Seminar Title: Making the Impossible – Possible!
Speaker: Ken Ramirez
We are thrilled to bring Ken Ramirez to Seattle for this advanced dog training seminar. He is an author, behavior consultant, ClickerExpo faculty, the training director at the famous Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and even teaches graduate-level courses. He has trained trainers to work with a ridiculous number of species, including dogs, dolphins, killer whales, and more. You will definitely learn something this weekend! And did we mention, he's also an entertaining presenter?
Day 1 – Saturday January 12, 2013
- Basic Training Philosophy – Introduction to the two-day seminar and an overview of Ken’s personal training philosophy and how these topics might weave together.
- Reinforcement Strategies – “Using Non-Food Reinforcers Effectively” Most experienced trainers recognize the value of finding reinforcers other than food or treats. However, not every trainer knows how to establish new reinforcers nor how to evaluate their effectiveness. Ken will share his perspectives and experience with non-food reinforcers and explain his approach to implementing them into a good training program.
- Handling Animal Mistakes - Ken will share his perspectives regarding how a positive reinforcement trainer should deal with animal errors. He will look at the popular use of no reinforcement markers and time outs and offer more positive alternatives, particularly the use of re-direction.
Day 2 – Sunday January 13, 2013
- Concept Training: A focus on Mimicry - “Stretching Your Dog’s Capabilities” There are many conceptual ideas that require a much more focused approach to training. This seminar will review the foundation needed for training broad concepts like modifier cues, mimicry, adduction, matching to sample and other conceptual tasks. A large amount of time will be focused on the recent work Ken has done with mimicry, but it will also touch on the other topics.
- Social Animals - This seminar explores the unique challenges we face when trying to work with or train more than one animal at once. Techniques unique or helpful when dealing with groups of animals will be discussed including stationing, fairness, group reinforcement, and new animal introductions. This seminar is designed for advanced trainers, but is suitable for all levels
- Problem Solving - As a consultant, Ken is frequently called upon to resolve training challenges. These have ranged from problematic zoo animals to difficult working dogs to the more common pet challenges. In every case, he utilizes a problem solving flow chart or matrix that guides him and his clients to an effective solution. He will share that process with participants and use one or two cases studies to demonstrate how to use the tool effectively.
About the Seminar Speaker:
Ken Ramirez, the executive vice-president of animal care and animal training, develops and supervises animal care programs, staff training and development as well as public presentation programs for the entire animal collection at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. He joined Shedd Aquarium in 1989.
A 35+ year veteran of animal care and training, Ken Ramirez is a biologist and animal behaviorist who served nine years at Marineworld of Texas. He also was a trainer and coordinator at Ocean Safari in South Padre Island, Texas, as well as acting as a consultant to many zoo and aquarium programs throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and has maintained a close affiliation to pet training throughout his career. He hosted two successful seasons of the pet training television series Talk to the Animals that compared pet training to the important work done with training and caring for animals in zoological facilities. He has also recently worked closely with several search and rescue dog organizations, service dog groups, as well as with bomb and narcotic dogs.
Ken Ramirez has been active in several professional organizations, including the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA), of which he is a past president. Ken has been actively involved in the creation of a certification process for animal trainers in zoological settings. He has been on the faculty of Karen Pryor’s Clicker Expos since 2005.
Ken Ramirez has written for numerous scientific publications and popular articles and has authored the book ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement, published in 1999. He also teaches a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University.