This week Laura Monaco Torelli and I talk about husbandry in the dog training world, and it turns out it’s not ENTIRELY about teaching dogs to trim their own nails (though that could be part of it). During our conversation, we talked about exactly what “husbandry” means, and how we can work it into our training routines without a whole lot of effort and time commitment, we also talked about how she gets her pet clients to buy in and participate in husbandry training solutions, and a few other little tips and tricks, like using behavioral momentum to make hard stuff easier and the training sessions more fun.

Laura Monaco Torelli is the founder of Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago, Illinois. She began her career in 1991 at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, where she trained beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins. After nearly a decade at the Shedd, she moved on to the San Diego Zoo and then Brookfield Zoo as a lead supervisory trainer. During her time in the zoo community, Laura worked with a wide variety of terrestrial animals, including primates, large cats, birds of prey, horses, parrots, tree kangaroos, giraffes, red pandas, and dogs.

Laura serves as a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy (KPA), and as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living & Learning with Animals online course. She and her team at Animal Behavior Training Concepts offer private in-home training as well as group classes at Medical District Veterinary Clinic, an extension of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Laura has presented at many professional conferences, including those held by the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association, the Animal Behavior Management Alliance, the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association, ClickerExpo, the Society for Veterinary Behavior Technicians, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Midwest Veterinary Conference, TAGteach International, and the Interdisciplinary Forum for Applied Animal Behavior. She has appeared on various print and broadcast media, including Clean Run magazine, Chronicle of the Dog, Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN and NBC 5 news and WCIU’s You & Me This Morning.

Links Mentioned:

Animal Behavior Training Concepts
Ready… Set… for Groomer & Vet
Laura’s Speaking Engagements
Animal Training: Successful Animal Management Through Positive Reinforcement by Ken Ramirez
No Dogs in the Baby’s Room
Voluntary Blood Draw
Shedd Aquarium
San Diego Zoo
Brookfield Zoo
Episode #31 – Start Button Behaviors