The Bitey End of the Dog

Kathy Sdao M.A.

March 08, 2021 Michael Shikashio CDBC Season 2 Episode 1
The Bitey End of the Dog
Kathy Sdao M.A.
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I chat with none other than Kathy Sdao, and we had a chance to dive deep into applied behavior analysis and its application in aggression cases and I get to pick her brain about things like reverse order conditioning and how that can be a significant problem in aggression cases, such as when a dog isn’t taking treats in certain situations, the premium length of a session to work with a dog to modify aggressive behavior, and the dreaded undesirable behavior chains that can happen if we aren’t careful.

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Kathy Sdao:

That order of events that your dog starts eating, and while they're eating then notices something they're not comfortable about, like the approaching German Shepherd is the perfect way to teach a dog not to eat.

Michael Shikashio:

This episode, I chat with none other than Kathy Sdao. And we had a chance to dive deep into applied behavior analysis, and its application in aggression cases. And I get to pick her brain about things like reverse order conditioning, and how that can be a significant problem in aggression cases, such as when a dog isn't taking treats in certain situations. We also chat about the premium length of a session to work with a dog to modify aggressive behavior, and the dreaded undesirable behavior change that can happen if we're not careful. And this episode is sponsored by aggressive dog com where you can find a variety of educational offerings, with a focus on helping dogs with aggression, including the aggression in dogs master course, the most comprehensive course available anywhere in the world on helping dogs with aggression, and the aggression in dogs conference, a unique three day live stream event happening from October 22 to 24th 2021. With 12 amazing speakers, including Kathy, you can find out more about the conference and register by going to the loose leash academy.com Hey, everyone, I'm Mike Shikashio. Welcome back to the bitey end of the dog. I am very excited for this episode. I have a very special guest on that I've been following for a long time. She's somebody I've learned quite a bit from through my career. I've got the brilliant Kathy Sdao on today she's an applied animal behaviorist she owns brightspot dog training in Tacoma, Washington. She's a former Marine Mammal trainer. And she's trained a bunch of other species including polar bears, Kathy and I just recently actually got a chance to speak at the Clicker Expo together. First time for me Kathy has been there, I think since 2003. Is that correct? Kathy? Yeah, it's been a long time. And definitely quite a few of her talks. And it was a quite an honor for me to be there even in the same place sharing the same stage with Kathy so and Kathy spoke about one of my most favorite topics, which is muzzles as well, during the conference, She is the author of plenty in life is free book I highly recommend really is a unique way of looking at behavior and capturing behavior and the things that we should probably shift our conversation towards as we continue in our work with dogs. Welcome to the show, Kathy, I'm super happy to have you here.

Kathy Sdao:

I'm super happy to be here. This is exciting. Thanks, Mike, you and I have crossed paths some, but not nearly enough. So this is I'm hoping the beginning of us working in even closer collaboration. So thanks for having me.

Michael Shikashio:

Me as well. I'm very excited for this, I want to jump right into this sort of the conversation of classical conditioning and operant conditioning. It's one of the focus of Applied Behavior Analysis in our work with aggression cases. But first, I want to kind of open the conversation a little bit up to most of us as we're learning, especially when I first started learning about working with aggression cases, a lot of the foundation is in learning about options and classical conditioning. But I do want to bring in some of the other sciences because I think that's going to factor into our discussion in our conversation about what might be helpful for other sciences. So if you had some other sciences, or behavior sciences to choose from, or just science in general, what would you recommend trainers and people interest in behavior also branch out to understanding?

Kathy Sdao:

Well, you are starting meet with an odd and tough question. What other sciences, you know, me well enough, Mike, that I am not often speechless. Like I'm causing and going. But with those sciences be because I am immersed sort of in behavior analysis, I have to say my background and education in ethology or neuroscience are so shallow compared to behavior analysis, that, of course, they're going to be important, but they're sort of in veterinary science. Oh my gosh, they're not the lenses, I typically look at my clients situations through. So when you and I, Mike are both consultants, for families whose dogs have behavior problems, I don't think I work on aggression to the same extent that you do. But that's pretty major source of my clients in my consulting session, I think I am still leaning really heavily on behavior analysis and the part of that, that's beyond sort of operant and classical conditioning, which is observing, it sounds so like we always give this sort of course we would like our clients and students to be better observers of behavior, we give that short shrift, because I find that even the small fact of asking my clients to keep their eyes on their dogs is a huge ask, right? That is not something they're often doing, especially when we're working out in the world, to say to the humans, I know you're very stressed and anxious about the stimuli in the environment, and what might be approaching and you're paying attention to the world around you. But then I really need you to be paying attention to the dog, who is observing the world around him or herself, and is going to reveal their perceptions about the world through their behavior. So in other words, to be able to say, hey, you're watching your dog gives you data on what's happening for your dog in the moment in that situation. It's a little bit of a less satisfactory rational explanation. Michael, one of the questions I got at Clicker Expo that you and I just had the great privilege of teaching for a big 2500 person online virtual three day conference. Oh, was fantastic. But one of the questions that came up from one of the attendees was, you know, when I watch my dog get anxious on a walk with me, I see something about her behavior change, but I don't know what happened. I don't know what she's perceived. And so I'm, I'm at a loss to know what to do about that. The interesting thing is, it's very unsatisfactory for us to not be able to go, oh, there was a sound that your dog heard that you couldn't perceive. Yet, by observing the change of the dog's behavior, we actually do have treatment approaches, without being able to fully explain what the dog has perceived. So that little piece of observation skills, that does fall under the broad branch of behavior analysis, I don't know, I want to pull it out as a separate sort of emphasis in the work that we do that we're going to really bring it down to very fine observation skills, even in situations that could be upsetting for the humans, we want to be able to practice that and give people the eyeballs to be able to see, you know, what you're listening and watching your dog is going to give you so much data on how to move forward in what we do.

Michael Shikashio:

That's such an intuitive answer, because it really is focusing on teaching clients how to observe behavior and observe changes. Because then we can we can be their lens, we can be their interpreter, as well as helping them learn that education component about what their dog is doing, whether we explained it through the lens of Applied Behavior Analysis, or ethology, or the veterinary model. And again, I don't know of anybody that is, is uniquely intuitive. But all of those scientists, sciences, right, I don't know anybody that knows all of them. But it's important to know a little bit about what's going on under the hood of each science, because they can be helpful in our approach. Let's geek out a little bit on the ABA stuff here, we run into issues. Again, going back to what we work with, when we first started out a lot of that of, you know, straightforward approach of desensitization and counter conditioning is is that our way, but it's not always as straightforward as it might seem. So I'd like to unpack some of the typical issues you and I might see, especially if it's with we're kind of being a second set of eyeballs on a trainers case, what are some of the common things you see, let's start off with just pick one, and then we can flow from there.

