But My Dog Isn’t Food Motivated
Presented By Kathy Sdao
When clients say this in an initial interview, my response is “not yet.” Eating is an operant behavior. Therefore, we can increase its probability and intensity and lower its latency through structured training procedures. While this might seem laughable if you have a ravenous Rottweiler or always-hungry hound, situations abound which require skilled intervention: a senior dog whose appetite is fading; a wary dog who has learned to distrust treats; a little dog who is fussy about meals; or a dog whose health is threatened by conditioned anorexia. While various medical conditions (requiring veterinary expertise) may create finicky eaters, so can unwise behavioral practices. We’ll review several common mistakes and provide alternatives.
About the presenter
Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She has been a full-time animal trainer for more than thirty years, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. At the University of Hawaii, she received a master’s degree as part of a research team which trained dolphins to solve complex cognitive puzzles. She was then hired by the United States Navy to train dolphins for open-ocean tasks. Next, Kathy worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma Washington. After leaving the zoo world, Kathy and a colleague created Tacoma’s first dog-daycare facility where Kathy began teaching clicker-training classes.
Since 1998, Kathy has owned Bright Spot Dog Training. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs, teaching private lessons, and mentoring professional trainers who want to maximize the power of positive-reinforcement training. Kathy is proud to be an original faculty member for Karen Pryor’s ClickerExpos and has taught at thirty-six of these popular conferences. Kathy also has traveled extensively across the United States, Canada and Europe, and to Australia, Israel, Japan and Mexico, educating students about the science of animal training. In 2012, she published her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace.