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Alana Stevenson Animal Behavior Services

Seminars & Workshops

Isometric-based Leash Handling ™

Expert leash handling utilizing isometrics

Isometric Leash Handling

Alana has created a series of leash handling techniques that focus on proper body mechanics while utilizing the principles of isometrics. This allows you to use the leash without resorting to yanking or pulling on your dog, even unintentionally, and prevents injury. Dogs have an oppositional reflex and any pull on the leash will cause your dog to pull more or become reactive, aggressive, shy, or shut down. Alana’s special leash handling techniques are illustrated and explained in The Right Way the First Time ©2007 and again with a new series of pictures illustrated in Training Your Dog the Humane Way ©2011. Shortening the leash, yet keeping it relaxed, even for large dogs and strong pullers, and learning how to use your body to meet your dog’s resistance or to not react, instead of jerking or yanking on your dog if he suddenly pulls, will markedly change your dog’s behavior and make him much more attentive to you.

Humane Low-Stress Feline Handling

For Animal Hospitals, Animal Shelters & Feline Rescue Organizations

Humane handling makes handling cats easier!

Humane Feline Handling SeminarAlana Stevenson has developed a Humane Feline-Friendly Cat Handling SOP or Protocol for animal shelters and feline rescue organizations.

Too often cats are poorly handled at animal shelters and during veterinary visits. The cat is set up for failure when interacting with people in the future, whether it be shelter staff, owners, volunteers, potential adopters, or veterinary staff. Cats are falsely labeled as ‘mean’ or ‘unapproachable.’ By learning humane handling and desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques, as well as how to manage the environment to make cats less fearful, you can prevent cats from panicking or becoming aggressive. This will make working with cats easier and more enjoyable.

Alana will present and address the following: how to determine if a cat is fearful or anxious and how to read feline body-language; how cats are misunderstood and the negative stigma attached to them; how to objectively describe behavior in cats; how your body-language and approach can prevent aggression and aversive responses in cats; desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques to use on cats to make handling them easier; the importance of movement and sound in affecting a cat’s behavior; removing a cat from a cage; acclimating cats to carriers and to being picked up and handled; how to hold and handle kittens; how to pick up and place down a cat; removing a cat from and placing him into a carrier; why minimal restraint produces more cooperation in cats; why scruffing should be avoided; environmental modifications and management to reduce fear; the importance in the placement of cages and carriers; how to make handling less stressful when examining cats or moving them from one place to another; and how to assess a cat during handling and which approaches might work best for each cat.

Association & Context Learning in Animals

Associative Learning - Alana Stevenson SeminarAnimals are frequently trained with aversive methods. Dog and cat owners frustratingly struggle with their pets’ behaviors. Some animals are even deemed stubborn or ‘untrainable.’ It doesn’t have to be this way!

Most animals learn and understand the world around them—through association and context. In this seminar, Alana will present the principles of association and context learning. Animals make ‘associations’ by pairing events or sensations that occur simultaneously. Animals also learn and perform behaviors according to context such as where they are, what you are wearing, and who else is in the room. Knowing that animals learn this way is vital in order to effectively remedy behavioral problems and to teach dogs, cats, and other companion animals in a humane manner. Understanding the principles of association and context learning will forever change how you relate to and interact with animals. Your relationship with your dog or cat will be greatly enhanced and you will become a much better ‘pet’ guardian after this seminar.

Alana Stevenson Dog Behavior Seminars

DOG SEMINARS

+ Dog Behavior, Communication, & Body Language

In this seminar, Alana will teach you the principles of how dogs learn so you can know the best ways to teach them using a completely humane training approach.

Topics include the importance of timing in training, principles of association and context learning, and how your body language, eye-contact, and touch can directly influence a dog’s behavior.

You will learn how to read dog body language so you can have a better relationship with your dog and interpret dog-dog interactions correctly.

+ Resolving Leash Aggression & Reactivity in Dogs

We have all met dogs who are aggressive or reactive. They may lunge and bark on leash or try to bite. In this workshop, Alana will teach you how to implement behavior modification successfully. You will learn how to resolve fearful and aggressive behaviors as well as leash reactivity in dogs.

Topics discussed include how to read dog body-language so you can keep dogs calmer and interpret dog-dog interactions correctly, the importance of using a humane approach when resolving fear and aggression, desensitization and counter-conditioning, and how your body-language and approach can directly influence a dog’s behavior.

