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2019 Training News

Posted by on May 4, 2019 at 3:00 AM


3 May 2019

Exciting things happening this year with both our training programs.

The two Smooth Collies I have had here for over a year for behavioral rehabilitation are doing well. Nelson who suffers from Play Deficit Disorder is now able to interact well with some of the other dogs unsupervised and can be with all the dogs under supervision. Although he still chews on items he shouldn't, this has also gotten better. Sadie who is here for severe anxiety in urban settings and reactivity to cats and other small animals has improved. Daily training has significantly reduced her reactivity to cats and her instinct to chase them has diminished, although she is only around them during training sessions.

The Snake Training which was a side project I started to help Vedra, a highly fearful and reactive Jungle Carpet Python, and just to see if it could be done, has succeeded beyond my expectations. As it turns out snakes are excellent at associative learning, so classical conditioning works well for them and they seem to have great long-term memory regarding some things. Habituation to daily activity, target training, and station training is working well. I wrote an article about this that was published in the Spring 2019 edition of the" target="_blank">IAABC Journal under the "reptiles" heading. 

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The snake cohabitation study is going well with no issues between cohabbed snaked and lots of journal entries to pull data from. This is such a complex subject it will get its own blog entry and I am working on an article.

This summer we are starting a behavior project to capture daily behaviors of Morelia bredli to result in a time budget detailing how they spend their time in a 24-hour period, weekly, and monthly. This will be accomplished using ethograms. I have an intern from PPCC starting this fall to assist with the project but would welcome a summer intern as well if someone is interested.

Weather has not been cooperative for horse training and as we do not have an indoor arena no riding has been done in quite some time. We work with the horses daily on general handling and groundwork. June 1-2, 2019 we are hosting a Science of Motion weekend. Jean Luc Cornille will be here lecturing and working with horses, hopefully the weather is nice, or the entire weekend will be lecture only.

The newest edition to our canine family, Norwegian Elkhound Monroe, starred in a series of videos demonstrating various canine enrichment possiblities to keep your dog occupied while they are alone and also to elicit physical activity while you are interacting with them. These can be viewed on our YouTube Channel, make sure to Like and Subscribe. YOu can view one of my favorites below:

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