Kathy Sdao:

Common things I see that might be obstacles to like best practices,

Michael Shikashio:

Right, yeah or something, maybe just creating a speed bump in the case where you might go weak, the classical conditioning procedure, or counter-conditioning procedure, or maybe the operant side.

Kathy Sdao:

So one of the general sort of learnings for me over the last few years, so I've been doing this for a long time. And instead of going, Oh, I feel so secure in my solid knowledge of my profession. I feel like as I do this now going on 35 years, I'm more open to wait a minute. Are you kidding? I didn't ever really fully understand that. So one of the big evolutions in my own teaching and working with clients has been a shift away from primary focus on explaining the techniques that I do through a classical conditioning lens, and much more leaning toward an upright lens. I had the great privilege again of being part of the Clicker Expo that was in England a few years ago called Luminos. And the thing that was different about this conference is very few faculty members and each faculty member taught new material for a half day. So it was a little bit of more Raw material. And each faculty member had a long time. So, Jesus Roales Ruiz, Dr. Jesus Roales Ruiz had a half day titled It's All Operant and I came into that half day going pfff come on ive been using classical successfully for a long time, you know, I come in very braced against this can't be true. And Jesus and his elegance and brilliance by the end of that half day had me going, Oh, wait a minute, I think I'm understanding that it's not an either or, But it's the ability to say, how much of the behaviors that we deal with are truly reflexive, meaning not amenable to consequences. Reinforcers and punishment do not affect the frequency of those behaviors, which would be the definition of a reflex, which would mean we're talking about classical-conditioning. So it's like that circle in the Venn diagram of sort of operant and classical, fewer and fewer behaviors seem purely reflexive to me, thereby needing a classical conditioning approach, it actually might doesn't change that much of the nuts and bolts of what I do. But it changes a little bit of my understanding of what I think I'm setting up for the learner. Now that said, every time we go out to quote, do some operant conditioning, of course, we're always doing opera and classical at the same time. But the way that I explain it to clients know, much more tends to be see if this makes any sense, hey, we're going to do some counter -conditioning trials, to get your dog's emotions to be more upbeat. In situations they have been upset, I'd like to change the dog's emotions from upset to upbeat. By using classical counter-conditioning, which tends to be fairly easy for the clients to do. I don't mean easy, like it's a slam dunk, I just mean, it's not a super complicated technique. So we like that we like that our clients can do it, I'm much more likely to say now, hey, my goal is to take the stimuli in the environment that currently upset your dog, and transform them into cues that your dog is going to welcome is going to be grateful to see because they lead directly to a reinforcement opportunity, we may not be doing the technique that much differently. But it ends up being that we want the dog to be an active learner in the process of identifying cues in the broader environment, that signal for them an opportunity to move to do a behavior to not be passive in any way. But to do a behavior that we, the trainers and handlers are then going to reinforce. So that lens is a little bit different for me, and it sort of allows us to tap into you know, Dr. Susan Friedman would say the power system of our learners operant conditioning is empowering, in a way, sort of changing our reflexive responses is not. They're both good. They're both laudable, we want to do both. But over the last few years, you're going to hear me if you were working with me, Mike explain things a little bit differently and have the first behavior that the dogs are able to do. The first trick behavior that the quote reactive dogs are going to do in public is going to be eating, most people do not look at eating, as a behavior to be shooting for is something you can shape and train we set tend to go, Oh, the dog is naturally food motivated or not. Eating is a trick eating is an opposite behavior, we can teach eating, and eating is the first step to a lovely operant response in the presence of an attenuated trigger in the environment. The procedure is going to look fairly similar to someone who does this professionally. The explanation and the final goal, I think is different and better when we're sort of using the apprentice lens.

Michael Shikashio:

The way your explaining it, and you It's like you're reading my mind because I was gonna I'm gonna ask a question about that. And then you answered it immediately after just thinking about it, so brilliant job at that. What would be some some of those operant behaviors to choose from so many of us have been doing this for a while we so work with things like engaging our orienting towards the stimulus and marking and reinforcing that particular behavior first or maybe disengaging from the stimulus. What are some of yours that you like to install?

Kathy Sdao:

Ooh, I love that question. So one of the things that I got to do a Clicker Expo because it was virtual, oh, Mike, I went for a walk with my dog Smudge on the waterfront here in beautiful Tocoma, Washington smudge could be described as a quote, reactive dog. He's been with me for several years. So his behavior is changed and improved a whole lot. But he and I are both flawed, like we're not perfect and the weather for the two hour session that we had volunteered to be on camera to I don't know how many people who are watching the weather, which was going to be quite dreary, was quite nice, which meant, wow, the waterfront was full of kids and dogs and skateboards and cars and trains and it was much More trigger full environment, which was great. It was more realistic. But it was also more interesting for me and Smudge. So what people got to see is Smudges response to another dog on leash in public. So Smudge is very sociable with other dogs. If he were off leash, he's going to be an intense player, he loves other dogs, he wrestles and bud slams and has a great time. on leash, I would describe it as he's really frustrated that he can't go say hi to every dog, he passes. And his frustration looks quite awful. He lunges to the end of the leash and barks in a really threatening way. It's not good citizen behavior in my city. I don't think he's going to hurt anybody. But he's certainly going to scare somebody. So we want to change that behavior. And so what the audience got to see is Smudge trained to still be sensitive to the presence of other dogs, I have found it to not be a great goal. for dogs who are quote, leash aggressive or leash reactive tend to lunge and bark at other dogs on a walk in public. I have not had great success at having them become nonchalant in those situations. In other words, clients often say to me, could you just get him to not notice the other dog, I don't really think that's going to be likely that would not be my technique of choice. The dogs are already paying strong attention, looking scanning the environment for that potential trigger. So because they're already doing that, I want to use it to Smudge looks around on our long morning walks on the waterfront. We already did one this morning for other dogs. And I've taught him to treat that as a cue to turn and take his nose and bonk my fist which is holding the leash with his nose. So he's gonna see a dog without my cueing him. The dog is the cue. I want him to turn around, it actually touched me. For years, I thought it was enough that the dog turn around and quote give me eye contact. But Mike, I'm not always paying one good enough attention to him on my walk to notice that it's a pretty subtle behavior that glance in my direction. It's much more perceivable for me that he actually bunks my hand which is always available on the leash with his nose. I say yes and reinforce him with a little bit of his breakfast, which I've gotten the bait back every time he does that. But it's a perfectly reasonable end solution to our pleasant walks in public is that he tatles. When he sees another dog, it relieves me the pressure of being hyper vigilant. He's already vigilant, I'm going to take advantage of that. So do like that hand targeting. Smudge is a 55 pound dog his nose is on the level of my hand. For shorter dogs. I have two clients right now working on this transforming the trigger that is another dog into a queue and invitation to do a specific behavior to earn positive reinforcement. Those two short dogs one is a miniature poodle, and one is a little Schnauzer mix. One is bunking the woman's calf with his nose. It's not quite as easy to train a calf bonk as a hand bonk. But we've got great success on that it's actually adorable that the little poodle is bonking so often that I have a session with this client tomorrow, Mike this actually funny. The question for my client is boy, he has got that bonking down in that context. This is fantastic. Could you make him stop bonking me all the time around the house, right, which is a request from my lovely client for a bit of stimulus control and other situation. So we're going to work on the don't pause me all day long. With your nose on my calf. We'll work on that tomorrow, the little Schnauzer mixes replacement behavior is a high five. I'm with his pa on the owner's thigh, which is super interesting. I wouldn't have thought of it. I thought of something very complicated. Like, let's have a target on your pants legs. So let's go ahead and wrap a key chain around your cat so that the docket super complicated for the client and the client said, I don't want to wear a keychain. Could I just have the dog bat me with this pa he likes doing that? Oh, thank you. Yeah, it's much easier. So we've placed up behaviors can be anything that the dog can learn to do fluidly outside of the triggering situation. And then we sort of import it into that situation. And these walking situations, I like that we can keep moving. So I want something that isn't too stationary, like a line down. You could do that. But it actually then sort of in a situation where there's a lot of public passing by, we get to stationary sometimes. I do have a station in behavior where Smudge will hop up on curbs or rocks or stumps. That's our backup behavior. But I don't want to get too stuck in one place if we want to keep moving on a walk.

