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Changing Behavior by Arranging Antecedents with Kathy Sdao

  • Wednesday, March 01, 2023
  • 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
  • GoToWebinar

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Changing Behavior by Arranging Antecedents

with Kathy Sdao

CEUs: PPAB 1, CCPDT 2, KPA 2, & IAABC Pending

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Animal trainers and behavior consultants sometimes overlook or undervalue Level 2 (Antecedent Arrangements) of the Humane Hierarchy. This six-level progression of behavior-change procedures, arranged so that the least intrusive and most positive interventions come first, was introduced by Dr. Susan Friedman in 2010. (See What’s Wrong With This Picture? Effectiveness is Not Enough) We may be tempted to skip ahead to familiar operant training procedures such as positive reinforcement (Level 3) & differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors (Level 4). Antecedent arrangements (Level 2) suggest we first notice and adjust the learner’s environment in ways that facilitate the behaviors we wish to reinforce. It invites us to be creative in changing conditions that precede these behaviors, with the goal of making learning more effective and efficient. Level 2 is much broader than simply “managing the environment” to prevent problem behaviors from occurring. We’ll look at specific examples of antecedent arrangements drawn from Kathy’s work with behavior-consultation clients.


    About Your Presenter - Kathy Sdao



    Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She’s been a full-time animal trainer for almost forty years, first with marine mammals and then with dogs. At the University of Hawaii, she received a master’s degree working with a research team that trained dolphins to understand sign-language. She then worked for the United States Navy training dolphins for open-ocean military tasks. Kathy also worked as a marine-mammal trainer at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma Washington. After leaving the zoo world, she co-created Tacoma’s first dog-daycare.

    Kathy launched Bright Spot Dog Training in 1998. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs and mentoring professional trainers who want to maximize the power of positive-reinforcement training. Kathy is proud to be an original faculty member for Karen Pryor’s ClickerExpos; she’s taught at more than forty of these popular conferences. Kathy has lectured at venues across the United States, Canada and Europe, and in Australia, Israel, Japan and Mexico. In 2012, she published her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace.


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