During the hands-on component, Alana will teach Isometric-based Leash Handling™ skills, a series of leash handling techniques that focus on proper body mechanics while utilizing isometrics, and body-positioning techniques on leash, which will enable you to maneuver your dog in situations where he may be uncomfortable, but so that he remains calmer and is more attentive to you. Expert Isometric-based Leash Handling™ allows you to use the leash without resorting to yanking or pulling on your dog, even unintentionally, and prevents injury.

The lecture and hands-on components can be taught separately or together (See Isometric-based Leash Handling™ and Body-Positioning Techniques on Leash).

+ Isometric-based Leash Handling™ & Body-Positioning Techniques on Leash

In this hands-on workshop, Alana will demonstrate Isometric-based Leash Handling™, a series of leash handling techniques she created that focus on proper body mechanics while utilizing isometrics. This will allow you to maintain control of your dog without yanking or pulling on him and prevents injury. These special leash handling techniques are illustrated and explained in The Right Way the First Time ©2007 and again with a new series of pictures illustrated in Training Your Dog the Humane Way ©2011. Shortening the leash, yet keeping it relaxed, and learning how to use your body to meet your dog’s resistance, even if he suddenly pulls or lunges, will markedly change your dog’s behavior and make him much more attentive to you.

Alana will demonstrate  body-positioning techniques to help you maneuver your dog through uncomfortable or potentially tough situations, so that he stays calmer and is less reactive.

With Isometric-based Leash Handling™ and body-positioning techniques on leash you will be able to humanely and effectively manage and prevent problematic behaviors and aggressive responses in dogs.

+ Humane Handling of Dogs for Veterinary Hospitals

Fear and aggression can escalate in the animal hospital long before the dog is examined by a veterinarian. Ways clients interact with their dogs, placement of dogs in the lobby, how dogs are weighed, and how they are handled during preliminary exams and some forms of restraint can dramatically affect their behavior. Humanely handling and approaching dogs does not necessarily take more time, but it does require more empathy, skill, and knowledge.

In this seminar, you will learn you how to read dog body-language so you can know when a dog is fearful and anxious, or potentially aggressive, and you will discover how your own body language and tone of voice can directly influence a dog’s behavior. Understand how even subtle gestures and changes in your body language can alter responses in dogs very quickly.

Alana will present ways to keep dogs more relaxed in the front lobby and during routine examinations. She will go over the oppositional reflex in dogs and demonstrate a leash technique for restraining and managing them so they remain calmer.

You will learn how to desensitize and counter-condition dogs to make them more comfortable during approach and for routine procedures and Alana will explain passive range of motion which is important to know when handling dogs so that they stay more cooperative.
Alana will go over simple behavior modification techniques that can be regularly implemented with dogs at the clinic to make them easier to work with.

This seminar can be broken up into smaller presentations for large busy practices.

+ Behavior Modification & Humane Handling for Shelter Dogs

Alana has developed a Use of Harnesses SOP or protocol for animal shelters.
Preventing stress and behavioral problems is pivotal for dogs in the shelter. Dogs who end up at shelters are already anxious from being in new scary surroundings and often have suffered from prior instability, inconsistency, punitive or ‘correction-based’ training, and/or poor handling.

In this series of lectures and workshops, you will learn how to read dog body language so you can understand what dogs are communicating to each other and to the people they interact with. Alana will discuss body language that dogs present when stressed or afraid so that adjustments can be made to keep them calmer. You will discover how your own body language, tone of voice, and manner of touch can directly influence a dog’s behavior and how even subtle gestures and changes in your body language can alter responses in dogs very quickly.

Alana will demonstrate simple behavior modification techniques, including desensitization and counter-conditioning exercises, that can be applied to work with dogs who are fearful, head shy, avoidant, show kennel stress, and/or jump or mouth excessively. She will provide ways to keep dogs behaviorally healthier in the kennels and tips on how to reduce noise.

Training and behavior modification techniques volunteers and staff can practice in their daily interactions with dogs at the shelter to ease anxiety, lessen reactivity, and make them more adoptable will be presented.

+ Intervention in Play Groups—Why it’s important and how to do it

For Animal Shelters


Alana will discuss the importance of monitoring and intervening in play groups to set dogs up for success. Play groups have become very popular. Oftentimes, dog aggression can occur. Many dogs may be mismatched and others are or become fearful.

In this lecture, you will learn how to read dog body-language so you can evaluate a dog’s behavior appropriately and interpret dog-dog interactions correctly, as well as how to intervene when and if play gets out of hand or dogs become unruly. Alana will teach you how to use positive reinforcement during playtime to encourage and reward desirable behaviors and prevent conflict. You will learn how to pair up or group dogs based on their behavior.