Michael Shikashio:

Environmental cues are just such a lovely thing, right? They're so powerful and they prevent a lot of problems right because you had mentioned one of them is not Having to be hyper vigilant about the environment. One thing I see I use environmental cues quite often as well. And one benefit is that you kind of strip away the propensity for backwards conditioning or wrong order conditioning, where the client does something choking up on a leash or doing something that is a precursor, the dog doesn't see the other dog yet. And then the client makes a habit of that. And the next thing you know, every time the client does that particular movement, or breath holes, or leash tightening the dogs like, Oh, great, here comes the other dog. And by using environmental cues, it really really negates that. Would you agree with that?

Kathy Sdao:

Oh, I couldn't agree more. And it's a little bit embarrassing how long it took me to realize cues, you know, I come from a marine mammal training background, which I fully understood for a decade, like, that was cool, I got to train marine mammals in lots of different settings. And it's sort of its own universe. And then I switched to dog training in 1996. And I'm in a weird transition phase where, like, I know how to train marine mammals using positive reinforcement. But that's not really how it's done with dogs. So I'm in this awkward sort of transition phase. And what it took me a very long time to realize, among many things, actually, is that cues don't come exclusively from the human. So that sort of baggage that comes from more coercive styles of training that would say, hey, you have to be a leader, you have to be in charge, you give the commands, it's all about you and your authority, that it's your words and gestures that control the movements of the dog. So I sort of had that baggage for a long time that said, Oh, cues come from handlers. queues come from everywhere, they've always come from everywhere. That's how we all respond to the environment. And once I could understand that, I'm like, that's fantastic. I have to do so much work. I'm not the only cure. The world is doing that. For me, that could actually be a great relief, right? It's a relief that I'd love to do that part of it, I'm still going to do the reinforcing part of it, I'm going to keep that job. But the signaling part of it, eh, the world is doing that for me. And if I could set it up, right, it relieves a lot of the burden of, you've got to be paying attention to everything that's happening around you around every corner where you can't be doing that and paying attention to your learner, your dog at the same time. I don't know, I think I've made some clients crazy by just making them more stressed inadvertently. Before I could say, hey, it should get easier and happier and looser for you each walk you do, it should get easier. Not the burden is all on you. Can I say one more thing, God, just just want to put a pin on the backward conditioning. I want to come back to it. You're gonna say something now. But let me come back to the backward conditioning because I have things to say.

Michael Shikashio:

We'll say it, let's talk about, forget what you have to have. I have other questions, but definitely want to dig deeper into that topic. Since we're on it.

Kathy Sdao:

Don't lose yours. So you know, Mike, one of the topics that I've loved teaching about over the last few years is the fact that clients and students might say, Oh, I just love to do what you do. That sounds so great, but my dog isn't food motivated. Oh, I want those students give me those students. I love that. My Sassy answer to that is yet your dog isn't food motivated. yet. It's a learning problem. It's not a no, I'm being a little flippant here. Of course, there are medical conditions that could compromise appetite. Of course, we want our veterinarians in on this to make sure we're really out health problems. But in my practice, the vast majority of non food motivated dogs have been inadvertently taught to be wary of food, especially yummy extra novel food in a human's hands. So when you put something super smelly and novel, because your trainer has suggested you use tripe, in your fingertips, and your dog, turns his head away from your hand and you go, oh, not that food motivated. And you actually look at the dog who is a few pounds overweight and you realize, eats just fine plenty of eating going on in that dog, not in the context of training with you. And in many cases, it's because folks have used that food to, quote, distract their reactive dog from a problem in public and I don't blame them totally is the most logical thing in the world to say I carry good food. I noticed the dog coming. I'm going to put dog on my foods nose to make sure he doesn't see that German Shepherd coming at us down the sidewalk. That order of events that your dog starts eating, and while they're eating them notices something they're not comfortable about like the approaching German Shepherd is the perfect way to teach a dog not to eat. If we wanted to teach a dog not to eat because we were hired to do A commercial shoot where the dog has to like snap food from the bad guy, you know, that would be the scene. That's how we teach it, we would start feeding the dog and then have something icky happen after they started eating. So that order of events where we definitely use food in training dogs in public, but not that timing, not the timing of the human trying to distract from something that dog has not yet perceived. Oh, that digs us such a deep hole. Like it digs as a hole in the sense that our clients that are new to us say to us, I've tried that food thing, it doesn't work. And like you and I want to go which food thing did you try, because just using food. Now that's not it, using food in a precise way, with careful timing and the right thresholds, all I can do so much good. But it can also create problems that then spread into the rest of our training. I had a new client in my office two days ago, with a dog who's showing extensive, pervasive aggressive behavior to his owners. And when I brought out food, you could see that dog's entire body language changed to instant wariness of me was not wary of me until I put good food in my hand and then the dog went, what's going to happen. And like that, this is not about food, guarding what was in my hand, this was about the dog going, when people bring out good food, icky stuff happens next, I'm going to be restrained or I'm good. Something bad's going to happen. And it was a window into that dogs learning history of food has not been a trustworthy tool for the dog. So we got to get some of that back before we can use food in a more advanced way. Right?

