Jonesy’s Dog Agility Class Sept 11 2009

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It was 100• F here today but that didn’t stop us from going to our foundations agility class. Or as I call it “Jonesy time.” Here’s Jonesy on the teeter. Over two years ago when he was 10 months of age and had been living with me for several months, I took several private lessons from a really good trainer, Cathy Leggett. Then I decided, Jonesy had more pressing behavioral issues and stopped agility until recently. We’re taking a weekly class now even though Jonesy knows a lot of the exercises already.

Students and Veterinarians Learn Low Stress Veterinary Handling

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It’s a gray day outside in Madison, Wisconsin, but inside, the room’s abuzz. Fifteen dogs of various sizes are being handled by veterinarians and veterinary students who are participating in the Happy Pets, Happy Vets behavior and low stress handling workshop

Having a Dog in White House Can Be as Complicated as Foreign Policy

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When the Obamas announced in November that they would be getting a puppy for Sasha and Malia the whole world breathed a collective “aww” and envisioned the presidential kids carrying the young pup around like a doll. Well, the Obamas have officially announced the big reveal. Their new four-legged family member is a male Portuguese Water dog named Bo. Bo is 6 months old rather than being under 16 weeks. He’s already too big to be carried around by Sasha and Malia, but he’s just the right size to be cuddled by everyone in the family.

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.

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.