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Animals may give implicit or explicit consent to the things we want to do to them, such as handling for veterinary interventions. The concept of Start Buttons grew out of modern animal trainers’ attempts to give animals a louder voice in those types of conversations. In this seminar, Karolina will discuss the following: 

  • How control increases animal welfare
  • Other beneficial effects of control
  • Increasing animals’ control over formal training sessions
  • Implicit consent
  • Start buttons – explicit consent
  • How to train start buttons
  • Why clickers are typically not used when teaching start buttons
  • Common mistakes when teaching start buttons
  • What to do in emergencies when the start button behaviour isn’t yet solid

Karolina Westlund | Start Buttons: Giving the animal a voice in the conversation

  • Karolina Westlund helps pet guardians and people working professionally with animals to get happier, reasonably well-behaved animals that thrive in the care of humans.

    She teaches animal behaviour management through blog posts, the odd free short online course, as well as more extensive online courses.

    She is an associate professor of Ethology at Stockholm University and sometimes publishes scientific articles related to enrichment, learning, and wellbeing.

  • 20th February 2022

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