Is the Future of Animal Training Constructional? Featuring Sean Will and Maasa Nishimuta

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Episode - 31  January, 2022

Host: Barbara Heidenreich

Guests: Sean Will, MS and Maasa Nishimuta, MS

Have you been hearing the word “constructional” a lot lately? There is a reason for that! The animal training community is evolving, and it is extremely exciting. It has a lot to do with a different way of looking at behavior change that is known as "the constructional approach." My special guests this episode are Sean Will and Maasa Nishimuta from the Constructional Approach to Animal Welfare and Training, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free services to individuals and organizations that cannot afford them, with the goal of enhancing their lives through applications of the Constructional Approach. Sean and Maasa share the five elements that are essential to a constructional program. They also provide insights into the history of the constructional approach and how it differs from some of the programs currently popular in animal training. We also discuss what a constructional program can do to improve animal welfare and why this is such great news for the future of animal training. We also go over numerous resources to continue your exploration of this inspiring topic. The future of animal training looks very bright.....and constructional!


Links:

The Constructional Approach to Animal Welfare and Training www.CAAWT.com

The Bailey Interviews

The Constructional Approach to Animal Welfare and Training on Facebook

Book - Nonlinear Contingency Analysis by T. V. Joe Layng, Paul Thomas Andronis, R. Trent Codd, III, Awab Abdel-Jalil

The Art and Science of Animal Training Conference - Get on the mailing list to be notified when registration is open


Guest Bios:

Sean Will, MS

Sean studied under Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and earned a master's degree in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. While studying at UNT, he spearheaded the development of Constructional Affection under the instruction of Dr. Rosales-Ruiz and developed constructional shelter programs to increase efficiency in local animal shelters. Sean has over 15 years of experience as a professional trainer and has provided consulting for individuals and organizations that oversee the care of animals. Currently, Sean is in Florida Tech's doctoral program researching problem-solving and animal training.

In 2020, Sean and Maasa founded the Constructional Approach to Animal Welfare and Training (CAAWT). CAAWT is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free services to individuals and organizations that cannot afford them, with the goal of enhancing their lives through applications of the Constructional Approach. Sean and Maasa have a monthly podcast and host an annual conference by the same name.

Maasa Nishimuta, MS

Maasa Nishimuta studied under Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and earned a master's degree in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. In her master's thesis, she studied the reinforcing effects of affection in the form of petting and gentle scratching with rescued equines. She modified Constructional Affection for use with equines and continues to apply Constructional Affection with animals in shelters where she volunteers.

In 2020, Maasa and Sean founded Constructional Approach to Animal Welfare and Training (CAAWT), whose mission is to provide free services to individuals and organizations that cannot afford them, with the goal of enhancing their lives through applications of the Constructional Approach. With Sean, she produces a monthly podcast, runs online private and group classes, and hosts webinars and annual conferences to continue to improve relationships between people and the animals in their care.



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