VIDEOS - BOOKS - INSPIRATION
Bob and Marian Bailey
Meeting Bob and Marian Bailey in 1997 was the beginning of an incredible journey in the animal training world! We became good friends. They introduced me to science. They explained the power of garbage can science and encouraged me to collect data and use video. One of the reasons to add some of their work on this page. Because they were a true inspiration for me!
Use video in your training. It will help you to become a better trainer. It will help you to change your training by splitting all the details. And all of this will help you to your animals up for success! And another benefit is that you will start archiving your training journey into a video log. This will be useful for education and will be inspiring others! The reason that I added some inspirational videos inhere
Garbage Can Science
As an inspirator, influencer, and change agent, I built many different training devices. Because devices can help raise success for animals, this will speed up training. Building devices can cost a lot of time and money. Garbage can science can help. With low-cost materials and simple construction, we test our ideas before investing more time and money to make it awesome! Like our scent wheels!
We live in a fast world where many people are locked into their phones, tablets, or computer screens. Animal people are living the opposite; they are out there, living in the open, enjoying animals, encountering nature. The bond between humans and dogs is one of the most inspiring friendships on this planet. No animal is so intuned with us humans as a dog. Besides the friendship, dogs are with us during sports, activities, hikes, and work. They genuinely love us, trust us, work for us and inspire us. My inspiration comes from work, the bond, sports, workshops, and all sorts of dog-related activities. And also from many training friends, scientists, research, awesome videos, and books. There is so much information out there, and I like to inspire you with a short selection of videos and books. Especially for those days, you come home after a nice hike or training, and you want to learn more about dogs, what motivates them and how they know.
Directional training started in 1996!
In 1996 I developed the protocols for directional training. This was one of the most inspiring jobs I ever had. Building training from scratch is so challenging! Nobody in the world was doing this. I had experience with hunting dogs, I saw the work of sheepdogs, but there were no radio directional camera dogs in the world. When I finished the Canine Directional Training ©, dogs could be trained to follow voice directionals from the trainer by radio. Even far away and out of sight, these dogs worked reliably in the night and in very distracting environments. After designing the training program, testing, writing the protocols, and proofing the work, I was fortunate to work with these exceptional dogs for 25 years in high-risk operations. Nowadays the work we did is in the open, and lots of trainers are training these ‘directionals’ for fun and sports. A true inspiration!
The work of Bob and Marian Bailey
It was not a coincidence that I met Bob and Marian Bailey. During the development stage of the canine directional training (CDT), I did a lot of research. This set me on the path of these two incredible people. I found out that they did many pioneer work in the animal training industry. Marian, a former student-professor of Skinner and Bob as the Navy director of training, did a tremendous amount of work in their IQ Zoo. Besides this animal enterprise, they did much innovative work in many government animal programs during the Cold War. We became good friends, worked together for more than 25 years. We did a lot of exciting projects together, and I’m sure we inspired a lot of trainers out there!
Development of scent wheels
The scent wheel is one of the most simple, innovative, and sophisticated training devices. Even the most talented and skilled dog trainers will observe, timing, and reinforce mistakes. Understanding the principle of “what you reinforce, is what you get ” is what encouraged us to make the ‘perfect scent wheel.’ These videos give you a glimpse of our scent wheel development stages. This leads to the fully operational sensor scent wheel with data storage!
ACT! Low budget scent wheel
Build from low-cost materials in a garbage can science principle, we started to use these sort of scent wheels. In this excellent video footage, you will see a series of mistakes that will happen, even when you are the best trainer in the world. This inspired us to make sensor-operated scent wheels to help the trainer.
ACT! First sensor scent wheel
If sensors take over the observation and computers are used to measure criteria, we can design a training apparatus capable of training dogs faster and more reliant. This will not take the (human) trainer out of the picture! These devices will save us time and are a great help. Now we can imprint and condition dogs better!
ACT! 2 min foldable scent wheel
ACT! Data storage scent wheel
The newest technology in sensors, computer boards, and communication allowed us to develop the innovative scent wheel best and most ever built. Glass materials are used for easy cleaning, fast, sensitive sensors measure the work of the dog. Data is transmitted directly to your iPhone, Ipad, or Macbook.
Building your own scent wheel
Learning operant conditioning by training chickens
Inspiring was that Bob and Marian Bailey introduced me to operant conditioning by using chickens as their life training models. Chickens are fast; they are good observers and intelligent enough to do color discrimination, obstacle courses, laser training, and many other ‘dog-related exercises. Training animals is a profession and is necessary for the trainer to understand the theory and practice it. It’s not always easy to bring the knowledge in your mind into your hands and ‘translate it’ onto the training field. By using chickens, it’s possible to see how you will become a good trainer. Good trainers use the knowledge in their minds, bring it to their hands, and control their body language. I did all the five Bob and Marian Bailey courses. It taught me how to develop and write protocols. How to collect and analyze data. How to become a better trainer, a better instructor. And overall, it was teaching me to set up animals for success!
Start on laser cue
Target training - basic skill set
The ‘normal’ obedience skill sets like SIT, DOWN, and HERE are the target training we standard teach to all our dogs. Target training can be beneficial in many exercises. It’s a steady and clear signal for dogs where to go, what to do, where to look, how to touch, and so much more. Besides this being very useful, it is also a training that will teach trainers to be more precise at criteria, observation, and reinforcement. It’s not only a shaping process for the dog but also shapes or, better to say, sharpens the skills of trainers. Target training can be taught to all dogs, even the smallest ones like this little fellow, during one of our workshops. Take a look at the beautiful skills of this trainer! Spot on!
Wildlife detection dogs are doing a great job in finding endangered animals. Often these ‘target’ animals are hard to find. Researchers like Nathalie Espuno contacted us some time ago for help in training her wildlife detection dog. Now she is using her dog Leia to help her in the field. During this ‘operation,’ Leila found 17 salamanders that the researchers would generally not find.
Using ball machine
My good friends Jagna and Pavlov from Poland are demonstrating they are using Operant Conditioning (OC) and ball machines to teach their search and rescue dogs new skillsets. After the cue the dog will walk on the obstacle and find its balance. If the dog meets criteria the trainer will push the button to activate the ball machine. In this way the trainer has maximum control over the reinforcer in the distance.
Use of operant
Often people ask me to clarify the word ‘operant.’ Skinner explained to us it means “active behavior that operates upon the environment to generate consequences.” Often I use the example of the dog that uses its paws to reach towards some pieces of food outside its kennel. In this video, Pat Nolan shows one of his dogs ‘explaining’ with active behavior how to get the desired reinforcer
Some wonderful books
My books shelves are loaded with lots of books. Of course many books about training dogs. Special old editions about training animals for war operations. Books about how to train birds, dolphins, horses, monkeys and many other animals. A lot about psychology, learning methods, and our human brains. I’m proud to have special editions like Skinners Behavior of Organisms, books from the Dutch author Niko Tinbergen and the Nature of the Beast by Hans Brick. Many of these books sharpened my brain and challenged me to do more go deeper, and all of them were building confidence, trust, and respect for animals around us! I will share a few of these books on this web page as sources of inspiration. And hope they will inspire and challenge you as they did for me!