When we are thinking about positive reinforcement based training, we often envision food as the reinforcer we are using. Or perhaps we might use toys or other reinforcers such as giving attention to a dog when they keep all four paws on the floor instead of jumping up. But what about play? Just straight up play with your dog without toys.
In this episode of The Bitey End of the Dog, I have a fun conversation with Dr. Amy Cook on using The Play Way with dogs, and chat about why play can go far beyond “just reinforcement.”
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Dr. Cook is an International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, a longstanding professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), and was one of the first trainers nationally to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through independent evaluation. Dr. Cook received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UC Berkeley, with her research focusing on the dog-human relationship and its effect on the problem solving strategies dogs employ. Dr. Cook is the founder and creator of the Play Way, a new way to address behavior problems in dogs, and is a popular instructor for the online school, The Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. She has been training dogs for nearly 30 years, and has specialized in the rehabilitation of stressed and fearful dogs for over 20 years.
The Play Way!