A Moment of Science: Clicker Training 101

Maybe you’re 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 must 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 with this Session and you will have the foundation and vocabulary to help you understand, enjoy, and benefit from the rest of the program.

Please note: This Session was recorded in 2016; content presented in 2018 may vary slightly.  

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. The United States Navy then hired her to train dolphins for open-ocean tasks. Kathy next worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Later, Kathy co-created Tacoma’s first dog-daycare facility, where she 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. Kathy is proud to be an original faculty member at Karen Pryor Clicker Training’s ClickerExpo conferences.

Kathy 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. Her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace was published in 2012.