Kelly is a Certified Training Partner of the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA-CTP) in Malvern, PA. Kelly is a 2015 graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior where she graduated with excellence. Prior to attending the Karen Pryor Academy, Kelly shadowed and assisted one of the leading positive reinforcement trainers in Delaware County for two years. In addition to Kelly’s training certification, she also attained a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biochemistry from Marietta College in 2009.

Drew, Kelly & DoyleKelly’s love of animals, big and small, started at a very young age. She grew up with multiple dogs, cats, rabbits and a pony. However, it wasn’t until after college that her current passion began to transpire. In 2010, Kelly and her husband, Drew, adopted their first dog, Doyle, from Finding Shelter Animal Rescue. A few months later, Kelly and Drew took their first foster, Precious (aka Miss P), who needed a little extra TLC. Miss P was reactive to new people and dogs inside and outside of home and quickly it was decided that training would be necessary to help her overcome some of her fears. Positive reinforcement training strengthens the bond between dog and person, and as a result Miss P became the second dog in Kelly and Drew’s family. Miss P is credited with sparking the passion for dog training in Kelly’s life.

Today, Kelly has 3 dogs and has fostered nearly 40 dogs since her first foster, Miss P. She is the active trainer for Finding Shelter Animal Rescue where she offers her expertise for the dogs looking for homes as well as providing post adoption support families adopting dogs from the rescue.

Why is Clicker Training EFFECTIVE?

“Clicker training” is an animal training method based on behavioral psychology that relies on marking desirable behavior and rewarding it. Desirable behavior is usually marked by using a “clicker,” a mechanical device that makes a short, distinct “click” sound which tells the animal exactly when they’re doing the right thing. This clear form of communication, combined with positive reinforcement, is an effective, safe, and humane way to teach any animal any behavior that it is physically and mentally capable of doing.

(Source: www.clickertraining.com)

When an animal intentionally performs a behavior in order to bring about a desired consequence, as clicker trained animals do, they are learning in a way that researchers call “operant conditioning.”

Animals (and people) may also associate an action, event, place, person, or object with a consequence, whether pleasant or unpleasant. The more a certain event or environment is paired with a particular consequence, the stronger the association. This type of learning is called “classical conditioning” and represents reflexive or automatic behavior, rather than intentional behavior.

While clicker training initially employs classical conditioning, it quickly becomes operant conditioning as soon as the animal intentionally repeats an action in order to earn a reward. Training through operant conditioning results in purposeful behavior, while training through classical conditioning results in habitual behavior.

The difference between an animal that behaves with purpose, rather than by habit, is vast. Clicker trained or operantly conditioned animals try to learn new behaviors. They remember behaviors even years later because they were aware of them as they learned them, rather than acquiring them without awareness. They develop confidence because they have control over the consequences of their actions. They are enthusiastic because they expect those consequences to be pleasurable.

(Source: www.clickertraining.com)

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