Category: Articles by Dr. Sophia Yin

Exotic Animal Handling: Bearded Dragons

Floyd, a 3-year-old bearded dragon, needs a health checkup. But how can we give him one in a way that minimizes stress and keeps him safe? Dr. Yin introduces her colleague, Dr. Susan A. Brown, noted exotic animal medical specialist. Dr. Brown demonstrates safe handling with Floyd the Bearded Dragon, covering basic, Low Stress Handling examination techniques. She covers nutritional needs, light requirements, pupil reactions, skin – a whole range of basic health checks that work for many lizards. This 17-minute tutorial is a great beginning look at the care and handling of lizards for animal enthusiasts of all levels.

Cincinnati Zoo Penguin Training

This method of enrichment was very successful based on how readily the penguins interacted with the devices to acquire the food inside the floating devices. The birds went after the balls eagerly. They were so interested in the hamster balls, in some cases, the birds would spend hours manipulating the balls to get fish from them. This was particularly exciting because this extent of foraging for food is more reflective of wild penguin swimming behavior.

How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Bitten

Separating Feuding Fidos If you have a dog and he goes to the dog park, lives with doggie housemates, or otherwise socializes with other dogs, chances are at some point you may need to break up a spat. These may range from low-level altercations with no real contact to a no-bites-spared brawl. So what should you do? First, realize that regardless of the amount of noise, most fights between unfamiliar dogs at the dog park or first fights between housemates are spit and drool matches. When bites are involved during these fights, dogs generally bite and release. So in the

Scruffy’s Cadbury Egg Disaster: A Case for Training Dogs to Sit Politely Instead of Counter-Surfing

For most pet parents, having a dog that’s well trained would be nice but doesn’t seem like a necessity. This is especially true if the dog spends most of his time in familiar places—such as the home, or the yard, or just on short walks in the neighborhood. He may be so used to the scene that he never gets excited enough or distracted enough to be bothersome. It turns out that you can’t count on life being so mundane. One family found this out the expensive way when their Holiday house plan went awry. It was Easter Sunday and

The Case of Finn, the Cat Who’s Afraid of Toenail Trims and the Vet

Intro by Dr. Sophia Yin In 2009, I produced the first and only textbook and DVD on Low Stress Handling of dogs and cats in the hospital or shelter setting. Since then the methods and philosophy have spread around the world. In this article, my colleague in the Netherlands, Dr. Valerie Jonckheer –Sheehy details how she used desensitization and counterconditioning to give a cat a pleasant toenail trim. The techniques used in this case are based on Dr Sophia Yin’s protocol for trimming the nails of an anxious dog. Counterconditioning for Toenail Trim Aggression 15 April 2014 History: The owner reports

Counterconditioning for Toenail Trim Aggression

This dog doesn’t like having his toenail trimmed.    We’ll take a few minutes to counter condition him. First, I give him treat while handling him in order to change his emotional state. The assistant should wait until the dog is occupied with eating before she starts handling then stop handling before the dog finishes the treat. This time the dog is focused on the food the entire time he’s being handled, which lessen the likelihood that he will bite the handler. Notice our timing is off the first several times and then we got our team work down better.

Low Stress Handling® Silver-Level Certification

Individual Certification at this level demonstrates to clients and employers the individual’s dedicated interest in Low Stress Handling®. Hospital Certification at this level demonstrates to clients and staff the hospital’s commitment to appropriately training staff in Low Stress Handling® methods.

Learn More