|CPDT-KSA Knowledge:||2.00||CBCC-KSA Knowledge:||0.00|
|CPDT-KSA Skills:||0.00||CBCC-KSA Skills:||0.00|
Scientific research indicates that control over one’s environment is a strong reinforcer. Unfortunately, many of our pets have almost no control over their environment, and can make few, if any, significant choices. Humans select what animals eat, specify which objects are appropriate toys, decide when and where an animal can go outside, and essentially control every aspect of the animal’s life. This pervasive lack of choice can result in increased stress, which often leads to a variety of undesired behaviors. Fortunately, there is a better way. This presentation will highlight tools you can use to increase choice in an animal’s life, ranging from training techniques that give animals more control, to practical ways to create choice-rich environments, to tips on empowering animals to make choices that work both for them and for their humans. The presentation will also address why choice is especially critical when dealing with aggressive, fearful, and reactive behavior, and provide specific examples for how to increase choice in those types of situations. Learning Objectives Attendees will learn how lack of choice can relate to increased stress (and stress-related undesirable behaviors). They will understand why it is important to empower animals to make their own choices, and be able to explain the value of increased choice to others. Attendees will be able to view training techniques through the lens of choice. They will be able to identify how choice-rich or choice-limiting different training options are, as well as to evaluate the pros and cons (in terms of choice) of a variety of training techniques. Attendees will be able to select among and apply a variety of choice-based training techniques in a wide range of settings, including everything from ordinary obedience training contexts to situations involving aggressive, fearful, reactive, and anxious behavior. Attendees will have a better grasp of how to create choice-rich environments for animals. They will know how to increase the choices available to animals both in specific training contexts and in daily life tips.