Spring 2020 Cover Image - Cat


Zoos: Time Saving Through Training

There’s a conundrum when it comes to the training and behavior management of animals in zoos: Training may be considered important for the management of animals but is often viewed as a luxury. It’s not uncommon to hear keepers make statements such as, “I’ll train if I have time,” or “Training would be great, but first…” There’s a multitude of reasons why this philosophy exists, including....

    Cat Division

    Beyond the Gate

    Have you done cat reintroductions for clients, where everything was going fine until they removed the gate? Perhaps a cat chased the other one once the gate was removed. Or a cat just turned and hid when there was no gate. Or one cat played in a manner that was too rough for the other one. I find that this means that not enough was taught before ceding control over to the cats. Some basic learning was missing.  If cats only eat on either side of the gate before the gate is removed, they have learned very little about each other...

    Dog Division

    Case Study: “Remy” – Aversion to Towels

    Behavior complaints: Human-directed aggression while being toweled off. Client reports that Remy runs at the sight of the towel. When her owner has held Remy by the collar to towel her off, Remy will bite her hands, especially during the toweling of her thighs, tail, and rump....

    Shelter Division

    Socially Conscious Sheltering

    The concept of socially conscious sheltering (SCS) as an approach to sheltering was developed in Colorado by shelter leaders Apryl Steele, DVM, Jan McHugh-Smith, Lisa Pederson, and Judy Calhoun. Three of these shelter leaders co-authored an article, “Crisis in Animal Welfare,” published in the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association newsletter The Voice in 2018. Steele...

    Parrot Division

    Experiencing Natural Encounters, Inc. as a Professional Animal Trainer

    I applied to the Natural Encounters Inc. (NEI) professional animal training course in April. I spent the rest of the year eagerly anticipating the course. I figured January was a great time to head to Florida, especially since I’m from cold Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I had seen my colleagues take the course and they had nothing but praise for it. And since all I heard was “It’s incredible! It will change your life!” this course had really set the bar high for itself...

    Horse Division

    Working with Penny, a Fearful Horse

    I have been working with dogs and their humans for over 20 years. In the last two to three years I have been practicing the use of training with applied behaviour analysis using positive reinforcement with species other than dogs. Applying the science of learning to multiple species has been a big learning curve for me....

      Small Animals

      The Welfare of Pet Hedgehogs

      Although hedgehogs have been domesticated for a significant period of time (dating back to B.C. times), they remain for the most part the solitary, relatively unsocial creatures that they are in the wild. Despite their rise in popularity, especially in recent years, there has been little research completed on hedgehog behaviour, and particularly that of the domestic hedgehog....

        Working Animal Division

        Tossing Food in Service Dog Training

        There is a huge variety in service dog tasks, and there are some core skills every service dog should possess. For example, they should all be able to be in the presence of other dogs without reacting to them. They should ignore people interacting with them, including screaming children and people trying to pet them. Beyond these skills, service dogs are expected to ignore any and all food on the ground....


          Reinforce This!

          Video examples of delivering reinforcement to different species, from dogs to genets, porcupines to lorikeets...

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