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Beginning as an apprentice trainer in 1988, Nana continued her education and in 1998 she had the opportunity of a lifetime training over 300 hours with Marian Breland Bailey & Bob Bailey who were groundbreakers in the application of operant conditioning.

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A bit of history: The science of operant conditioning in professional animal training is more than sixty years old. The scientific study of operant conditioning began at the turn of the twenty century with Edward L. Thorndike and C. Lloyd Morgan to B. F. Skinner in the 1930's and in 1941, then Marian Breland and her first husband Keller Breland became Skinner's graduate students. Marian and Keller took it out of the laboratory and pioneered the application of operant conditioning into the animal training world. In 1943, they used the technology commercially in their business Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE). Bob Bailey, first Director of Training for the U.S. Navy, joined ABE in 1965 as Research Director, then General Manager, and in 1976 married Marian. ABE was the world's first school for scientific animal training and proved that the new scientific technology could be used to train virtually any kind of animal, and exclusively by reward – no punishment. Developing the 'bridging stimulus', an event marker used to connect the desired behavior with the upcoming delivery of the primary reinforcer turned out to be revolutionary. ABE successful application of operant conditioning in training animals for commercial advertisement and entertainment expanded to training projects for the U.S. Navy, Marine Studios in Florida, Marineland in California and Parrot Jungle. It is thought that the Brelands wrote the first training program and manuals using operant conditioning for training dolphins in 1955 and for exotic birds in 1958. The Misbehavior of Organisms, published by the Brelands in 1961, stated "... the behavior of any species cannot be adequately understood, predicted or controlled without knowledge of its instinctive patterns, evolutionary history and ecological niche."  Among their many other accomplishments, most familiar to the public were TV commercials and animal shows. Puss 'N Boots Cat Food commercials were widely known but most notably is the Buck Bunny television ad for Coast Federal Savings and Loan, which ran for twenty years and holds the record for the longest running TV commercial. The IQ Zoo doors opened in 1955, demonstrating how animals can learn to do tasks using positive reinforcement training, it continued for thirty-five years and expanded internationally. The gates of Animal Wonderland opened in 1972, the first amusement park to display the largest avian show ever in the world. Over 47 years, Marian, Bob and ABE trainers worked with over 140 different species, training more than 15,000 animals and today the technology is being widely used around the world in all fields of animal training.


 Nana continues with her education today attending seminars, workshops, telecourses and conference yearly. Nana is a charter member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis (ABA), Pet Care Service Association (PCSA) and Colorado Association of Dog Daycares (CADD).

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Education History: Workshops, Seminars, Conferences and Training:

2010: Animals Matter Conference, University of Denver, Denver CO

2009: Leslie Nelson, Shaping The Future, Tails-U-Win Training Center, Manchester, CT

2008: Bob Bailey, 4o hour Teaching Operant Conditioning Workshop, Legacy -Terry Ryan, Sequim WA

2008: Jean Donaldson Seminar, Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Boulder, CO

2008: Kay Laurence, 3-day seminar, Tails-U-Win Training Center, Manchester, CT

1994-1999/2002/2004/2006-2007: APDT Annual Conference and Pre-conference Seminars: Orlando FL, Chicago IL, Phoenix AZ, Memphis TN, King of Prussia PA, San Diego CA, Portland OR, Denver CO, Kansas City MO, Portland OR

2006/2007: Visiting Leslie Nelson, Tails-U-Win Training Center, Manchester, CT

2006: Sue Ailsby Seminar, Denver CO

2005-2006: Clicker Expo: San Diego CA, Newport RI

2005-2006: Raising Canine Telecourses, monthly/weekly classes

2005: ABKA Annual Conference, Austin TX

2005: Fundaments of Canine Behavior, Animal Behavior Associates, Suzanne Hett & Dan Estep

2003: Alpha Bitch Conference, Trish King & Patricia McConnell, Longmont CO

2001/2002: Sue Sternberg Seminars, Longmont CO, Tails-U-Win Training Center in Manchester, CT 

1998-2002: Marian Breland Bailey & Bob Bailey, 32 hours Introductory, 40 hours Beginners, 156 hours Intermediate & 120 hours Advanced, Hot Springs AK

2001: Rising Star Communication, Colorado Springs, CO

1999: Leslie Nelson Seminar, Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Boulder, CO

1999: Turid Rugaas Seminar, Colorado Springs, CO

1999: John Rogerson Canine Behavior Workshop, Pasadena Humane Society & SCPA, Pasadena CA

1997: Agility Seminar, Top British Trainers-Peter Lewis & John Gilbert, Denver  CO

1996: Click and Treat Seminar - Gary Wilkes, Denver CO

1996: Choose to Heel Seminar - Dawn Jecs, KS

1995/1996: American Humane Association Seminars, Englewood CO

1995: Agility Seminar, Competitive US Trainer, Denver  CO

1995: Delta Society Conference, Phoenix, AZ

1994: National Association Dog Obedience Instructors Seminar, Denver CO

1991-1993: Canine Companions for Independence; Two Week Team Training, Santa Rosa & Rancho Santa Fe CA

1989: Humane Society of United States Conference, Boulder CO

1989: Copper Mountain Avalanche Training Seminar Summit County CO

1988: Competition Obedience Seminar, Denver  CO

1988-1991: Apprenticeship - Westwind Dog Training, , Boulder CO


Before her career in dog training, in her former life, Nana majored in fine arts and worked at a graphic design studio for eight years in Boulder CO.

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