The Convergence of Human & Animal Training and Technology

Join us in Seattle - July 19-21, 2019

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Conference Schedule

Brought to you by TAGteach International LLC and RYANO LLC

Download Schedule

Friday July 19


Registration and Networking


Special Event - To Be Announced


Informal Meet Up at Local Bar

Saturday July 20




Ryan O'Donnell

Welcome and Introduction


Susan Schneider

The Science of Consequences and Other Convergences: What We Share with Animals (and Why It Matters)

Early behavioral scientists like B. F. Skinner were astonished to discover how many common behavior principles existed across species - similarities that apply for complex as well as basic principles, and in the mathematical models that describe behavior.  Our neurophysiology, genetics, and epigenetics correspond too.  Animal and human trainers are well aware of many of the behavioral commonalities, and have helped expand our knowledge of them.  This talk will survey the current status of a variety of these shared features, such as unusual consequences, enrichment, choice, learning through observing, communication, and biological bases.  Exploring the full range of what we share offers useful insights as well as renewed appreciation for our extraordinary potential.





Anne Wormald

Shaping and Targeting and Capturing Oh My! How training animals has made me a better people trainer

A comparison of typical methods used to teach people vs. animals to perform gross and fine motor skills and follow instructions. This talk will focus on how to get and shape behavior without touching and how animal training methods work just as well for people.


Ken Ramirez

Handling Mistakes Positively

Positive reinforcement trainers will go out of their way to avoid punishment. However, is a well-timed “no” still considered a punisher? What options are available to the well-intentioned positive reinforcement trainer? In this Session, Ken Ramirez will present the various techniques used to deal with incorrect responses and share the science and practical applications for each tool. He will touch briefly on "saying no" and the use of time outs and describe the risk of those options. Ken will explore the varied applications of a tool called the LRS and focus on redirection as his preferred approach to get a learner (animal or human) back on the desired path.





Adam Dreyfus

Topic TBA (Technology Focus)



Kathy Sdao

Cue Tips

Summary TBA





Annie Escalante and Andy Chavez

Training with Virtual Reality 

summary TBA



Theresa McKeon

Topic TBA (TAGteach focus)


Sunday July 21


Susan Friedman

Solving Hard Problems: Messy Interventions in the Field

ABA principles, procedures and ethical standards are important for improving the quality of life for zoo animals. In this presentation, three case studies are described in which the fundamental tools of ABA (e.g., functional assessment and data based decision making), were successfully implemented with the hard problems: a self-injuring elephant, a fearful rhino, and a too-rough orangutan surrogate mother. However, the path to success can be messy!


Alex Diaz

Digital Training: The Why and How

Summary TBA





Ann Bergeron

Pups to Pirouettes: Convergence, Collaboration, and Creativity

Clicker training and TAGteach are incredibly valuable tools when it comes to effective skill/behavior acquisition. We can work for precision, speed, and even qualitative values. But beyond “technique,“ the training also removes the learner from fear-based learning, and builds courage, risk, and CREATIVITY. Humans who learn in the culture of TAG Thinking, can play the game of “101 things you can do with a box” just as well as a dog or dolphin. A view from a performing artist’s perspective of the value of teaching technology. #whyyouwantyourstudentstobebetterthanyou





Joe Layng

Topic TBA - Technology Focus



Theresa McKeon and Ryan O'Donnell

Interactive Activity

We're working on the details, but we guarantee it will be fun!





Panel Discussion

Got Questions? Here's your chance to ask one or all of our discussion panel members.


Ryan O'Donnell

Wrap Up

Ryan will recap the key points from all the presentations.

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