Michael Shikashio:

It's such a good point because I just saying that I have another client is going through the exact same thing. Sort of like this trickery, you know that the dog is very suspicious when treats come out and are used to shut the dog in a crate. Right? Mouse? Oh, you got tricked. You're in the crates, or, Oh, now you're in this situation? And then that dog actually some very intuitive very quick about learning that. Yeah, oh, I know what you're going to do there with that treat? No, no. And this dog is actually turned to biting the owners now when you try this sort of trickery. So we've had to completely shift that. And I was just thinking back to, you know, it makes me giddy to just think about this paradigm shift that we're seeing where we've seen over the years. And when we've gone from really heavy handed coercive punishment based training to positive reinforcement training to what we are even now if you're doing this, you know, giving these dogs so much more power and choice and control by using environmental cues, when you just just think about that shift and how much it's able to help talk. And it makes me happy so fast, the information is starting to exponentially kind of seep into the training world. Yeah, it's just this exciting, right?

Kathy Sdao:

It's a gift to everybody. It's actually such a burden off of people's shoulders, where they I don't know, it's just there's so much grief and guilt in the work that you and I do, Mike that we want to help our humans now feels like they're doing everything wrong, or this is all their fault. We want to be able to go end goal of success isn't to just your dog doesn't bite someone else. Of course, we were shooting for that. We'd like you to be safe and happy together like that. Is this possible? In many cases, not all but many. And that giddiness that comes with our human clients that go, I just took a pleasant walk with my dog like that actually happened. Yay. That's what we're shooting for. That's good for everybody. Right?

Michael Shikashio:

So I'm sure some of the listeners I just want to go back to the environmental cues. Some of the listeners probably like Well, how do you teach that? How do you how do you transition and I there was actually a whole talk. And I apologize, I can't remember who gave it asked the clicker. I so I'm just trying to transfer to environmental cat, right?

Kathy Sdao:

Laura Monica Torelli?

Michael Shikashio:

Yes. Okay, and so Reader's Digest version. How would you teach that?

Kathy Sdao:

Oh, this is so much fun. I love this so much. Because this to me, when I first sort of put these pieces together was, wait, I knew all those things. Did you ever talk to Dr. Jesus Roales Ruiz or, Dr. Friedman about creativity, because one of the things I'm not going to do this justice, this is way above my paygrade no PhD on me. but bear with me for a second, that you might think of creativity as not brand new ideas that come out of nowhere. It's the putting together of stuff you already had, like the Lego pieces in a new way. So for me the Epiphany on this was, wait, I knew all the pieces of this sort of solution to the puzzle. I just didn't have them arranged, right. So if you look it up cue transfer exercise in the most simple version. Like if you wanted to do a parlor trick, we're not talking about reactive aggressive dogs we're talking about. I was gonna say simple trick trading trick training can be quite advanced. So let's just say you have a dog who spins when you say the word spin. So you look at your dog you say spin and she does a clockwise circle. In front of you, and it's super cute. But you want to change that cue to tapping the top of your head, you just want it to be something that's, that's not so obvious. So you're going to tap the top of your head and you would like your dog to spin. And we trainers go, that's easy. That's just a recipe for how you do that, you would tap the top of your head, the dog would notice you doing something novel, not have any idea what that means. You would then after you tap the top of your head translate, you would give the familiar cue the word spin to tap the top of your head translate spin, the dog does the movement because you already have that functional cue of spin, the dog knows that you click and treat to pay the dog for responding to the familiar cue. But that sequence of unfamiliar cue the new one, followed by the translation, the familiar cue, they already recognize and reinforce them, dogs and all animals will start to anticipate if you do that sequence consistently, you're going to tap the top of your head and you're going to see the dog start to launch the behavior too early before you've given the translation cue. That's great. That's what we're shooting for. We're going to reinforce that anticipation. This is exactly like teaching a child a foreign language or an adult a foreign language. Gato means cat gato means you pause, and the kid goes cat and you're like, I don't need the translation. Many trainers, and people who would not call themselves professional trainers, they know this trick, they learned it in a dog training class, they're like, great. What good is that for the serious thing we're talking about is the exact same thing. The only difference is, the new cue is an attenuated a weakened a much less strong version of what you and I would call a trigger something that reliably upsets the dog in public. So there's dozens of ways we can attenuate a cue, make that approaching German Shepherd, I don't mean to be maligning German Shepherds, by the way, it's just what I passed the last dog I passed this morning on my walk. But that we would attenuate that for our student dog in ways that include were further away, or it's a familiar dog, or it's a different orientation, or a different time of day or at someone else handling the leash. Lots of ways we could make that trigger less familiar, the situation is not as threatening for our dog, because we've intentionally mixed it up. So now the sequence is the new cue is there's a dog moving perpendicular instead of parallel at 30 feet instead of 10 feet. And we might even start with a stuffed dog lots of ways to make it less problematic. And then we translate for our dog what that means. When do we add our cue for touch? Right would be my cue force much dough punches nose to my fist, something we've practiced a lot. At home, he's got that behavior. He knows that. Lots and lots and lots of repetitions of reinforcement for that behavior of touching my fist. When do I give that cue to smudge? When he has perceived the attenuated trigger, Not when I have when he has, how do I know he's noticed the fake dog 30 feet away, moving perpendicular. I've gotten really good at noticing his body language. So I can see that he leans forward and that he closes his mouth and he holds his breath, and he stands on his toes and his ears pinned back. All the ways that we go, the behavior of the student dog has changed to noticing a potential problem in the distance. It's different enough that the dog doesn't launch immediately into lunging and barking, we've set it up that way. We insert the touch cue, we pay generously for him doing that, and then we move on. So what we're actually doing is we're trying to transfer that touching my hand from the humans verbal cue. On to, hey, there's a dog out there is the ghost signal. It works so well. If we do a couple of things, right, and I mentioned them, and we can talk more about them. But I want to bring in a cue that is very familiar, the dog has done lots of repetitions, it's very fluent, we're not trying to insert a cue that the dog sort of knows, that just brings more uncertainty into the situation. And then the human ends up sort of yelling the cue, and it's just more stress. So we're gonna bring in something easy and fun and familiar. And the entire reinforcement history of that easy hand targeting behavior, the 1000s of repetitions I've done with Smudge in the house. They're easy. I can do 50 repetitions in three minutes. Well maybe that's an exaggeration, maybe five minutes, but that entire reinforcement history comes out on the sidewalk with us when we're doing the more serious work. It's not just that he knows the behavior. He has a expectation of something he really values. It's the attitude of positive reinforcement that enters that fraught training situation. That is the boom for us. It makes our work so exciting like that we not only are changing behavior, but we're actually making it be really a kind of a happy city. Because the dog goes, I know how to do that. I've done that a lot, I can totally do that. Fantastic. That's the practice we want to start.

