2015 was quite a busy year. I’ll be cliche about it and say, “I can’t believe it’s already over!”
If you’re a new reader to my blog (or an old reader!) I hope you’ll enjoy this fast journey through some of the things that happened on my blog and in my life in 2015.
We had a cold one last year!
I kept myself quite busy with foster dog Wags, who spent three months with me.
The little guy had some pretty bad separation anxiety and we BOTH learned a lot together. He overcame most of his anxiety and was happily adopted.
However, from arranging pet sitters to taking him on errands with me…. I gained a lot more empathy for people who have dogs that cannot be left home alone.
I once again attended the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference. This year for the 7th conference, we welcomed Dr. Stanley Weiss as our keynote speaker.
The whole conference gave me lots to think about, as it always does!
I posted notes on my blog from Ken Ramirez’s talk about teaching concepts, Bob Bailey’s talk about becoming a better trainer, Phung Luu’s talk about birds in flight, and Alexandra Kurland’s talk about practicing for excellent performance.
Later in the spring, I traveled to San Antonio for the annual convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis, International.
Summer 2015 brought lots of adventures! Foster puppy DaVinci stayed with me for about a month. We worked intensively on his resource guarding and food guarding issues and also spent lots of time working on basic puppy stuff — potty training, socialization, leash walking, coming, and more. Several of my friends had fun getting him comfortable with grooming activities.
I also traveled for a second year to St. Louis to give a seminar with Dr. Rosales-Ruiz for HALO. We had an awesome group of participants and spent two action-packed days talking all about behavior and training and playing the shaping game PORTL.
I wrote two of my favorite blog posts of 2015 during the summer, a post about the details of food delivery mechanics and a post about mini-habits (which also includes some quotes from our St. Louis trip).
In November, I traveled to Germany to attend a conference organized by a Germany dog trainer’s association. After the conference, Dr. Rosales-Ruiz and I gave a two-day workshop about shaping behavior. It was my first time to Germany and we had a blast!
This fall also marked some big changes in my life.
I stopped working for the training facility where I taught classes and lessons for two years. Instead, I’m doing private training on my own through my business DogTrainingology. I’m also working for The Art and Science of Animal Training, a new non-profit organization that was formed last summer to run the annual Art and Science of Animal Training Conference, plus other educational activities for animal trainers and pet owners.
We have an awesome new blog that we started in December on The Art and Science of Animal Training website. I encourage you to check out the article that I wrote about the importance of focusing on movement vs. outcome during shaping.
What’s in store for 2016
The first few months of 2016 are going to be pretty busy! I’m off to ClickerExpo at the end of this month, then I’ll be at The Art and Science of Animal Training Conference in February, and then I’m off to ClickerExpo again in March. Dr. Rosales-Ruiz and I will be doing a lab at ClickerExpo about PORTL and shaping games, so that should be fun!
I’ll also be teaching an undergraduate behavior analysis class at the University of North Texas. More about that later on.
I plan to continue posting several times a month on the StaleCheerios blog, and I already have several posts in the works that I hope to share with you soon. I’ll also be blogging on my DogTrainingology site, so I hope you’ll check it out, too.
If you have particular training concepts or questions that you’d like for me to cover on the blog in 2016, please let me know! I’m always interested in hearing what you want to hear more about.