Category: other animals

The Birth of Animal Behavior and Training as a Science Part 2: Behavior in it’s Infancy

While animal behavior was struggling to become a science, researches, one by one, inched their way closer. One of the first was Ivan Pavlov. Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) In the early 1900s, the Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, was studying digestion in dogs. Pavlov designed and surgically implanted a fistula, which allowed him to measure and analyze gastric secretions after feeding his canine test subjects. His findings from this research eventually won him a Nobel Prize in medicine, which later attributed to his prestigious standing in Russia and among the Academy of Sciences. However, during the course of his research, Pavlov observed

A Week at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana

Over 20 years ago, when I became interested in dog training and animal behavior, I frequently heard statements such as, “Well, in the wild, the alpha wolf eats before subordinates and walks ahead of them.” Then later I’d hear someone say, “That’s wrong, they don’t do that at all.” So how do you find out what’s right? You could crack open any current book by Dr. David Mech, the most notable wolf biologist alive. Or you could take a course at a respected conservations and research park study wolves, such as Wolf Park in Indiana. I did just that back

Wolf Hybrids: The Best of Both Worlds…or Not?

Wolf Hybrids In the classic novel, White Fang, Jack London tells the tale of an abused half wolf-half dog who finds safety and companionship in a kind, benevolent master. The wolf-dog returns the kindness with an unerring devotion and loyalty, even offering his life to protect his new-found savior from harm. For years, I thought about what it might be like to own a wolf-dog like White Fang. London’s hybrid between nature and the common dog proved one magnificent animal—smarter, stronger, and more loyal than any ordinary dog. He was a superdog, the ideal companion. In modern day, the wolf-dog

Why its Risky to Have Wild Animals as Pets

Pet deer attacks man! Pet wolf mauls child! Hand-raised tiger savages owner! Whenever one of these headlines flashes by my radar, I can’t help thinking, “Why would anyone want a wild animal as a pet?” Why are wild animals dangerous to keep as pets?  For one, they are not behaviorally adapted to living with humans. See what a 40 year study involving undomesticated commercial farm foxes reveals about domestication. In this study, researchers selected only for tameness and over many generations they got a population of foxes that was not only friendlier to humans and easier to tame; they were

Behind the Scenes at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL

All in all it was a magical hour and a half. I highly recommend that everyone who visits Chicago visit the Shedd Aquarium. It will give you a new appreciation for the husbandry training that can and should be done in all zoos.

Folsom Zookeepers Train Animals While Testing Their Skills

First, the Trainers It’s a sunny morning in Folsom and something odd is happening at the Folsom Zoo. Zookeepers and staff are waving their arms, flailing their legs, and balancing in weird positions. No, they’re not there to entertain the animals. They’re playing the training game. The game where two people collude to train a third person to perform behavior unknown to her. The only clues they can give are to click and treat whenever she performs a behavior close to what they want. It’s a game where they get to experience the confusion that animals feel when humans are

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.

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