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If You Can’t Explain It Simply … Anthropomorphism Is NOT a Bad Word with Jean Donaldson

If You Can't Explain It Simply … Anthropomorphism Is NOT a Bad Word with Jean Donaldson


April 9, 2024 - April 30, 2027    
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm (ET)


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Webinar Description

The downsides of anthropomorphism are real and, for the most part, well known to dog behavior professionals: ascribing morality to dogs—an ability to tell right from wrong, exaggerating their cognitive abilities when it is difficult for us to imagine a mind different from our own, and failing to meet the needs of dogs that do not overlap with our own.

However, the human inclination toward anthropomorphism can be deployed strategically to counsel clients and get them to better understand and empathize with their pets. Human analogies are excellent shortcuts to help clients get their heads around what their dogs are doing.

This presentation will explore how human analogies can help clients understand and more quickly buy into and better execute behavior modification, management and enrichment interventions.

Learning objectives:

Behavior counselors will:

  • Increase their arsenal of human analogies and jargon substitutes.
  • Be able to more simply normalize normal behavior while still, when necessary, modifying it.
  • Have a template for coaching training mechanics in novice owners.

Your Presenter – Jean Donaldson

Jean is the founder and principal instructor of The Academy for Dog Trainers. The Academy has trained and certified over 800 trainers in evidence-based dog behavior, training, teaching and behavior counseling since 1999. She is a four-time winner of The Dog Writers’ Association of America’s Maxwell Award, and her books include The Culture Clash, Oh Behave! Dogs From Pavlov to Premack to Pinker, and Train Like a Pro. In 2017, Jean was recruited to create Dog Training 101 for The Great Courses.

Born in Montreal, Canada, Jean founded the Montreal Flyball Association, and Renaissance Dog Training, the first positive reinforcement-based school and counseling service in the province. Her own dogs and dogs she has trained have earned numerous titles and wins in a variety of dog sports, including OTCh, TDX, HIT and FDCh. While a student, she worked as an adoption counselor at the Montreal SPCA and later served on its Board of Directors. Before founding The Academy, Jean did exclusively referral aggression cases for six years. She lives in Oakland, California, with her dog, Brian, adopted in 2015.



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