Friendly Takeover: The Growing Influence of All of Us

People often proclaim that clicker trainers are changing the world of dog training, and indeed we see new evidence of that fact every day. Judging by the number of new books, DVDs, and YouTube videos, the clicker community is also changing the world of horses, cats, zoo animals, and even fish.

Do you realize that we are changing a lot more than that? Every time you help a pet owner catch on to the concepts, every time you share a clicker story with your neighbor, your veterinarian, or your in-laws, and every time you put a clicker video on your Facebook page—you are widening the circle of awareness. The outcome? More and more people who don’t work with animals at all are reaching out to us for help.

In her talk, Karen Pryor shares some of the current projects and personalities she is working with, including: a conductor who wants to make rehearsals more efficient and music education less punitive, doctors bringing shaping and reinforcement (instead of yelling) into the training of interns and residents in hospitals, psychiatrists using our tools to manage extremely challenging mental disorders, and a clicker-savvy mom making life more bearable for the parents of children with autism. Our wonderful technology is going viral at last! You are making that happen.

Karen Pryor

Karen is an active, leading spokesperson and teacher for effective force-free training across the globe. Her work with dolphins in the 1960s revolutionized animal training by pioneering and popularizing force-free training methods based on operant conditioning and the conditioned reinforcer.

Karen’s 40-year career working with and educating scientists, professional trainers, and pet owners has changed the lives of countless animals and their caretakers in zoos, oceanariums, and pet-owning households.

She is the author of six books, including Don’t Shoot the Dog!, the "bible" of training with positive reinforcement. Her most recent book, Reaching the Animal Mind, describes how to bring out the undiscovered creativity, intelligence, and personality of the animals in our lives. Karen lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.