Recent Articles

Distinguishing Asian and African Elephants

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There are two different types of elephants, Asian and African. Up until my visit to Have Trunk Will Travel, I could never tell the difference. But Kari Johnson gave me a fool-proof method. Now I can’t believe I couldn’t distinguish between the two in the past.

Do You Want a Bunny for Easter?

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Rabbits can be cuddly and cute, especially during Easter festivities, but they require specialized care. Potential adopters should consider all of the behavioral and health issues involved in caring for a rabbit before making a decision.

Dog Eats Chocolate: Case of Chico and Cadbury Chocolates

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Easter is typically a time when families come together and participate in numerous traditions. For some this means going to church. For others the focal point is the Easter egg hunt and Easter baskets. But for one little dog representing a not-so-unusual case, it involved some Cadbury chocolates and a veterinary visit.

Click and Cluck: Lesson on Animal Training from Chickens

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Scenes from a Saturday morning cartoon? A twisted scheme of some sort? Neither of the above. It’s the assigned mission at the August 2000 Advanced Operant Conditioning Workshop (a.k.a. chicken training camp), taught by Bob Bailey and psychologist Marian Breland-Bailey. Nine animal trainers from the U.S. and Canada, including myself, are here to meet the challenge. We have five days. Sounds like a joke, but it’s serious business. We’re here not just to train chickens. We’re here to learn the intricacies of a universal mechanism of learning called operant conditioning.

A Day in the Life of Show Business Elephants

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Have you ever wondered how Show Biz elephants are trained and housed and how they spend a typical day? Last week I found out when I visited an AZA (American Zoos and Aquariums) certified elephant training and conservation facility called Have Trunk Will Travel. Elephants from HTWT have starred in many movies and T.V. shows such as Operation Dumbo Drop, Ace Ventura, Big Top Peewee, the Tarzan Series and Scrubs. They also serve as animal ambassadors and participate in education events.

Does Your Humping Dog Make Your Face Turn Red?

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I have a 10 yr. old fixed Standard Poodle who gets very excited when he greets another dog and he ends up mounting the other dog. Male, female big dog small dog doesn’t matter. I would just like to know why he does this, and how can I stop it. Thanks for your time.

How to Stop It When The Neighbor Dog Poops in Yard

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The neighborhood feline has made our yard his personal litter box. We have to remove kitty poop almost every day and have unsuccessfully tried spraying the affected areas with a mixture of water and bleach to deter the fellow. Do you have any suggestions ?

New Study Finds Popular “Alpha Dog” Training Techniques Can Cause More Harm than Good

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“The client, an elderly couple, had a 6-year-old male, neutered Rhodesian Ridgeback that was aggressive to dogs” describes Dr. Jennie Jamtgaard, an applied animal behavior consultant and behavior instructor at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “They had watched Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan and seen Millan place aggressive dogs in with his group of dogs and then hold them down on their sides or back if they were aggressive. So they brought their dog to the dog park and basically flooded him [immersed him in the aggression-inducing situation].”

Pets Predicting Earthquakes?

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Haicheng, China, 1975. A massive earthquake hits. Buildings are demolished, roads destroyed, but thanks to an evacuation several hours earlier, thousands, possibly tens of thousands of human lives are saved. The Chinese claimed they’d predicted an earthquake within hours of its occurrence. Their forecasting system: animals.