Guest: Vidhya Karthikeyan

Vidhya lives in the UK with a sighthound, Beanie, and two cats, Moo and Oonsipie. She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP). Her experience lies in working with animals we often call fearful or shy, starting with her own rescued trio at home and also with dogs at her local branch of the RSPCA.

Her passion is to explore the cognitive abilities of our companion animals and turn complex existing studies on the subject into fun and accessible games that owners can teach their own animals in their living rooms. Choice and empowerment are at the heart of her training philosophy and she also specialises in cooperative care training, both at home and at the veterinary clinic.

Vidhya is an instructor on Tromplo, an online learning platform that brings together an international community of positive reinforcement-based trainers. She regularly posts videos and discusses her training journey with the variety of animals in her care on her Facebook page called The Unlikely Tricksters, a place to showcase the spectrum of what is possible with our animals and inspire others to adopt ethical training methods.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How context cues affect training.
  • How cue hierarchies function.
  • How to set up a training session to teach cue discrimination.
  • How errorless learning plays a role.
  • What default behaviors are and how to choose them.

Links mentioned:

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