Recently I was super fortunate to head back to Moonlit Sanctuary in Melbourne Australia for my fourth visit. I’ve been working with this organization for just under 2 years helping to develop their animal training programs and I visit every 6 months or so (it’s one of my favourite times of the year!).
You can see part 1 of the – Behind the scenes ? Exotic animal training – Consulting @ a wildlife sanctuary – blog post here https://www.animaltrainingacademy.com/moonlit/
One thing that gets me really excited about doing this work is how I get to leverage all of the amazing things I have learned since starting ATA. Consequently, I thought I would share with you five exercises we did with the team on my last visit – and pair this with corresponding content from within ATA for you to learn more.
1) Leslie McDevitt’s’ pattern games with Cinder the Dingo and his trainer Sian.
A HUGE take away for me from this trip was the value of repetition and patterns when working with animals that might be displaying behaviors we label as fearful (or avoiding certain situations & stimuli)! During this recent trip, we implemented Leslie McDevitt’s pattern games with Scorch the dingo to build upon his confidence. In the video below you can see us doing Leslie’s 123 treat pattern (I’m the one dancing in the background lol).
Listen to the Leslie McDevitt podcast episode here >>> http://bit.ly/ATA_Leslie_McDevitt
Want to see/learn even more? Register for your own ATA premium membership and gain access to a 90 minute web-class replay – Pattern Games in Control Unleashed: The Power of the Pattern – with Leslie McDevitt … Grab your $1 ATA trial membership today >>> CLICK HERE
2) Sarah Owings and Helix Fairweather’s Cyber scent training with Scorch the dingo and her trainer Kiandra.
With permission from Sarah and Helix we have been SUPER lucky to be able to leverage the cyber scent curriculum to work with Scorch the Dingo. In this video you can see Scorch’s carer Kiandra using classical conditioning to pair the smell of lavender with delicious chicken (one of Scorch’s favourite food items)
Learn more about cyber scent with some of the training I have done with my own dog Fibi here >>> http://bit.ly/Fibi_scent
3) Eva Bertillon’s & Emelie Johnson Vegh’s flow charts
The Moonlit team have really been taking the flow chart idea on board with their training. One of the animals we have been working with is Banjo the Koala and his routine around being picked up! Working with the team on consistency – specifically in areas where behavior was breaking down – has really helped set everyone up for success! Humans and Koalas alike. See an example below.
See a previous ATA blog post on how to do your own Animal Training flow charts here >>> http://bit.ly/ATA_Flowchart
And if you want to see a full members only ATA web-class replay where behavior nerd extraordinaire Eva Bertilsson teaches about flow charts you – register for your $1 ATA trial membership now >>> CLICK HERE
4) Mary Hunter and Jesus Rosales-Ruiz’s PORTL game
This was actually the first time I had played this! And I think to say the team enjoyed this would be a MASSIVE understatement! The reinforcing value of it being confirmed by the team requesting we bring it the pub with us! lol (see photo below).
CLICK HERE to listen to a podcast about PORTL with Mary Hunter >>> http://bit.ly/ATA_Mary_Hunter
5) Susan Friedman’s FAID (Functional assessment & intervention design).
It had been twelve months since I originally went through the first full FAID with the Moonlit team. I’m thinking I can now pretty much call them seasoned pros, hehehe. The reason I am so passionate about this problem-solving tool is that it helps us devise an intervention tailored to the unique animal in front of us. This intervention is based on the animals individual behaviors and the functions these behaviors serve.
To learn more about FAID listen to Susan Friedman talk about it in greater detail in this podcast episode here (specifically listen @ 18:29) >>> http://bit.ly/Friedmanpodcast
Well there you have it just some of the ways we learn from and implement strategies taught by the amazing ATA content creators! What about you? I would be super keen to hear (and if possible see) how you have implemented what you have learned from ATA with your animals.
Ryan Cartlidge – ATA Founder/Connector/Facilitator