|Photo by: Topher Cox|
Dr. Terri Bright earned her Master’s of Science degree and Ph. D. at Simmons College in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with an animal specialty, and she is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). She teaches Behavior Analysis at Simmons College and at Northeastern University, and lectures nationally on the subject of Applied Animal Behavior Analysis. She is the President of the Applied Animal Behavior Special Interest Group in the Association of Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), and her dissertation research entailed developing an dog behavior assessment and analysis tool that will help to standardize how dog trainers evaluate why problem behaviors happen.
She has been training dogs as a hobby and professionally for many years and has had a private animal behavior practice that includes all manner of behavior issues for nine years. Her own dogs, all Bull Terriers, have competed in Obedience, Agility and/or conformation, with great results. Her dog Fanny was the top Agility Bull Terrier in the U.S. in 2006 and 2007. Her rescued dog, Pepper, helped to teach Terri how to train and manage human- and dog-aggressive dogs, and Terri's youngest dog, Radio, is a breed champion and has been the subject of Terri’s research on stimulus equivalence (matching-to-sample training) that garnered Terri a Marian Breland Bailey (MBB) Award from the Association of Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). Terri won another MBB Award from ABAI for her research on the use of errorless teaching to train a Shelter dog to sit at the sound of a bell (“Pavlov’s Shelter”) when she was not in the dog's sight. She uses evidence-based methods of training.
Terri launched the Training Department at the MSPCA-Boston location in 2007, and, with a phalanx of crackerjack training instructors, has grown the program to over 30 classes a week. She helps to evaluate homeless dogs surrendered at the MSPCA for proper placement, and designs training and enrichment programs for dogs at the MSPCA. She also designs and implements curriculum and teaching for staff and volunteers in the “Safewalk” program, which she created in 2009, and which has increased the adoption rates of Shelter dogs. She is currently the Director of the Behavior Department at MSPCA/Angell, and sees private clients there with their dogs and cats who have behavioral issues.