Ambassador Animal Training and Welfare ONLINE COURSE

Ambassador Animal Training and Welfare

Summary: This course is designed for all animal care professionals working with, or managing, ambassador animal programs. The course has the following three main goals:

1) Provide ambassador animal handlers and trainers with information that will improve their training outcomes, empower them with problem-solving skills, and create more reliable behavior in their animals

2) Improve the welfare of ambassador animals through adding more choice and control in their environment including positive reinforcement training that leads to enhanced husbandry, medical and program-related behaviors

3) Provide information that will empower presenters to create engaging programs that inspire caring that leads to conservation action

The course outline includes the following topics and more:

  • The science of behavior change principals
    • Operant learning
      • Reinforcement
      • Punishment
  • Choice and control as primary reinforcers
  • Improving welfare through training
  • Motivating operations
    • Creating motivation without hunger
  • Problem solving
    • Injection training
    • Shifting and crating
    • Recall training
    • Aggression
    • Low motivation
  • Reducing unwanted behavior
  • Clear communication
    • Cues, bridging stimuli and Prompts
    • Baiting/luring
    • Time outs
    • Giving animals a voice through their body language
  • Building trusting relationships
    • With animals and humans you work with
  • Expert training: What is it and how do you achieve it?
  • Taking responsibility for animals’ behavior
    • The problem with labeling
  • Enrichment is more than what you put in an animal’s space

Structure: The course involves four consecutive webinar presentations (one per week) of 90 minutes each, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers and case study. Additionally, all registered attendees will have the opportunity across the length of the course to interact with expert trainers from NEI’s senior leadership team to troubleshoot problem behaviors, establish training goals and plans, and deal with most any animal, program, or staff training situation. Attendees can submit descriptions or videos of behaviors they would like to discuss during the course of the webinar series. The webinar presentations will be recorded and registered attendees will have access to the recordings after the course is completed. After the course, a certificate of completion will be sent to the registered attendee. CEUs are available following the completion of this course for IATCB certificants and we expect them to be available for CPDT and IAABC as well. Please contact us to inquire about other organizations.

Cost: $400.00 USD

Dates: April 15, 22, 29 and May 6

Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST

Registration is now open and class space is limited. Registrations will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Outline

Part 1 – April 15th, 2020, 7:00PM EST

  • Ambassador Animals defined
  •  Welfare
    1. Description
    2. Choice and Control
      • What is it and why do we want to provide it?
      • Giving animals a voice
  • Training – The Basics
    1. Reinforcement
    2. Punishment
    3. Antecedents and Consequences
    4. Influences on motivation
    5. Building trusting relationships
    6. Right animal for the job
    7. Time management

Part 2 – April 22nd, 2020, 7:00PM EST

  • Training – Motivation and Communication
    1. Motivation
      • Antecedent influences
      • Consequences
      • Creating motivation when it’s low or there is none
    2. Clear communication
    3. Cues
    4. Bridging stimuli
    5. Prompts
      • Baiting
      • Fading prompts
    6. Shaping and approximations
      • Every step without hesitation

Part 3 – April 29th, 2020, 7:00PM EST

  • Training – The Staff
    1. Handlers’ observable skills
    2. Taking responsibility
      • Avoid labeling
      • The animal is always right
    3. Full-time staff vs volunteers
      • Right tool for the job (handler focused)

Part 4 – May 6th, 2020, 7:00PM EST

  • Educational program production and presentation
    1. Connecting with our audience
      • The role of zoological facilities
      • From consumers to conservers
      • “Defining Moments”
      • Habitat theater, Exhibit shows
      • Educational show production
      • Messaging
      • Engage, Inspire, Empower
      • Naming animals or not
      • “Show” vs program or presentation

To register for the course, click HERE

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