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PPG Summit 2020 Sessions: How Can We Ask Questions from Non-Verbal Animals? The Basic Science of Choice

BARKS presents session details from PPG’s 2020 Summit and Workshops in Phoenix, Arizona

© Dr. Alexandra Protopopova

Session Details:
Presenter: Dr. Alexandra Protopopova
Session Title: How Can We Ask Questions from Non-Verbal Animals? The Basic Science of Choice (Part 1)
Session Type: General Session (1.5 Hours)

Modern dog training recognizes that efficacy is simply not enough; ethics in dog training is equally, if not more important. A big part of being an ethical trainer is learning how to understand the animal’s point of view. Whereas using body language to gauge comfort level is one method, directly asking the animal about his/her preference and choice, using established behavioral methods is more robust. This session will define “preference” and “choice” and go through basic methods that behavioral scientists use to empirically ask questions from non-verbal animals. It will also focus on the basic science of choice and freewill.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how scientists and behavioral philosophers conceptualize choice and consent.
  • Recognize the strong philosophical connection between choice and freewill (or the lack of!).
  • Understand how choice is environmentally maintained.
  • Recognize how the current trend in dog training of asking for “consent” and “choice” does not guarantee an ethical approach.

PPG Summit 2020 will take place in Phoenix, Arizona and offer two unique programs:

Program 1: The Four-Day Summit
Program 2: The Four-Day Summit + Daily Off-Site Workshops at the Arizona Humane Society

Dates: Friday, September 18 – Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Event theme: Collaborative Care and Enrichment – Creating Partnerships for Positive Results

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