Michael Shikashio:

It's such a magical moment, right, Kathy, when we first see that cue transfer happen, the dog sees something in the environment immediately whips back to do that behavior, whether it's orienting back towards the owner, whatever behavior or behavior we're looking for. It's I just I really love when that happens in my clients. Also, it's the same. Look, we just did a look, look what the dog just did. It's just, it's so great for me to see that and then they get it. Yeah,

Kathy Sdao:

yeah. And you just set it it's clients have sort of given us the benefit of the doubt and of sticking with us. They're like, I don't see the end point, one repetition of that, they then start to see the end, but it's not us talking anymore. They have witnessed something, they go look what the dog just did. Did you see that? Did you see my dog? Just do that? I did see that. That's fantastic. Let's keep going. But that moment is everything, right? We love it. Our clients love it.

Michael Shikashio:

So let's throw some curveballs at this conversation and talk about some of the problems or issues that our clients experience once they get these techniques down. So we have some other conditions involved, maybe some internal conditions, we have to recognize the dogs experiencing, maybe it's some temporal condition, or the time the length of the sessions that they have to start recognizing. So some of those more subtle details to get good at baby, recognizing that the conditions are changing environment or distant antecedents, other factors affecting the dog's behavior throughout the day. What's your typical approach to that? Or how do you get clients to really step back and look at it holistically? When we've taught them this really great technique that they might start to be like, this is gonna work everywhere. Now that he's got it.

Kathy Sdao:

Oh, my gosh, that is such a great question. Oh, and my dog just woke up from a nap and is seeing if the mailman is coming here might be massive barking here, because we have not. We've done no work on the mailman. Right. It's a once a day barking. And right now, it's such a great question of, you know, the beginning of success. And you're like, Okay, hang on, don't get too ahead of yourself here. There's the mail. What did I tell you?

Michael Shikashio:

There's a good environmental cue.

Kathy Sdao:

People listening, you're like you could change his idea about that I could I up not to I actually don't care that much. Except right now that you're hearing him. Hey, buddy. Thanks. Could you come here?

Michael Shikashio:

And I'll have a good question for you too. Regarding behavior change. After this.

Kathy Sdao:

I am giving him a butt scratch for the Thank you for letting me know that the mailman was here. Very happy about that. Your questions so insightful because it's sort of about us trying to guide pines and students have continued success. So one of the things that that is a very practical problem is to find the right location for clients to do the appropriate level of training, meaning, most people can't hire us to be the choreographed presenting the trigger. For every training session, they won't train often enough if they need us to do that, right. So we want to, I want to be able to send my clients out into public in a not foolish way, in a thoughtful way. Where are you going to go to do this training, where the risk is minimal, but you can get some repetitions in. Often that is not right out their back door. In fact, it's almost never out their back door, they have to usually get in a vehicle and drive somewhere. So because they've done that, many clients will go I have carved out an hour of my schedule to drive to this parking lot to do this thing. I'm working for an hour. So I very much want to go. Sometimes your major effort is in getting to the training location, and you're going to do five minutes of training. That's gonna be enough to get started. This is very hard for people. This is not how we plan our schedules, right? It's, wait a minute. You mean, it took me three times as long to drive there and back to the parking lot than the actual training? I did. Yes. That's totally how we're going to get started. Because I don't want you to make the mistake that I Kathy make as a trainer all the time. I still make this mistake. Let's keep going. And let's see what happens. Let's go a little bit more. Mike, can we do one more trial? And so I had a colleague Dorothy Turley have said to me years ago, bless her brave heart when she was someone I was mentoring said to me, Kathy, do you know you always train to the point of failure? Yes, I do. Because I'm, that's me. I'm like, I've got more time. I've got more treats in my pocket, stop when your ahead really absolutely stop when your ahead. A good training session doesn't have to have like a regression in it. Sometimes there are regressions, you get to that parking lot, you go I had a plan. Wow. I didn't expect there to be so many people. You can afford a training session. You totally can drive right back home. That's not a failure. You absolutely can go, I'm not feeling very confident about this because there are more people than I expected or my dog seems to offer absolutely fine to abort a session. We have goals for how often we'd like our clients. To practice, but that is not at the expense of, we're actually doing our work, to the large extent in the real world with some random variables. Not always in the beginning, we like to control things, we want our clients to have success, we're going to choreograph those sessions using ourselves and our dogs. But there's a point at which we've got to go, we kind of get out there, the only way you're not going to make a mistake is to never leave your house. And now after almost a year of COVID, people are not comfortable leaving their house for 20 more reasons than they already had, they'd much rather stay in their comfort zone. So it's very easy for us all to stay hunkered in and to not brave going out into the world, not in a foolish way, not in a COVID foolish way, not in a reactive dog foolish way. But we got to get out there, we got to do something. So for some of my clients right now, there, I've suggested to them, can you just do a takeout meal, don't even do the training, don't even do the cue transfer exercise yet. I just want you feeding your dog a meal three times a week in somewhere that isn't your comfort zone, it isn't the dog's kitchen, anywhere, literally just feed the dog. And if you're not comfortable getting out of your SUV, just use your SUV as a big upper conditioning chamber, just sit in the back of the SUV and feed the dog. I don't even mean in a well, time sort of, you know, expert trainer kind of way, let the dog eat somewhere else. Because you're not even going to have that piece of the procedure to be able to draw on when we open up more hopefully soon, when we can do more training without the COVID concern so that that idea of getting out there, in a thoughtful way, is such a brilliant question, Mike, because it isn't all just smooth sailing, then let me say one more. And then we go back to you. I know you've got some input, but I want to tell clients, for me, it's never perfect. As much still, I would sweat you and I walk about 35 to 40 miles a week. And Tacoma we'd like to walk that's one of our things. And so if I kept data and was really honest and transparent with you, I would say probably about three times a week. I, no I'm gonna guess about three times a week, he still lunches and barks at another dog. And it's usually because someone has come fast from behind us. We've not practiced that orientation very much. We just haven't gone to the trouble to practice somebody jogging with a dog behind us. He and I are usually both startled. And his startle is a bark. It's not dangerous to other people. He's not pulling me over. I'm not proud of it. You wouldn't go like oh, that's Kathy Sdao and look, her dog just reacted badly. We can live with some real life Sterling in those cases. And I don't give up. So I don't go oh my gosh, like this whole thing was a wreck. There's still times he barks. And I now say to people, he's noisy, because there's something different about him being dangerous, and him actually making noise. So I just want to normalize for folks, noisy humans, noisy dogs, it's not the end of the world. It's not the same thing as an almost bite. Now I'm here to tell you, Mike, most people can't discern the difference. He does look scary. And I don't want to scare anybody. So I'm going to minimize that. But one bark out of Smudge when you come running with your dog behind me is no longer the shame spiral. For me. It used to be oh my gosh, my dog should be perfect. This is my job. And we do just fine and have not had any major incidents except one. I fessed up to one incident we have that I can't explain. He launched and marketed to women about two months ago, and I can't explain it, it was scary for them and scary for me. And we've changed a few of the ways that we walk in public, I threw the shoes out that I had that had no tread, it didn't give me traction to hold on to them. I changed leashes that have a better grip, I'm double clipping the leash at all times. So I made changes in the antecedent arrangement to make sure, please don't ever scare women. He launched it to women, I don't even understand that. For two days, we didn't go anywhere. I said, we're not walking anymore. That's it. And then I realized, I think there's some way we can continue to walk and yet make it safer. So I guess I want to just say the processes an ongoing procedure. We're learning all the time. I just want everybody to keep learning staying as safe as they can. But understanding I don't know, I never get to perfect. Maybe you do, but I don't.

