63 episodes

Hello and welcome to the K9 Conservationists podcast, where we’re positively obsessed with conservation detection dogs! Join us every other week as we discuss detection dogs, ecology, conservation, dog behavior, training, and much more.

K9 Conservationists is hosted by Kayla Fratt, CDBC and founder of K9 Conservationists. She trains dogs to detect data and lives with 2 working border collies, Barley and Niffler. Support the work we do at patreon.com/canineconvos.

K9 Conservationists Kayla Fratt

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 68 Ratings

Hello and welcome to the K9 Conservationists podcast, where we’re positively obsessed with conservation detection dogs! Join us every other week as we discuss detection dogs, ecology, conservation, dog behavior, training, and much more.

K9 Conservationists is hosted by Kayla Fratt, CDBC and founder of K9 Conservationists. She trains dogs to detect data and lives with 2 working border collies, Barley and Niffler. Support the work we do at patreon.com/canineconvos.

    Consent in Training

    Consent in Training

    For the final episode of Canine Conversations before we transition fully to K9 Conservationists, we're talking about consent with Erin Jones. We cover what consent is, why it is important, and how you get - and maintain - a dog’s consent to participate in training or a behavior treatment plan.

    Links Mentioned in the Episode


    Genealogy of Obedience
    Erin’s website, Instagram, and Facebook


    You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

    K9 Conservationists Website

    Go Fund Me

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Introducing: K9 Conservationists

    Introducing: K9 Conservationists

    Hello and welcome to the K9 Conservationists Podcast!

    We've got a new name! As our loyal listeners know, we recently lost my beloved cohost Ursa. After giving it a LOT of thought, I've decided to pivot the focus of this podcast. Rather than focusing broadly on dog behavior, the K9 Conservationists podcast will focus on the field of conservation detection dogs. We'll interview wildlife biologists, community scientists, dog behavior researchers, and handlers throughout this amazing field.

    I hope that you decide to stick along for the ride. I plan to bring the same level of enthusiasm, nerdiness, and dog-centric thinking to this endeavor. I've got episodes in the works: on the humane hierarchy with Dr. Susan Friedman, the body language of scentwork with Steve White, a fascinating episode on combining thermal imaging and scent detection dogs, and SO MUCH MORE.

    I really, truly want to thank all of our listeners for the support thus far. I dearly love Canine Conversations and will miss producing it, but my long-term career goals are firmly oriented towards conservation detection dog work. Journey Dog Training will still be here to provide support in the form of phone calls, courses, webinars, and free blogs, but more and more of MY time will focus on conservation detection dog work.

    To that end, I'm thrilled to announce the launch of the K9 Conservationists nonprofit. We just filed for 501(c)3 status and hope that you'll continue supporting this podcast and the nonprofit through Patreon. This will help us cover the costs of not only this podcast, but also our new field vehicle that lets Barley, Niffler, and I do our important work. Once we've paid off the vehicle, supporters of the nonprofit can expect to help us offer subsidies on our consultant services. That will help us get involved in amazing projects that might not have been able to afford conservation detection dogs otherwise!

    So with all those announcements out of the way, let's do a quick refresher. What the heck IS a conservation detection dog? How do you get involved? What's the work like? How do you select a dog for this work? We'll cover all of this in much more detail going forward, but I'll get the basics out of the way here.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/fund-the-k9-conservationists-field-vehicle-repair?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

    • 27 min
    61. Goodbyes and Hot Takes

    61. Goodbyes and Hot Takes

    Ursa is leaving the podcast for new and exciting endeavors. But before she goes, we're tackling a Patreon question and another round of HOT TAKES! 

    Patron Question Answered:

    “In episode 34 you talked about using chasing squirrels as a reward for your dogs. Kayla said this made Barely more desperately want to chase squirrels but Marissa said this made Sully’s desire to chase squirrels go down. My dog is veryyyyy excited about squirrels and it is one of the things I’ve been trying to teach her to not lose her doggy mind over since she does not listen to me at all if she sees a squirrel. So basically, would using chasing squirrels as a reward for her impulse control or checking in with me help or with any other dog with a high prey drive? Or do you think any dog who is already extremely excited about squirrels have a reaction similar to Barely? Thanks!”

    Hot Takes Answered:

    Using dogs in a way that put them in harm's way (ie military and police dogs, livestock guardian dogs)
    Training dogs to bite and latch instead of tackle

    Rough play with humans

    Which is better? Board and Train or Owner Train

    Limiting shelter dogs and regulating breeders

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Shaping vs. Cueing with Hannah Brannigan

    Shaping vs. Cueing with Hannah Brannigan

    Today we’re talking to Hannah Branigan about cueing versus shaping in your training sessions. Now this might sound a bit nerdy - and it probably will be - but it’s actually really important for novice trainers! I know I personally got stuck on this a lot when I was starting out as a new trainer. And Hannah is EXACTLY who I wanted to talk to about this topic.

    Hannah is the host of Drinking from the Toilet, one of my favorite training podcasts. She’s also the author of Awesome Obedience and its accompanying field guide. She teaches at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy and runs Wonderpups training. Hannah has a real skill for breaking down training into teenie tiny increments and creating clean loops of training. It’s one of the things I admire about her most.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Ep. 60: Life Updates and Hot Takes Part 3

    Ep. 60: Life Updates and Hot Takes Part 3

    Kayla and Ursa provide updates on their life and play another quick round of hot takes.
    They take turns pulling a topic from a hat, then they have 3 minutes to give their thoughts on it – then the other person has 2 minutes to add their thoughts.
    Hot takes covered:
    Praise based training
    Head collars
    Vibration collars

    • 59 min
    Ep. 59: Conservation Training with Ken Ramirez

    Ep. 59: Conservation Training with Ken Ramirez

    Discussed in this episode:
    Creating plans for non-trainer dog handlers
    Working with clients vs working with conservation problems
    Elephant migration 
    Chimpanzee project 
    Remote conservation vs captive conservation 
    How to get involved with conservation training
    Working with detection dogs
    Using the “all clear procedure”
    Maintaining enthusiasm in “no find” environments
    Ensuring the learner has all their needs met
    Putting the dog first

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

scedastic ,

Great listen

Format and conversational style is fantastic. Not a trainer but finding myself fascinated even with the more “in the weeds” discussions. Hearing the training stories and case studies has also helped out with putting my recent rescue dog’s experience into perspective.
Keep up the shelter dog discussions and stories. Also, the research references! Yay

d4720472 ,

Great info!

I’m pretty picky about podcasts, both with their content and their audio quality. Canine Conversations does such a great job with both of those! Really informative episodes, some great interviews, and lots of tips and tricks that I’ve put into practice with my two dogs. I also appreciate how frequently episodes are released! I love to listen on our daily decompression walks

Mushuuuuuuu ,

Great way to get into dog training!

I wanted more information on dog training for my reactive dog, but this podcast has provided so so so much more. I love the scientific-minded approach to dog behavior, and the honesty about the frustrations and mistakes you can make while training! It’s a really great resource for learning about cruelty-free training, and I wish I had found it sooner. As someone who has (very regrettably) used punishment based training in the past, this podcast has really helped me see how unnecessary and unhelpful it is. These women are so smart, educated, kind-hearted and have such cute senses of humor, and I highly recommend this podcast to all dog owners.

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