage in 2003, they have joined their formidable talents to teach more clients, both professional trainers and pet owners, the power of the principles of operant conditioning and positive reinforcement.

Recently, we asked them to tell us about their new life work, the establishment of Rivendale Learning Center, a hub of teaching and training in no force, no fear techniques in Woodinville, Washington.