Michael Shikashio:

I think it's very important that listeners hear your side as well. And also hearing that you experienced the same thing as all the rest of us trainers and pet owners out there. You know, and dogs are not robots, right? Dogs. You know, for me, I think resiliency is a something to pay attention to. And what that means is the dog's ability to cope with stress. And you were talking about the length of the session, and then you just beautifully stated how, you know, sometimes you just go there for five minutes, and I've had clients would take that I would I had one client did this mini Aussie, and I would go there and literally we would do about 30 seconds of work. That's all that dog could handle. When I first started out, and then the rest of the 59 and a half minutes I was there. This client would just tell me about her life and we would just talk and chat and talk about things we could do later on with the dog but sometimes that's what's realistic for a particular animal. And, you know, we were able to Spend extended sessions and we were able to get a veterinary behaviorist involved with and start incorporating medication to help. But there are some dogs that they just need short windows. So you know, a question I have for you is, all things being equal, have you found a certain length of time you find is the premium to work in these scenarios? Lets say you can set the stage and you can pick the environment as you want. You've got a dog that's food, taking food and working with you. What's your premium time? If you were to give it anything?

Kathy Sdao:

That is a great question. And you alluded to something that trips me up, which is clients have paid for an hour or 90 minutes like that, you know, I'm saying like they've got their time they want to work. So to normalize, what it means to use up that time well, right, which might involve right I love the idea of vehicles as sort of operant conditioning chainer chambers are pejoratively called Skinner boxes, that the dog can sort of hop into sometimes right and sort of have a quiet sterile break. And then we bring the dog back out of the vehicle to do another minute of training and pop them back in again, that's not a failure. That's really smart training. If I said to clients what to expect, because every dog is different right behaviors, the study of one we say this all the time. And I've had dogs vary greatly in what's an ideal session length. But I tell clients, an average, if I were to graph that out from the experience I've had is probably about 20-25 minutes. Because what we're saying is, if you could train for an hour out in public, there's the possibility, bear with me, I'm not sure this is true, the dumbbell might be too light, meaning if you could easily train for an hour, you might not actually be working that muscle, because you're doing curls with one pound dumbbell, right, you're getting a lot of curls in, but there's part of us that wants to go, I think you can pick up a heavier dumbbell, you won't do as many reps with a 10 pound dumbbell. But you're actually working the muscle in a way that's building something rather than just counting reps. If you're kind of up against the edge of the dogs tolerance, at the edge of that threshold, I'm thinking a shorter training time is probably better. I don't have data on this, this is just my experience at working with clients. So I'm going to ask them to shoot for 20 minutes being pretty terrific, right? Varies by dog, can often do a few minutes of training, and then have them have a real break absolute relaxation, if they go in the car and are barking at everything passing by from the car, that's not relaxing. But a relaxing break can often reset them and we can come back out and do another few minutes session. Right?

Michael Shikashio:

I'm right there with you, Kathy. I mean, and it's such a great analogy to if you were to build on that analogy, you could tell clients, okay, you know, maybe workout for 20 minutes, but you need about 20 minutes and 10-20 minutes stretching and warming up in 10-20 minutes cooling down and cooling down. You know, sniff are your distress kind of activity Richmond activity to allow them to unwind? So I get that question a lot from my students as well, it's never going to be 60 minutes of exposure to the provocative stuff. That's way too long, way too long. Well, with the rare exception, I was a rare rare exceptions, if we're just doing a straight desensitization procedure, or we're just really not a lot of food happening. It's just hanging out five weeks away from something that's different. But if we're going with the actual exposure to the stimulus, at that heavy enough dumbbell level, that 20 minutes is what I found also, for most cases.

Kathy Sdao:

Oh, good. I like that we sort of are carrying on that. That metaphor of lifting weights, I use a lot, because almost everybody has that experience. And we trainers talk a lot about thresholds, and raising and lowering criteria, which is everything. It's everything you want to teach your clients to do. Like once they've got that you're like, Oh my gosh, that's half of it. But that jargon is not that intuitive for a lot of people. But when you say you didn't think really hard about which dumbbell to pick up to do curls, it wasn't a huge like brain strain, you just kind of try and then you find one that offers a little resistance to your muscle, you do some reps. And that metaphor carries pretty well to not having people get so stuck in picking the exact right distance. Let's try some things with safety barriers in place if we need to I no bloodshed, there's no bloodshed in our sessions, we'll make it safe. But you know what, we've got to do a little experiment because we're not going to know a priori what the right distance is. We're gonna have to ask the dog.

