Observational Learning: The Role of Object Enhancement in Training and Behavior Problems

Observational learning is multifaceted and has been shown in dogs and other species to accelerate other methods of learning such as reinforcement learning. 

We will discuss what observational learning in animals is, and how it differs from reinforcement learning. We will review the literature from multiple species and look at the role of observational learning in development, as well as how observational learning can be utilized as part of training and behavior modification plans. Specifically we will examine the role of object enhancement in training and behavior modification, as well as it’s role in the development of behavior problems such as resource guarding.
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The webinar was recorded and is suitable for pet owners, veterinary professionals, animal trainers, animal behaviorists, pet guardians, and anyone with an interest in the neuroscience of training and behavior. 

1.5  Continuing Education Units (CEUs) Available:
CPDT
IAABC
KPA
PPAG
RACE

In this Webinar: 

Observational learning is multifaceted and has been shown in dogs and other species to accelerate other methods of learning such as reinforcement learning. In this webinar we will discuss what observational learning in animals is, and how it differs from reinforcement learning. We will review the literature from multiple species and look at the role of observational learning in development, as well as how observational learning can be utilized as part of training and behavior modification plans. Specifically we will examine the role of object enhancement in training and behavior modification, as well as it’s role in the development of behavior problems such as resource guarding.

Learning Objectives:
  • Attendees will understand what is meant by observational learning and how it differs from reinforcement learning
  • Attendees will be able to evaluate the role of object enhancement for their own cases, helping to identify appropriate interventions and prophylactic advice
  • Attendees will be able to create individualized training and behavior modification plans which utilize this knowledge

In this webinar we will:
  • Evaluate the role of object enhancement for your own cases, helping to identify appropriate interventions and prophylactic advice
  • Create individualized training and behavior modification plans which utilize this knowledge

Shelter/Rescue/Vet Student/Vet Tech Tickets - no expiration date: 30% off general admission ticket (discount code is SDFWBV)

Discounts are available for groups of 5 or more - please contact [email protected] for more information.

Cancellation policy: No refunds


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Meet the instructor

Kathy Murphy BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS

Dr Kathy Murphy (BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS) is a veterinary surgeon and neuroscientist. She graduated from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK in 1999, initially working in mixed clinical practice before studying for two post graduate clinical qualifications with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, and Laboratory Animal Science.

In 2009 she was awarded a highly prestigious Welcome Trust Research Training Fellowship to study for her PhD, in Behavioral Neuroscience, at The Queens College, University of Oxford, UK. She subsequently worked in the USA as Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine NYC, where her research into the long term effects of anesthesia on learning and memory contributed to a change to the safety advice for the use of general anesthesia in children.

She moved back to the UK in 2013, to take up clinical-academic positions at the University of Oxford and subsequently Newcastle University, and concurrently completed a Residency in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia with the European College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, during which she became increasingly interested in how pain re-models the nervous system and this can manifest as behavioral problems in pets.

Alongside these positions Dr Murphy founded, and is now Director of, Barking Brains Ltd (a neuroscience outreach platform for the animal behavior and training community), which focuses on translating neuroscientific information into practical and useful information for people interested in animal behavior. In order to maximize the impact of her diverse interests and skill set, Dr Murphy teamed up with Behavior Vets in 2022 when she took up the position of Chief Scientific Officer.

She is now able to focus on her new found passion for science communication and providing evidence based, up to date, accessible, scientific information to clinicians, animal professionals and their clients, about subjects related to pain, behavior, neurobiology and the many interrelated factors.

In addition to Dr Murphy's primary career roles she was Trustee and Veterinary Advisor to the Rottweiler Welfare Association for 14 years; is co-founder of Ethics First (a collective which lobbies for ethical decision making in clinical practice); is an Oversight Committee Member for the UK Dog Behavior and Training Charter; a guest lecturer in Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of Edinburgh, UK; lectures internationally; sits on numerous National and International boards, working groups and ethical review panels; is an ad-hoc reviewer for neuroscience, veterinary medicine and anesthesia and pain journals; and continues to collaborate on research projects.

Dr Murphy lives in the UK with her husband Elliot (ret. Search and Rescue handler and now scentwork and mantrailing trainer) and their 4 dogs: Nancy a Rottweiler mix, Zebedee and Nela the German Shorthaired Pointers and Albi a Weimaraner.
Patrick Jones - Course author