Last week I was super excited to head back to Moonlit Sanctuary – my third visit – for a fun filled week hanging out with the amazing Bosch the Barking owl & the wonderful world changing team of animal care professionals! Here are 5 of my favourite takeaways from my time with the team and our furred, feathered & scaly friends!
* 1) Potoroos might just be my new favourite species! So cute! Watch the video with trainer Sian Mulhull below
* 2) As always we were constantly reminded about the importance of celebrating approximations and breaking things down into the smallest learnable chunks for both our animals & human learners. Here we achieve great results by teaching Ash Herrod (the human learner) about luring with the critically endangered Orange Bellied parrots (Neo & Spot).
* 3) I was reminded about how much I absolutely LOVE doing what I do! My rate of reinforcement was so high throughout this whole visit getting to work with creatures great and small – including this spotted tree monitor in the video below with the amazing Hannah Wiggs!
This animal hasn’t been involved in a formal training program before and we were unsure if it would even take food from us being so close! Consequently it was reinforcing to get this result & equally so – to see the Joy in the trainers eyes!
* 4) In my opinion – as important (if not more important) then the time we spend in front of the animal is the time we spend planning! ?
Consequently, we relished the opportunity to get super geeky & use Susan Friedman’s – Functional Assessment & Intervention Design (FAID) tool – to consistently work through some of the bigger challenges at Moonlit sanctuary!
This tools helps us come up with an intervention based on the individual animal in front of us, their unique antecedents & learning history whilst simultaneously honouring the function of the behavior we are labelling as undesirable!
In the image below you can see us working through some of Leo the Quoll’s behaviours! So excited about the ideas we came up with!
You can learn more about this form (and find the link) in an early podcast episode with Susan and I >>> HERE
* 5) Part of the planning out of our training sessions at Moonlit Sanctuary (as well as lots of opportunities for Functional Assessments & Intervention designs – FAID – and Flowcharts) was to act out what we’re actually going to do in our sessions!
I totally have Sarah Owings to thank for this – via her social media sharings & my participation in her (& Helix Fairweather’s) cyber scent course she has really demonstrated to me it’s value & importance as I watch her work with Tucker-dog, Zoe-dog and teach her students!
In the video below we are practicing a routine around getting ready for a training session with Dundee the Freshwater crocodile! I’m pretending to be the crocodile and apparently this is what I think crocodiles do ??? (see videos below).
The AMAZING Blaire Bunter is the trainer…
I feel confident to have left Moonlit Sanctuary with Sarah Owings, Susan G. Friedman & Eva Bertilsson sitting on all of the animal care teams shoulders! It does’t get much better then this! ?
- Listen to a ATA podcast with Sarah Owings here >>> https://www.animaltrainingacademy.com/podcast/training-tidbits/sarah-owings/
- Listen to a ATA podcast with Eva Bertilsson here >>> https://www.animaltrainingacademy.com/podcast/training-tidbits/eva-bertilsson/