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Kathy Sdao is an associate certified applied animal behaviorist. She has spent 30 years as a full-time animal trainer, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. As a graduate student at the University of Hawaii, she received a master’s degree as part of a research team which trained dolphins to solve complex cognitive puzzles. She was then hired by the United States Navy to train dolphins for open-ocean tasks. Next, Kathy worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma Washington. After leaving the zoo world, Kathy and a colleague created Tacoma’s first dog-daycare facility where Kathy began teaching clicker-training classes for dog owners.
For the past 15 years, Kathy has owned Bright Spot Dog Training. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs, teaching private lessons, and mentoring professional trainers who want to maximize the power of positive-reinforcement training. Kathy is proud to be an original faculty member for Karen Pryor’s ClickerExpos and has taught at twenty-five of these popular conferences since 2003. Kathy also has traveled extensively across the United States, Canada and Europe, and to Australia, Israel, Japan and Mexico, educating students about the science of animal training. Her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace, was published in 2012.
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