In dog training circles, motivation is – well – kind of a hot topic. It’s a big concept and we care a lot about it because, of course, reinforcement drives behavior. So, it’s worth spending some time unpacking, and this week I had the ridiculous good luck of unpacking it with Dr. Susan Friedman!
Dr. Susan Friedman is a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals. ABA, with its roots in human learning, offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that can improve the lives of all learners. Students from 22 different countries have participated in Susan’s online courses, Living and Learning with Animals for Professionals and Living and Learning with Parrots for Caregivers. She has written chapters on learning and behavior for three veterinary texts and is a frequent contributor to popular magazines.
Susan has presented seminars for a wide variety of professional organizations around the world such as the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, Moorpark College Exotic Animal Training and Management program, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She has been nominated for the Media Award given by the International Association of Behavior Analysis for her efforts to disseminate to pet owners, veterinarians, animal trainers, and zookeepers the essential tools they need to empower and enrich the lives of the animals in their care.