04 November 2012

Remote control cyborg cats, CIA dolphins and Susan Garrett folk singing about the cleverness of chickens: Bob Bailey and Dr. Sophia Yin lecture at UCDavis.

I don't even know where to begin. I spent a beautiful sunny day in a lecture hall at the UCDavis vet school. With no dogs. A day without dogs? That's crazy talk. Instead, taking notes and listening to 2 famous scientists talk about training animals. Bob Bailey and Dr. Sophia Yin were talking about "Problem Dogs to High Performance Dogs: How Operant Technology Can Take Your Training to the Next Level".

I'm not sure what level it's taking my training to. I took about 400 pages of notes and all I can remember right now is surveillance weaponry training for dolphins and seagulls and stealth satellite guidance for spy dogs. And that I'm a too slow, imprecise dog trainer that probably slouches at all the wrong times.

Dr. Sophia Yin and Bob Bailey are not warm and fuzzy. They are scientists. Tiny little scientists with lots of data. They both want people to get better at training animals. People flew in from all around the world to listen to their words. A lady who runs an animal shelter in Caracas, Venezuela ate lunch with us. There were a handful of agility people in attendance, and then I don't know who else, I think mostly professional dog trainers? Probably they all have excellent timing and criteria with the exact right rate of reinforcement.

You know who they are, right? Maybe you have already trained chickens with Bob Bailey. Dr. Sophia Yin is a behaviorist from Davis who puts out huge amounts of information to help people be better trainers to their dogs. Both of them really made me want to be a lot less of a slouchy, half assed dog trainer, that's for sure. Like start all over the beginning. My mind, very blown.




9 comments:

Elf said...

I thought the first day had more interesting topics. By that, I mean more useful topics. But there was still some good stuff today. I could've used several fewer verses of clever student songs and more actual information this afternoon. But maybe that's just me.

Debbie said...

Didn't Dr. Yin invent the Manners Minder? I love my robot treat machine!

team small dog said...

She did invent the Manners Minder. Scientists love inventing robots very much. Lots and lots of talk of robots.

Boy if there was even more information on Saturday than Sunday, I think my mind would have officially exploded. Dog trainers wearing high waisted pants and poofy hair scrunchies in the 80's singing songs about chickens was as horrific as the remote control cats!

Elf said...

On Saturday, she gave a talk on her research into figuring out how to come up with [almost] fool-proof instructions for training a dog with the device. That was pretty interesting.

CA Pet Palace said...

I was wondering why you weren't at agility in the Forest, the 8" group was itty bity, just Remington and a cute long haired Chihuaua named Tucker from So. Cal.

Anonymous said...

I am SO ENVIOUS!! Hope you will devote more blog posts to what you learned (or didn't learn, but have in your notes that you can reveal without violating the Susan Garrett pledge.). Sounds like an interesting seminar for those of us who just like to learn more (w/out necessarily applying what we heard...)

Otterpop Groupie from Kentucky

Kathleen said...

I wasn't just you, Ellen. I could've used (a lot) less silly singing from Susan Garrett et al and more training info from Bob Bailey on Sunday....

local dog walkers said...

haha my dog hates my sisters cyborg cat for we liked different pets and it was a good laugh of the day

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