5). Choice, Control & ABC contingencies with Eva Bertilsson (Sweden)
To celebrate international animal training month – 2018 we are going to focus on Sweden & learn about some amazing animal training projects from some amazing Swedish trainers. Consequently, we have released the following 5 items below for FREE over the month of February …
- Cooperative care/husbandry training with dogs example (CLICK HERE).
- Match to sample training (with Friken penguins !) (CLICK HERE)
- Cooperative care/husbandry training with Parrots. (CLICK HERE)
- Positive reinforcement horse riding (CLICK HERE) 🐴
- The importance of choice, control & ABC contingencies in our animal training.
Plus, we have already hosted two exclusive live sessions with prominent Swedish trainers/behavior experts for February 2018 (replays now available for Animal Training Academy members only):
* 12th Feb 2018 – Peter Giljam (from the Zoospensefull blog) ran a live web-class on Group training. In this web-class, Peter discussed the many approaches to training groups of animals, and how this can be achieved with the minimal number of people. Peter focused on the zoo environment, but the content is relevant for all species. ea.
* 19th Feb 2018 – Dr. Karolina Westlund, Associate Professor of Ethology – University of Stockholm; joined us In this web-class and presented a 30-45 min presentation followed by a live Q&A on animal emotions.
Interview with Eva Bertilsson transcript.
Question: Please introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Eva from Sweden, working with animal training and animal behavior. I think for my international friends, I meet them mostly at clicker expo, where I have been on the faculty for ten years. Originally dog trainer, but now working with all sorts of species.
Question: Could you please tell us about the Giraffe video and the importance of choice, control & ABC contingencies?
I love to see that so many people nowadays are passionate about giving their learners choice and control. The episode you’re talking about with the giraffe, I met him at a zoo, and he had a habit of coming over to people and saying, hi, by putting his head down. And we were guessing, is he doing this because he actually enjoys being petted because people would reach up and touch him? Or is he doing because he is interested in getting food?
I love that people are asking the question. And I really love that we have a systematic way of getting the answers. So, when we talk about choice and control, it’s all about our learners having experience with having the different ABC’s contingencies. So, we can test this, and that’s what I did with the giraffe. That’s what you’re seeing in the video, is me going through some phases of asking him, if you get the opportunity to know in advance that you’re gonna get a pat on the nose, will you go for it? If you in advance know that you’ll now have the opportunity to get just food without a touch, will you go for it?
So, the experiment we set up was basically just beginning with making sure he knew the indication behavior of touching something, and he had that in advance just for food. Then, we did set up, you see paper, you touch paper, you get food, just separately. Just doing that for like ten times in a row, making sure that he had experience with the contingency of you see paper, you touch it, you get food.
Now we put that away, and there’s a different stimulus, the plastic bottle. So, giving him some experience with when you touch the plastic bottle, you get a pat on the nose. And by making sure that he got those experiences, that he has actually had this set of when I do this in this context, this happens. When I do that in that context, that happens. That could give me some information already there, he would be waking away from the plastic, which was a pretty clear indication.
Then we also wanted to know, what if it’s just that you’re expecting food in this situation, and you don’t like being touched in a scenario where you’re really expecting food? Like you just had ten treats. So, we did the last part of it, where he gets to get food and touch for the plastic. So, the choice became between just food or touch and food. After he got a bit of experience with both of those, he would clearly choose the paper, and just avoid the touch.
So, that gave us some information, we didn’t have to guess. We could actually say that we tried that, we did the experiment. When we experimented with this, he clearly told us that, no, in those scenarios at least, just keep your hands off me. It’s all about putting together our ideas to do what’s best for our animals with some scientific thought and some doing experiments in our everyday work, I like that part.
Question: Can you please tell us about your experiences with ATA so far?
Well, thank you, Ryan. I have had the pleasure of the company of ATA, so it’s been a wonderful community, and I’m really happy to be a part of it. For me, it’s really been a way to meet new and old friends and continue to be inspired by the work that’s happening across the globe, which is fascinating. Really glad to be a part of it, and really recommend it to everybody else. And also, it’s made even me listen to podcasts regularly, which I actually otherwise don’t do, so now I do.
Want to learn from/with an international community of super cool and nerdy animal behavior & training geeks … And watch the LIVE web-class replays?
Then … Check out the link below to learn more about whats on offer … !