Your PORTL To Shaping! With Mary Hunter

Your PORTL To Shaping! With Mary Hunter


Your PORTL to Shaping! with Mary Hunter
September 26-27, 2020

Join Mary Hunter for two intensive days of lectures and hands-on exercises using PORTL. PORTL, or the Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab, is a tabletop game that will help you learn more about animal behavior and learning.

This workshop will focus specifically on the topic of shaping. You’ll learn about behavior principles and techniques that will help you create optimal learning situations when working with both animals and people. Throughout the weekend, we’ll talk about reinforcement systems, how to shape actions, arranging the environment to facilitate learning, raising criteria, chaining, writing shaping plans, and errorless learning.

In addition to lectures and discussion, this workshop will allow you to practice your shaping skills with another human as the learner. These exercises will help you learn to problem solve and think more creatively when designing training solutions. You will also get to play the role of the learner, which will give you more insight into how people and animals learn.

The workshop will be limited to a small group of 36 attendees to allow ample time for discussion and questions and so that participants can receive individual coaching during the shaping exercises.

Your PORTL to shaping video clip

This is a video Emily Larlham made after the San Diego workshop


September 26-27, 2020

Saturday – 9:00 – 5:30
Saturday morning
Lecture: Reinforcement systems
PORTL exercises: Reinforcer delivery and timing

Saturday afternoon
Lectures: Shaping part 1, Shaping part 2
PORTL exercises: Shaping foundational lessons

Sunday – 9:00 – 4:30
Sunday morning:
Lecture: Are errors necessary for learning?
PORTL exercises: Shaping foundational lessons (continued)

Sunday afternoon:
Lecture: Writing shaping plans
PORTL exercises: Chaining, shaping challenges

Schedule includes one 15-minute morning break, lunch 12:30 – 1:45PM, one 15-minute afternoon break per day. Light breakfast and snacks provided. Meals on your own!

Location: BADDogsInc Family Dog Training & Behavior, 170 N Maple St, Suite 109, Corona, CA 92880

Registration fee: $250 (only 32 seats available!)

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations up to 30 days prior to the seminar will be refunded in full. No refunds given within 1 month prior to the seminar.

CCPDT CEUs 14 (7 Trainer/7 Behavior Consultant)

About our speaker:

Mary Hunter earned an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Chicago in 2008 and a master’s degree in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas in 2013. She runs her own animal training and consulting business and serves as president of The Art and Science of Animal Training, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides educational programs for professional animal trainers. In addition, Mary teaches classes at the University of North Texas as an adjunct instructor. Mary’s main research interests include studying the process of shaping and developing better methods for teaching both people and animals. In 2019, Mary and Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz published their first book: “PORTL: The Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab.” You can find Mary online at or on her personal blog,


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