Over a year ago, the Behavior Education Network (BEN) produced a webinar called “The Outliers – Animal Behavior Problems That Are Unusual” with guest presenters Ms. Barbara Heidenreich and Ms. Sharon Madere. In that webinar we discussed behavior problems for which the usual management and treatments were either impractical or impossible.  Out of that came a larger discussion of how we think about behavior problems and utilize behavior modification procedures. At the core of that discussion was whether or not hierarchical approaches to choosing behavior modification procedures was the most efficient, effective or even most humane way of dealing with all behavior problems. Examples were presented of cases where uncommon or unique behavior modification procedures had proved not only effective but also efficient and optimal for the welfare of the animal.

Thanks to the hard work of a group of expert animal trainers, behavior consultants, and animal behaviorists we now have a new set of guidelines that encourages professionals to think broadly rather than linearly about behavior modification tools and how to use them.  Those new guidelines are B.I.G. for Animals – Effective, Efficient and Optimal Behavior Intervention Guidelines.

Join us as we welcome back special guests Ms. Barbara Heidenreich of Animal Training Fundamentals and Ms. Sharon Madere of Equilightenment to talk about B.I.G. for Animals and what it can mean for your work with animals, especially how you think about addressing animal training and behavior problems.

Among the questions that we’ll address are –

  • What is B.I.G. for Animals and how is it different from hierarchical approaches?
  • How did B.I.G. for Animals come about?
  • How has our thinking about animal welfare changed over the last 15 years or so in the fields of animal training and behavior modification?
  • What are some of these changes/challenges that may be preventing the animal training community from making progress?
  •  How had/have organizations/certifying bodies contributed to the changes/challenges?

You can listen to this discussion and view the slide images by clicking the links below.  We think you’ll find the discussion provocative, and it may change the way you think about animal training and behavior modification.

Click the Audio Player below to listen to the discussion.

Click HERE to download the images from the discussion.