Michael Shikashio:

Absolutely, absolutely. So since we've kind of shifted the conversation from classical talk to operant talk, you know, behavior chains, right. So what problems do you see there? Now, I get this question a lot too, about, you know, dogs charging out the window at the mailman and we call them over, and they come to us and reinforce that behavior. So theoretically, in the long term, we could end up setting up that behavior chain and for me ot really depends. It depends what the end goal is. And what's normal for most dogs, you know, some dogs if the client says, I don't want my dog ever barking again, well, that's not very fair to the dog, we might expect some barking at certain stimuli. Do you see problems in some contexts? Like, I have no problem with the client calling a dog over from the window. And then so instead of barking for 10 minutes during a podcast recording, they come over and they're quiet after two barks. Thanks for letting me know someone's there. Come over and get your reinforcer here. And that's perfectly acceptable and nice and goal for me. But what do you see maybe problems in other scenarios that that could become kind of exacerbate conditions over time if youre

Kathy Sdao:

You guys can't tell. But I'm actually showing Mike not careful. now my dog barked wildly at the mailman. And he's completely asleep in a really dramatically, he says, morning job is done here snoozing and dreaming over there on the couch next to me, Oh, my gosh, you said something, I need to re say, Oh, I love this. I read a quote many years ago, and I don't know who the quote was from. And I apologize. It was in a teacher's manual. Teachers of children. And i said, you better have a reall good reason to need a four yea old to be quiet and still. And love that I love that insight t go. Sometimes you do need a ver young child to be silent and no moving. But if that is your g to goal, there is a bigge problem there. And I think we'r often guilty of that with dogs I'm the girl who often whe people go, I want calm. Tha makes me sometimes cring because as Mike knows about me I'm gesticulating. Now I tal intensively I'm moving all th time. And when people say to me calm down, it's an implicatio that there's something wron with my moving a lot and talkin a lot. And I realize that ma not be something you're used to But in my culture, Italia American, my gosh, this is calm This is as calm as my famil ever get. So when we say do yo need absolute silence o absolute stillness, we're sor of older styles of dog trainin woods, ask a dog commanded do to plots and stay right you'r gonna lie down and stay still We might need that. But I reall want to ask that question. So i my life with smudge, that ide that you see and hear thing outside the house, and you wan to let me know about them. that's great. I actually, value that so that he's gonn bark when the mailman comes o let's say I got a delivery righ now he's gonna bark again, i you know Amazon delive something. It's the fact tha he's not deeply upset in a way I can't interrupt and redirect So he's not that upset. He's, i you watch his body language, know you guys can't, but he' going. It's the mailman. I don' like the mailman. Did you kno the mailman here, Okay. Oh, the mailman it's gone. I don't now that there's anything to cha ge. Now there are certainly cli nts dogs, where the barking is uch more frequent at many ore things, the dog is re lly worried about it, I might ant to change the behavior bec use the behavior is a symptom o an underlying emotion, which is not good for the dog or the fam ly. But I think it's super impor ant to parse out where we ge in trouble reinforcing a pro lem behavior by putting a cue on top of it. And that's absolu ely true. One of the burden of positive reinforcement trai ing is everything becom s a conditioned reinforcer. All our cues are reinforcers e ery glance and touch, they all become secondary and tert ary reinforce positive reinforc rs. That's fantastic. You've got dozens of ways to reinforce our learner. But it's a problem hen they're making a mist ke. Because what are you going t do in the moment they're d ing something you don't like yo to try your best and not reinf rce it, which actually is ore challenging than it so nds because pretty much everyt ing is some version of a reinfor er. So want to be careful hen people go, if I call my dog who's digging in the art, my dog is digging in the yard a d I call him when I just called him use that stat cue here. Why ave super reinforced that behav or? That signal here has beco e a reinforcer I just reinfo ced digging. Yes, you did. But you're only gonna ha e a problem. If you don't ant digging, I don't f lly understand that I think dig ing for dogs is somethin to encourage but many of my cli nts disagree. It's only going t be a problem, you're only goin to build the behavior chain a ter many repetitions of that lin age in most cases. So it's nly after 10 or 20 times of the dog diction you call here that you get more digging. So you ha e a chance to be able to go I ca do something else about the dig ing using antecedent arrangemen to lower the probability. So I ove that people talk about, ey, could I create an inadver ent behavior chain that I did? w nt? What a insightful and excel ent question. You kind of go, uh? Every behavior chain I've ver created effortf lly intentionally Guide Dogs for the Blind learning to lead a b ind person through an entire b ock of obstacles in traffic to get to the next down curb. Wh t a beautiful, challenging beha ior chain that every guide dog learns. We know how much ef ort goes into building that ch in, there not that easy to bui d a really reliable chain aft r a few repetitions, right? o I would say if you've called our dog the third time ou of digging in the yard, and yo 're like, Oh, I think I'm creati g a problem. Do something a out preventing it from gettin to that part of the yard, y u'd have to keep repeating, I g ess is what I'm saying. Does hat make se

Michael Shikashio:

It totally makes sense. It seems like and it sounds like we have to differentiate the underlying emotions also going on. So dog that's digging is having a good time, we can assume most of the times we're exposing the dog to an environment where they are afraid of something or phobic of something, we're running the risk of many things, setting up an undesirable type of behavior chain, but we're also of course, potentially impacting our cues, poisoning them. So there's there's lots of problems with that kind of a secondary question. What do you do when a dog has multiple triggers? Or phobias or provocative stimuli? How do you set the stage then? Let's say throw another curveball. Kathy, how about a you're in a city environment that has issues with kids bikes, strollers, cars, buses.

Kathy Sdao:

I know I'm doing some virtual consulting with a brilliant trainer in Manhattan. And boy, her dog is great. She's great. And I'm like, I choose not to live in Manhattan. I mean, there's no kidding. That that intensity that that density of stimuli. I personally couldn't handle. So I'm, I'm not cocky about going, oh, here's what you would do in Manhattan. Boy is pulling out her very best training. And what's funny is the reason she originally called me She is a skilled trainer, not professional trainer. She just knows her dog. And she called me because she has so much trouble with how much food her little poodle passes on the way from her apartment to Central Park. They walk every day, and there's garbage on the ground, food garbage on the ground. And so she said, I have tried to positively teach Leave it. But she said every time I do it, it just gets poisoned by my having to say it so often in jerk the dog. I want to start from scratch again. Can you help me start from scratch? Teaching leave it as a totally positive cue because she's the keep wrecking it because it's so challenging. And then like, if I have a dog that's small, and lived in Manhattan and had to walk from my apartment to Central Park, I'd carry the dog, I'm just telling you, my solution would be that dog is not walking on the street to go

Michael Shikashio:

Doggy stroller, right?

