Ambassador Animal Training and Welfare Online Course


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

Course content will include (but is not limited to) the following topics

  • The science of behavior change principals
    • Operant learning
      • Reinforcement
      • Punishment
  • Control as a primary reinforcer
  • 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

Course Structure:

The course involves four consecutive webinar presentations (one per week) of 90 minutes each, presented by Steve Martin and the senior staff of NEI, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers and case study. 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. 

Dates and tuition for this course will be announced in the future.
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CEUs may be available for IATCB, IAABC, CCPDT (CBCC and CPDT), and KPA – if you are interested in CEUs for another organization, please contact them for additional information. Contact if you have any questions.