Star, my adorable Australian shepherd mix foster dog, got adopted this past weekend! She now has an awesome new family that is going to take great care of her. The family has two kids and another dog, so I know she is going to get plenty of attention.
It probably will be at least a bit before I take on the next foster dog. I have a lot of “stuff” going on right now. On top of that, we are super busy at work since it is the summer, so it is sometimes slight more complicated to bring a dog to work with me every day. Also, although I’ve had fun with Star and Henry, the rats haven’t gotten quite as much attention as usual the past few months. So, I know they would like to have me all to themselves for awhile!
In other news, I had a great time in St. Louis this past weekend.
Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz and I gave a very fun two day seminar for HALO (Human-Animal Learning Opportunities). We had a wonderful group of attendees and lots of interesting and thought-provoking discussions throughout the weekend. The seminar involved a combination of lecture, hands-on learning games, and discussions.
Dr. Rosales presented lectures about constructional affection, resurgence and extinction, and cues. All of these lectures generated great discussions, especially the lecture about constructional affection.
The interactive activities involved a game called PORTL, something that we’ve been developing at the University of North Texas and have used in past shaping workshops for behavior analysts. (The original inspiration for this came from Kay Laurence’s Genabacab game.) This was the first time, really, that we’ve used PORTL for an animal training workshop and everyone definitely had a blast! Not only is it fun, but it’s a great way for trainers to get to practice their teaching and shaping skills. We do have plans for more workshops in the future, so stay tuned. Check out this blog post for a full description of the shaping game PORTL.