Kathy Sdao:

Like, I got the snuggling and I'm not even training. Oh my gosh, that's a huge training challenge. us something else about living in a city? Hang on, what was the piece of your question before that one?

Michael Shikashio:

So, you know, again, with multiple phobias, Multan, like how do we how do we arrange the vironment because we can use distraction techniques. But you really have to be careful, as we were talking about earlier in the show about how you know, distractions or learners can, if we're not very good with the mechanics, and the dog ends up seeing what we're trying to distract them from, we're running a risk there, right?

Kathy Sdao:

Those multiple triggers, I have to tell you practically what I tend to do. So first off, yay, that Dr. Chris puckle, amazing veterinary behaviors is not too far for me, so that I can pull a picture of your behaviors, who's also really skilled trainer in on the team very easily, hey, we need to get some traction somewhere, or we run the risk that our clients aren't going to get any success. There's no behavioral momentum for our clients. And even if there were a training solution, they're not going to see any progress. So I want to be able to sort of take the low hanging fruit on which triggers could we make the most impact on so that you can see we've got some techniques that might matter. And very often, as you know, Mike, it means that in the short term, that Doug may be leading a quite constrained life. So we're often saying to clients, we're going to suspend their normal activities, which is frustrating for everybody, though you need to create some consistency and safety where their daily life is not triggering them so often, that they're physiologically set up to be more and more reactive, we just need to give them a break. And that's not pleasant for clients who can't take the dog to agility class back when we had the agility classes before COVID. Or take the hike in the park and we're saying, I'd like you to not go to the dog park or whatever for a while until we get to behaviors changed. That's often a big piece of it, but an important part that says it's an effort to make some progress on some of those triggers. But I've not had success at tackling them all at once. It's like trying to teach someone to juggle four balls at once. You got to juggle one ball at a time and i've i've had people teach me to juggle and I am not very dexterous. So for me, one ball is More than enough for me or I just put the juggling balls away and go, I suck at this, huh, it was the right teacher, I'm going to be good, I'm gonna have success at juggling, because they're going to split it to the place where I can be successful. That's us, Mike looking at a situation and going, we're going to try very hard to split it to where it can be successful. At the same time not being so Pollyanna to not say that our situation is so dire and dangerous, that we might recommend the likelihood of successes is small. And the likelihood of someone being hurt is very high. So I don't want to want to give the false impression that everybody coming to see me as a successful behavior modification. That is not true. And I no longer look at that as failure. That's the job I have.

Michael Shikashio:

Yeah. And kudos to the clients that live in the city. Right. They they're the analogy I use is that it's like they're learning to drive but they are driving in New York City environments, not in the countryside. It's a whole different skill sets whole differently, you know, and they are they're choosing to keep that car in the city when they're working with their dog. Kathy, I've had so much fun talking to you. This has been a great conversation. I wish we had more and more hours to do this.

Kathy Sdao:

That was fast.

Michael Shikashio:

Where can people find you? where's where's the good place for you? And what are you up to next?

Kathy Sdao:

Well, you can find me on my website, which is my name KathySdao.com and my last name is spelled oddly, it's Sdao for people that search for a different spelling and go it's not there. And you can find the current things I'm doing there. And let me just I want to give a shout out because the timing this timing of us doing the recording is pretty special for me because tomorrow drops the first I was gonna say episode are we calling them episodes of a new project I'm working on with four of our colleagues, Mike, you're familiar with all of them. I think, Dr. Chris puckle, who I've already mentioned veterinary beavers in Portland, Oregon. Marisa Martino trainer in Boulder, Colorado, Barry Finger, a trainer outside of Boulder, Colorado and Lynn Unger, a poet and minister and non professional dog trainer, skilled trainer, but she doesn't do it professionally in Vancouver, Washington. And we are launching a project that we're calling Lima beings are Lima beings. And that is a shout out to the acronym. Us training and veterinary professionals are familiar with least intrusive, minimally aversive Li Ma. With our tongue in cheek with a little bit of pun, we're calling our new project lima beans. And you can find us at lima beans.com. And as a way to say we training and veterinary professionals would like to extend the ethic of unconditional positive reinforcement for the non human animals in our care. Those dogs and cats and parrots and horses and pigs and dolphins that we usually quite easily extend that ethic of unconditional positive regard, preferential option toward positive reinforcement in those learners. We want to extend it to the humans in our care and contact the clients and students and colleagues and those folks that it's much more challenging to be universally positively reinforcing towards because we've not been socialized to use positive reinforcement with one another as humans, our language is usually not very fluent in that regard. So we decided that we wanted a space to be able to have discussions about that and some practice and some support in what would it look like to be at least intrusive and minimally aversive to a trainer who doesn't think the way I do who uses tools that I wouldn't use, or the clients who came to me two days ago with the profoundly aggressive dog who's currently wearing a shock color, I've got an issue with that I would like them to make other choices. But I'm not going to shame them for doing that. That's the best approach that they've had up till now. So we're going to continue the conversation, I hope but in a way that allows us to be kind and respectful to one another while still being honest about things that are true for us. So authentic, honest, and still positively reinforcing. We didn't know a place where we could have those kinds of conversations. So we created it. It's a membership community. So I don't want anyone to go to the website and go, this is all just great free material. It is a membership community. We're inviting folks to watch a pre recorded conversation among the five founders will drop an episode once a month, our first episode get drops tomorrow. And then we'll have a live conversation on zoom once a month, where we can discuss not just the words about oh, that's very laudable that you would try to use positive reinforcement on other people know where the rubber meets the road. What does that look like? What habits are we developing in us? What's a splitting approximation for the shaping we're going to do on our own behavior? How do we go out into the world and make mistakes at doing this and be brave learners about it and create a community that says, Good dog training can change the world, like you teach someone to use positive reinforcement with a dog, hey, they're going to change their relationships forever. Forward, we know that let's continue to push the learning for all of us as professionals in that regard. And I know I need help. So we're, we've created a space where hopefully we can help one another do it. It's brand new though, Mike, I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm super excited about it Lima beings, as in human beings.com is where you can find out more about it. And you can certainly email me for my website if that sparked some questions in you.

Michael Shikashio:

I'm really excited for that as well. It's such a it's such a brilliant project with some brilliant people so very much looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to seeing you at the aggressive dog conference also in October. Kathy is going to be speaking there. So stay tuned for more details about that. Kathy, thank you so much for joining me. I hope to see you again very soon and we will definitely talk more as we go along.

Kathy Sdao:

Fantastic was my great pleasure, Mike. Thanks and every success to