Video on Demand by Karen Pryor Clicker Training |

Hippo-Cratic Oath: Training for Medical Behaviors

This Session will explore essential tools for training and maintaining successful medical behaviors. The first half of the Session will focus on key training tools such as stationing, targeting, desensitization, gating (kenneling), recalls, and improving general tactile acceptance. The Session will then shift to focus on specific techniques for successfully training behaviors for blood-taking, injections, medication administration, working around the mouth and head, removal from the environment, and passive restraint.

Throughout the presentation, common questions will be addressed: How do you keep a behavior with any type of discomfort from breaking down with frequent use? How do you prevent an animal from discriminating against the medical team? Can you teach animals to anticipate the novelty associated with medical behaviors? When restraint is needed—and should that be done by the primary trainer or is it better handled by someone else, to prevent a breakdown in the relationship? This Session will be a combination of lecture, video, and discussion.

Ken Ramirez

Ken Ramirez is the Executive Vice-President (EVP) and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT). There he helps to oversee the vision, development, and implementation of training education programs for the organization.

A 40+-year veteran of animal care and training, Ken is a biologist and animal behaviorist who has  overseen or consulted on training projects for many zoological organizations throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and continues to work with organizations training dogs for service work, search-and-rescue, bomb detection, and narcotic detection. Ken has also maintained a close affiliation with pet training throughout his career.

Prior to his work with KPCT, Ken served as EVP of Animal Care and Animal Training at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium for more than 25 years. There he developed and supervised animal care and animal health programs, staff training and development, and public presentation programs for more than 32,000 animals. Ken has written for numerous scientific publications and authored countless popular articles. He is the author of the bestselling ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement as well as his newest book, The Eye of the Trainer: Animal Training, Transformation, and Trust.

Ken taught a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University for 20 years and has been active in several professional organizations, including as a past president of the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA). He is actively involved in the creation of a certification process for animal trainers in zoological settings. Currently, Ken is developing courses and programming at The Ranch, the Karen Pryor National Training Center in the state of Washington.