The constructional approach.

A recording of the webinar with Mary Hunter November 8. 2022,

A recording of the Webinar with Mary Hunter, November 8. at 7 pm 

Mary Hunter

The Constructional Approach:

Many times, our initial inclination is to want to reduce or eliminate behavior. A person may want their dog to stop jumping on them, to stop pulling on the leash, to not growl at the neighbor's dog, or to not dig so much in the backyard. However, when we only focus on eliminating behavior, this does not teach our dog what we want them TO DO. The owner may reduce the jumping, but the dog may now engage in other unwanted behavior in order to get the owner's attention. Rather than focusing on the problem, we can use what is called the "constructional approach" to focus on building solutions that will be satisfying for both us and our pets. In this presentation, Mary Hunter will explain what makes the constructional approach unique and walk you through a four-step planning process that will help you focus on what behaviors you want to teach, rather than reducing or eliminating behavior. 

About Mary:
Mary Hunter earned an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas. She teaches people and their pets, working mainly with dogs and horses. In addition, Mary serves as president of the Art and Science of Animal Training.

In 2019, Mary and Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz published their first book, PORTL: The Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab. Mary’s research interests include studying the process of shaping and finding better ways to teach people to train animals. She is a full member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and has presented research at the organization’s annual convention. 

You can find Mary online on her personal blog, Stale Cheerios (, and at Behavior Explorer (


(If you are a member of Hund i Fokus' member portal, access to the webinar is included in the membership. Be in touch if you do not know how to find it.)

The webinar lasts for approx. 1,5 hours, including questions.

Information about the Members portal for the English speaking. Informasjon om Medlemsportalen for Skandinaver.