Animal Trainers: Take Animal Emotions into Consideration!

By Karolina Westlund Ph.D. of PPG corporate partner Illis Animal Behaviour Consulting Is the dog fearful, or crouching? Does it matter, when you’re training? The world of animal trainers is divided, and I find that some trainers avoid the subject of animal emotions altogether. “There’s no need to factor in and understand emotions, just deal with the observable behaviour”, is the gist of […]

Read more

How To Bring Empathy into Practice?

Drawing empathy into our training practice is so important. As positive reinforcement training is involves multiple choices (such do we shape, capture or lure this behavior? What sort of reward should we choose; food or something else?   What is our secondary reinforcer going to be – a clicker/our voice or something else) all these choices require we make intelligent, informed […]

Read more

Why is Empathic Practice Important?

While historically empathy has perhaps been seen as a fluffy, feel good emotion with little relevance to science, or science based practice, our lack of empathy has, arguably, led us into the dangerous territory we entered in decades gone by. Those beliefs include the view that animals are non-sentient, unfeeling and non emotional; all ideas prompted through the historical views […]

Read more

Defining Empathy

Over the last decade there has been an increasing awareness of the need to think, and act, empathically within healthcare settings; this information could be very useful for us. Helen Reiss MD of Harvard Medical School reports a variety of benefits to both patients and clinicians by including; greater patient satisfaction; better medical outcomes for patients; greater job satisfaction and […]

Read more