Home from Clicker Expo
January 31, 2013 at 8:37 am
After three full days of Clicker Expo, a total of 14 seminars, half a notebook full of notes and scribbles, my brain is so full I don’t even know how to start writing about this experience. I may need a couple of weeks to process and streamline everything!
I attended my first Clicker Expo 2 years ago (you can read about it here and here) and this time I went all out and registered for the full event. I wanted to learn new things, be inspired, meet up with my clients, make new contacts, listen to expert trainers like Ken Ramirez and Kathy Sdao, meet Dr. Susan Friedman in person (she ordered multiple copies of my poster!) and sit in on Sarah‘s and Irith‘s shorts presentations, which were really great. I must say that even though I was in the 2% of attendees who don’t work professionally with animals – I didn’t at all feel overwhelmed or lost.
Clicker Expo was everything I hoped for, including the joy of seeing doggy “down-stay” butts every time I visited the hotel’s ladies’ restroom.
photo by Cindy Bennet Martin
I could write a day-by-day review and this would turn into an epic 3 or 4 part blog post but for now, let me direct you to this Flickr Set where I have posted some photos and quick notes.
Some topics that I want to think/write more about and do illustrations for….
- Anthropomorphism & Mechanomorphism (Karen Pryor)
- Classical Conditioning in relation to Clicker Training (Kathy Sdao, Susan Friedman)
- Dealing with Unwanted Behavior in the Least Intrusive Way (Ken Ramirez)
- TAGTeach – Clicker Training for human beings (Theresa McKeon, Irith Bloom)
I enjoyed every single talk and Learning Lab at Clicker Expo but the highlight for me personally was Kay Laurence’s “Targeting” Lab on the final day, which was amazing to watch. I am so in awe of Kay Laurence’s skills, her sensitivity to the dog, and her way of articulating reasons for every little training choice that she makes. There’s something about seeing a LIVE training session that can’t be beat by watching a YouTube video or DVD.
And after those three intense days of learning and meeting people, it was so good to be back home with Boogie, who is a refreshing change from all the “well-behaved” dogs at Clicker Expo…
Boogie in his new tiny teacup doggie bed.
Boogie unstuffs his new bed.
In other news, I have started reading Monica Segal’s K9 Kitchen: Your Dog’s Diet. The Truth Behind The Hype. It is a fascinating read but I am now even more aware of how much conflicting info there is about dog nutrition floating around… for instance, the “grain-free, potato-free” diet that is said to prevent yeast infections. See this earlier blog post.
According to Monica Segal, cutting carbs out of a dog’s diet won’t make any difference to yeast growth.
“A very popular myth circulating on the Internet claims that yeast feeds on carbohydrates…. There isn’t a direct link between carbohydrates or sweet vegetables and yeast. The focus should be on eliminating the food culprit whatever it may be” (usually proteins or grains or supplements)
She also adds that grains can be a GOOD THING for some dogs (better coat)… so long as they are thoroughly cooked to be digestible. I am particularly interested in the chapter on recipes and on how to prepare a home cooked diet that has the correct balance of nutrients…
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