Pig behavior in videos on social media: Cute, but concerning

Pig behavior in videos on social media: Cute, but concerning

I’ve been working with companion pigs for years, and I find them endlessly fascinating. Pigs are still increasing in popularity as household pets after the “mini pig” craze started up about 30 years ago, in part because they make captivating video stars that people...
Calgary Bird School: An Obedience Class for Companion Parrots

Calgary Bird School: An Obedience Class for Companion Parrots

In a little city in Canada, owners are meeting once a month for a dog training class. Except there are no dogs in this class, only parrots! Birds in class learn foundation behaviours like “Step Up,” “Target” and “Station.” They’re introduced to marker training and...
What Can Street Dogs Teach Us About Socialization?

What Can Street Dogs Teach Us About Socialization?

There are certain truths we all hold as self-evident. One is that basic training is essential for all dogs. A dog whose behavior is “civilized” is able to be a fully participating member of the family. Further, if a dog develops a behavior problem, the foundation of...
What We Need to Learn About Missing Dogs

What We Need to Learn About Missing Dogs

The Missing Animal Response Network is an international network of lost-pet recovery specialists (volunteers and professionals) who are interested in learning as much as we can about the behavioral patterns of lost pets. The foundation for our missing animal response...
Environmental Enrichment for the Horse: The Need to Forage

Environmental Enrichment for the Horse: The Need to Forage

The most commonly used definition of environmental enrichment is by Shepherdson (1998): “an animal husbandry principle that seeks to enhance the quality of captive animal care by identifying and providing the environmental stimuli necessary for optimal psychological...
Hunting Enrichment for Indoor Cats Part 1: Indoor Activities

Hunting Enrichment for Indoor Cats Part 1: Indoor Activities

When one thinks of “enrichment” for cats, typically food-based activities such as treat balls come to mind, along with cat toys. A few cats are unmotivated by the treat ball, and a lot of adult cats couldn’t be bothered to give chase to that tired old mouse toy. Most...
Tort Reform: On Training a Tortoise in Nose Work

Tort Reform: On Training a Tortoise in Nose Work

I began training dogs as a teenager almost 40 years ago, and my interest in other species has been expanding as I continue to learn and grow as a professional. I have also worked with cats, goats, pigs, horses, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, chickens, ferrets, and...
Special Challenges of Senior Cats in Shelters

Special Challenges of Senior Cats in Shelters

How do senior cats end up in shelters? For over a decade, I have volunteered in the cat areas at Dallas Animal Services (DAS), a municipal shelter which has the fifth highest intake volume of animals in the United States. I routinely see senior cats on their rescue...
What is Cooperative Care?

What is Cooperative Care?

Cooperative care involves training an animal to not only tolerate handling and husbandry procedures, but to be an active, willing participant in these experiences. Cooperative care is quite common in zoos, where large or potentially dangerous animals cannot otherwise...
Teach Your Bird to Play Family Games!

Teach Your Bird to Play Family Games!

In my childhood household, you weren’t an actual human until you could play the card game Rummy. Our family comprised two parents and four kids, and my poor youngest brother only became fully and properly recognized when he was finally able to hold some cards, count,...