Boo! Training a Bear

Boo! Training a Bear

Boo is a male grizzly bear (Ursus arctos), born in 2002. He weighs 550 to 600 pounds in the spring, and up to 750 to 850 pounds in the winter before hibernation. We came to take care of Boo after he and his brother Cari were orphaned at approximately 5 months of age,...
Behavior Theory and Stallion Management

Behavior Theory and Stallion Management

Introduction Stallions can be used in different disciplines and they may stand at stud either as retirement or alongside their “career” (Burger et al., 2012). Traditionally they are managed with little regard to their natural behaviour (McDonnell, 2016b); they may be...
Rural Dogs

Rural Dogs

Often times in sprawling country areas, such as the one I’m writing from now, the overall majority of dogs (and cats) brought into shelters and rescues are what I typically describe as “rural.” Not exactly social and not exactly feral, the...
Reinforcing Change

Reinforcing Change

“All done!” I cried. Amid applause and cheering, the retired police sergeant hopped up from his position prostrate on the folding table. We had accomplished our crowd-sourced training goal—using a clicker, I had shaped him to lie face down on this rickety table for...
Cat Training Corner: Training a Kitten to “Go to Box”

Cat Training Corner: Training a Kitten to “Go to Box”

Go-to-box training is a very useful tool. It enables you to not only relocate a cat, but more importantly to refocus him. It is an excellent tool for teaching impulse control. I find that target training is the best first step to teaching this. Below is a case study...
Embracing Anthropomorphism

Embracing Anthropomorphism

As any animal behavior consultant can attest, one of the greatest challenges we face is dissuading owners from anthropomorphizing their pet’s behavior. In many respects, anthropomorphism is the proverbial gorilla in the room: It’s taboo, highly controversial, and most...
Career Paths: Katenna Jones

Career Paths: Katenna Jones

Animal behavior consultants come from all walks of life. One of the most common questions IAABC gets is about how to get started working with pets and their people. The truth is, there’s no set career path, and no single qualification that prepares you for this...
Is “Dominance” a Four-Letter Word?

Is “Dominance” a Four-Letter Word?

I had occasion today to think about how we working livestock guardian dog (LGD) owners view dominance in our dogs. Before we get into any further conversations about training, I think we should take a closer look at what dominance is and, perhaps more importantly,...