Today I speak with Kellee Zenk, who has a very interesting origins that led her to dog training. She’s the founder of Dogs Decoded, based in Minnesota.
Kellee has a background in training bears and elephants! We discuss how she got started in that area and how it led to where she is today.
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Bear and Elephant training?
Kellee got her start at private zoos in Minnesota and loved training bears and really enjoyed marker and clicker training. She talks about some early mistakes and talks about the full range of experiences.
Kellee and I contrast the dynamic of dog trainers and how you develop better communication with the dog owners as you gain more experience. We also talk about our approach to “play” with dogs, and how to help owners create certain distinctions regarding when play time is on and off, and how to establish that relationship over time as the relationship is clarified.
I ask Kellee about her method or philosophy and how it has evolved. Kellee talks about how she is not a “purely positive” trainer. She is very versed in Skinner’s theory, which we’ve detailed in podcast episodes 73 (part 1) and 74 (part 2).
We talk about bridging signals as part of verbal markers and get deeper into Skinner’s four quadrants.
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