Ramirez & Friedman: Off the Cuff

Susan and Ken team up to share their perspectives on the evolving and challenging state of our field. This Session offers an opportunity to listen to two colleagues and friends engage in a lively exchange on a wide range of contemporary topics, from procedures (jackpots) to consulting challenges (client “yeah, buts”) and future directions (certification standards). Join us as we go off the leash, off the perch, and off the cuff.

Please note: This Session was recorded at ClickerExpo 2018 in Southern California.

Ken Ramirez | Susan G. Friedman, PhD

Ken Ramirez is the Executive Vice-President (EVP) and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training. There he helps to oversee the vision, development, and implementation of training education programs for the organization.

A 40+-year veteran of animal care and training, Ken is a biologist and animal behaviorist who has overseen or consulted on training projects for many zoological organizations throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and has and continues to work with organizations training dogs for service work, search-and-rescue, bomb detection and narcotic detection. Ken has also maintained a close affiliation with pet training throughout his career

Prior to his work with KPCT, Ken served as EVP of Animal Care and Animal Training at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium for over 25 years, where he developed and supervised animal care and animal health programs, staff training and development, and public presentation programs for more than 32,000 animals. Ken has written for numerous scientific publications and authored countless popular articles. He authored the book ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement, published in 1999.

Ken taught a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University for 20 years and has been active in several professional organizations, including as a past president of the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA). He is actively involved in the creation of a certification process for animal trainers in zoological settings. Currently Ken is developing courses and programming at the Ranch, the Karen Pryor National Training Center in Washington state.


Susan G. Friedman, PhD, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. She has helped pioneer the cross-species application of behavior analysis to animals, using the same humane philosophy and scientifically sound teaching technology that have been so effective with human learners.

Susan has co-authored chapters on behavior change in four veterinary texts, and her popular articles have been translated into 13 languages. She offers seminars on animal learning at conferences and zoos around the world, is a member of Karen Pryor Clicker Training’s ClickerExpo faculty, and teaches yearly hands-on animal training workshops with Steve Martin at Natural Encounters, Inc.

The Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the American Humane Association (AHA) Film and TV Unit, Susan is a member in good standing of ABAI, AZA, ABMA, IAABC and IAATE.

This year Susan was included on the Vet Tech College’s list of 15 Animal Professors to Know. Her acclaimed online course, Living and Learning with Animals for Behavior Professionals, has provided even wider dissemination of effective, humane, behavior-change practices to students in more than 30 countries.