Animal Training Video Award Winners Announced

Novice filmmaker takes home grand prize.

Posted: April 4, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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A novice filmmaker, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, won Grand Prize at the first-ever Canis Film Festival, a contest to showcase innovative animal-training videos.

The festival focused on short films of seven minutes or fewer that educate animal owners and professionals about the power of training based on the science of operant conditioning.

The 2007 contest included 14 entries in four categories: canine, feline, equine and multispecies. Videos were judged by a panel of experts and faculty members of ClickerExpo, an animal training conference. Festival winners were announced to an audience of 400 at ClickerExpo 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Baugh won Grand Prize for her film entitled “CIA Casefile: ‘Murphy’ Heeling.” Her clip included a brief introduction to the benefits of clicker training, a how-to of teaching heeling using a toy for reinforcement instead of food treats and a view of a more advanced dog in the same behavior, taught using the same technique.

Baugh received $500 and a trophy, as well as a contract for distribution with KPCT/Sunshine Books.

“We have great professional and hobbyist trainers in our community out there doing amazing things and they rarely get an audience to show what they can do and how they do it,” said Karen Pryor, festival spokeswoman.

“The emphasis at the Canis Film Festival is not just on the finished behavior but showing someone how to train that behavior,” said Pryor.

Winners in the other categories were:
 Canine Award: “CIA Case File: ‘Tucker’ Nail Trim,” also by Baugh.
 Feline Award: “Ankle Attack,” by Jacqueline Munera.
 Equine Award: “Free Lunging with the Clicker,” by Vivien Dostine.
 Multi-Species Award: “Building Trust with Your Bird - One Click At A Time!,” by Shirley J. Morgan and Ellen K. Cook, DVM.
 Runner Up: “Become a Top Trainer the Easy Way by Top Hogs,” by John Vincent.

The grand prize-winning video and other award-winning videos from the contest can be watched at http://www.canisfilmfestival.com/submissions_01.html.

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