We have just returned from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) conference in Louisville Kentucky. We were among over a thousand positive dog trainers all of whom came together to share ideas and hear some of the leading experts in the field speak about training and animal behavior. People such as Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Suzanne Clothier just to name a few. One entire day at the conference was spent on the subject of play, and how it’s important in so many ways, in training, behavior modification and relationship building.
We were also able to hear Grey Stafford speak. Grey worked with marine mammals for 20 years, and is now Director of Conservation for the Wildlife World Zoo in Phoenix Arizona. After his talk we went on a behind the scenes tour of the Lousiville zoo where we watched zoo keepers who were training animals such as tigers and orangutans with positive renforcement methods.
We came home with lots of new information and techniques that we will be able to use and share with dogs and their humans.
Here are a few pictures from our zoo visit. I might add that the tiger had a verbal Sit and down, as well as a great recall with distractions from across his enclosure.