+ Dog Behavior, Interactions, & Body Language in Dog Parks

In this seminar, Alana will teach you how to read dog body-language so you can interpret dog-dog interactions correctly. Learn how to notice precursors to aggression so you can see potential issues before they arise, as well as which behaviors in dog parks can become problematic.

Through video, you will watch dog-dog interactions so you can understand what dogs are communicating to each other and to the people they are with. Behavioral and training techniques will be presented that can set dogs up for success and prevent behavioral problems at the park. Alana will discuss ways to intervene when there may be an issue, as well as what situations to avoid.

This seminar is beneficial for animal shelters with play groups, dog park enthusiasts, dog daycare centers, and anyone who wants to have a better relationship with their dog.


Alana Stevenson Animal Massage

CAT SEMINARS

+ Cat Behavior, Communication & Body-Language

Cats are often considered independent and untrainable—mistakenly so! Learn why cats behave the way they do and how they communicate with humans and other cats. By understanding feline body language and communication, feline behaviors that were seemingly complex become less of a mystery.

In this seminar, Alana will teach you how to read cat body-language so you can have a better relationship with your cat. You will discover how your own body-language, manner, and tone of voice can influence a cat’s behavior and the common mistakes people make when handling cats.

Alana will go over important developmental stages in cats, discuss how cats deal with stress, and explain the importance of play and vertical territory. She will provide tips on how to make the home environment ‘feline-friendly’ to prevent common feline behavioral problems.

+ Humane Feline Handling for Animal Shelters

Humane handling makes handling cats easier!

Alana Stevenson has developed a Humane Feline-Friendly Cat Handling SOP or Protocol for animal shelters and feline rescue organizations.
Preventing stress and behavioral problems is pivotal for animals in the shelter. Cats who end up at shelters are often already anxious from being in new scary surroundings, instability, prior poor handling, or trauma.

When cats are poorly handled, they can be set up for failure when interacting with people in the future, whether it be shelter staff, volunteers, or adopters. There is a negative association with fearful and stressed cats. Cats are falsely labeled as ‘mean’ or ‘unapproachable.’ By learning humane handling and desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques, as well as how to manage the environment to make cats less fearful, you can prevent cats from panicking, shutting down, or becoming aggressive. The implementation of humane handling techniques will also lessen injuries to volunteers and staff.

In this series of workshops, Alana will teach you how to read cat body-language so you can interpret behaviors and determine if a cat is fearful or anxious, and you will discover how your own body-language, manner of touch, and tone of voice can influence a cat’s behavior. Understand how even subtle gestures and changes in your body language can alter responses in cats very quickly.

Alana will go over environmental modifications that can be made to reduce fear and why positioning carriers and cages in the right locations is behaviorally important.

Learn why minimal restraint produces more cooperation in cats and why scruffing should be avoided. Topics covered include how movement and sound can affect a cat’s behavior; removing a cat from a cage; how to pick up and place down a cat; removing a cat from and placing him into a carrier; and how to hold and support kittens. Alana will address how to make handling less stressful for cats when examining them or moving them from one place to another, and you will learn how to assess a cat during handling and which approaches might work best for each cat.

Humane handling and behavior modification techniques volunteers and staff can use in their daily interactions with cats will be presented.
This workshop can be tailored to the individualized needs of a shelter. Contact Alana with your request and desired dates.

+ Humane Feline Handling for Veterinary Hospitals

Humane handling makes handling cats easier!

How cats are handled during veterinary exams and some forms of restraint can dramatically affect their behavior. The mishandling of cats can have long-lasting negative effects on their emotional well-being. When cats are poorly handled, handling them in the future becomes more difficult. Cats can be labeled as ‘mean’ or ‘unapproachable.’ They become fearful more quickly and aggression can escalate. Because of past stressful experiences, many cat owners become reluctant to take their cats to the vet unless in an emergency.

By learning humane handling techniques and how to manage the environment to make cats less fearful, you can prevent cats from panicking or becoming aggressive. Humane low-stress handling will lessen staff injuries. This will make working with cats easier and more enjoyable.

In this presentation, Alana will teach you ways to keep cats calmer in the lobby and during examinations. You will learn how to read cat body-language so you can determine when a cat is fearful or anxious and you will discover how your own body-language, manner of touch, and tone of voice can influence a cat’s behavior. Understand how subtle gestures and changes in your body language can alter responses in cats very quickly.

