January 9, 2023

#36 - Dr. Susan Friedman:
Become a Better Animal Trainer

In this week’s interview episode, we are joined by Dr. Susan G Friedman PhD. For those of you who have had the pleasure of hearing Susan talk before, you know that this is going to be a great episode full of nuggets that you can apply to your animal training, but also just to your life in general.
Susan walks the walk when it comes to implementing what they know about behavior to all facets of life. In this episode, you’re going to hear Emily and Susan talk about:
  • Learners are learners are learners
  • Do you actually need to teach that behavior?
  • Unnatural solutions for natural behaviors.
Content Warning
We wanted to provide a content warning for this episode because we do discuss some difficult topics such as ABA practices with human learners and the not so great history of the development of what least intrusive practices have looked like over the past few decades. So this content warning is to empower you, our audience, with the knowledge you need to make healthy decisions about how and if you should consume this podcast content.
Discussion of ABA practices with human learners from 32:11-47:28.

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Meet the Guest

Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D.

Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. Susan has co-authored chapters on behavior change in five veterinary texts, and her popular articles have been translated into 17 languages. She teaches seminars and courses on animal learning online (How Behavior Works: Living & Learning With Animals), with students from 60 countries so far. Susan also consults with zoos and animal organizations around the world. She was appointed to the F&WS California Condor Recovery Team from 2002 – 2010, after which time the team was retired due to the success of the birds in the wild. She is the Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee of American Humane Association (AHA) Film and TV Unit, and a member in good standing of ABAI, ABMA, IAATE and IAABC. See behaviorworks.org and facebook.com/behaviorworks.

Meet the Hosts

Allie pic with Oso

Allie Bender, CDBC, CPDT-KA, SBA

Allie Bender is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed, and a Shelter Behavior Affiliate. She has been in the animal welfare industry since 2006 and professionally training since 2012. She is the founder and co-owner of Pet Harmony, co-author of Canine Enrichment for the Real World, and a national speaker.

While in the animal sheltering industry, Allie realized that her passion lied in helping pets with maladaptive behaviors. Specifically, she wanted to help prevent animals with rehabilitatable problems from being euthanized. She loves working with dogs and cats displaying stranger danger, resource guarding, and leash reactivity. Her favorite thing about working with pets and their people is seeing relationships grow and seeing harmonious households develop.


Emily Strong, CDBC, SBA

Emily Strong is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Shelter Behavior Affiliate. She has been in the animal welfare industry since 1990 and has been a behavior consultant since 2008. She is the co-owner of Pet Harmony, co-author of Canine Enrichment for the Real World, and a national speaker. 

Emily started working with animals at a young age and struggled with the notion that you have to hurt, scare, or intimidate animals to help them. When she discovered the behavior sciences and learned that it wasn’t necessary to do so– that we can care for emotional, mental, and physical health simultaneously– she plunged headfirst into animal behavior. Emily loves helping current and prospective behavior professionals and working with pet parents through our in-depth services. She enjoys working with all species.

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