Alana will present ways to make handling less stressful for cats when examining them or moving them from one place to another, and you will learn how to assess cats during handling to determine which approaches might work best for each cat. Learn why minimal restraint produces more cooperation in cats and why scruffing should be avoided.

Topics covered include: how movement and sound can affect a cat’s behavior; the importance in the placement of carriers and cages; use of towels and small blankets to keep cats calmer and prevent aggression; removing a cat from a cage; removing a cat from a carrier; how to pick up and carry cats; and how to hold and handle kittens.

Alana will provide additional tips that can be given to clients so they can help make veterinary visits in the future less stressful for their cats.

+ Behavior Modification for Shelter Cats

Cats who end up at shelters are often already anxious. Many have suffered from prior trauma, instability, or poor handling. They may become shut down and/or wish to remain hidden. Some cats lie in their litter boxes. Other cats may seem friendly, but then playfully bite or they bite during and after petting. Many cats squirm or leap out of arms when they are lifted or carried.

In this series of lectures and workshops, Alana will present behavior modification techniques, including desensitization and counter-conditioning exercises, that can be implemented to work with these cats to ease their fears and keep them behaviorally healthy.

You will learn how to read cat body language and discover how your own body language, tone of voice, and manner of touch can directly influence a cat’s behaviors. Understand how to approach cats to prevent fearful responses and how subtle gestures and changes in your body language can alter responses in cats very quickly.

Alana will go over environmental modifications that can be made in the shelter and within cages to keep cats calmer and prevent stress. She will discuss the importance in the placement of carriers and cages and will demonstrate how to lift up and carry cats, remove them from cages, and remove them from and place them into carriers.

Behavior modification techniques volunteers and staff can practice in their daily interactions with cats will be presented.

+ Feline Behavioral Enrichment

In this seminar, Alana will teach you how to enrich the environment for cats to make it feline-friendly and prevent behavioral problems. You will learn how to read cat body-language so you can make modifications according to the special needs and personalities of individual cats.

Alana will discuss the importance of play and vertical territory, and explain how to position food and water bowls, litter pans, scratching posts, and cat condos in locations that will boost a cat’s confidence, reduce fear and stress, prevent conflict between cats in multi-cat households and litter pan problems.

You will learn how to acclimate cats to carriers, and to being handled, picked up, and carried, as well as creative ways to play with cats to prevent boredom. The special needs of declawed and shy cats will be addressed and tips will be provided on how to bring outside cats indoors.

 

DOG & CAT SEMINARS

+ Association & Context Learning in Animals

Animals are frequently trained with aversive methods. Dog and cat owners frustratingly struggle with their pets’ behaviors. Some animals are even deemed stubborn or ‘untrainable.’ It doesn’t have to be this way!

Most animals learn and understand the world around them—through association and context. In this seminar, Alana will present the principles of association and context learning. Animals make ‘associations’ by pairing events or sensations that occur simultaneously. Animals also learn and perform behaviors according to context such as where they are, what you are wearing, and who else is in the room. Knowing that animals learn this way is vital in order to effectively remedy behavioral problems and to teach dogs, cats, and other companion animals in a humane manner. Understanding the principles of association and context learning will forever change how you relate to and interact with animals. Your relationship with your dog or cat will be greatly enhanced and you will become a much better ‘pet’ guardian after this seminar.

Training Your Dog the Humane Way

“Training Your Dog the Humane Way is a landmark book.”

Marc Bekoff, PhD, University of Colorado, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Wild Justice, and The Animal Manifesto

 

The Right Way the First Time
The Right Way the First Time

Teaching Your Dog Kindly and Humanely

“Our front staff is still talking about your seminar, and applying what you’ve said to evaluate the way pets are behaving in the lobby!”

~ Shannon Nowak, LVT, Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas

 

“I can’t express how much I enjoyed and learned from being in your class this weekend. Normally, I get bored in classes, but not yours. I was on top of each word you spoke.”

~ Martha, Chapel Hill, NC

 

“I was fortunate to attend Alana Stevenson’s seminar at Paws4Ever in Mebane, NC where I volunteer train for them. She provided great information and assistance on how to work with dogs who are fearful and leash reactive, and taught us leash techniques that are really effective. We loved her demonstrations.”

~ Kelley Neiderhiser, Gate City Animal Hospital & Pawsitive Energy Dog Training

Sophia Yin Low Stress Handling Certification

American Association of Feline Practitioners

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ApEtiology

International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork

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