Animal Trainer Growing Pains

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Episode - 34  July, 2023

Host: Barbara Heidenreich

When innovative ideas emerge in the animal training world it can spark conversation. For some it evokes behavior change, for others not just yet, and maybe not ever. When there is resistance to emerging ideas, it can be frustrating for those who have been reinforced by changing their behavior. But as we will examine, resistance can be a very rational response. In this episode we look at some of those barriers to new information in animal training. I also share various ways to address those challenges so that trainers can more easily access reinforcers that can be gained from embracing emerging views in animal training. And finally, I delve into many of my own personal “growing pains” and strategies I have used to facilitate learning new concepts and their application.

Recommended Citation:

Heidenreich, B. (Producer/Writer). (2023, July 22). Animal Trainer Growing Pains. [Audio Podcast] Animal Training Fundamentals with Barbara Heidenreich.

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Additional Resources Mentioned in the Podcast  - Click Links and Images to Access

Nonlinear Contingency Analysis Book

T. V. Joe Layng (2017) Private emotions as contingency descriptors: emotions, emotional behavior, and their evolution, European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 18:2, 168-179, DOI: 10.1080/15021149.2017.1304875

Constructional Approach to Animal Welfare and Training

Members Only Resource

Members Only Resource

Members Only Resource

Members Only Resource

Host Bio:

Barbara Heidenreich

Barbara Heidenreich is an animal training consultant specializing in exotic animals. She consults worldwide working with zoos, universities, veterinary professionals, and conservation projects. She has worked onsite with over 90 facilities in 29 countries. She is an adjunct instructor at Texas A & M University. She has authored two books and contributed to four veterinary textbooks. She is a co-author of two Fear Free® Avian Certification Courses. Much of her work focuses on training exotic species to cooperate in medical care. She operates the online education program This virtual learning program features award winning courses, tracks to guide professional development, verifiable badges to share and prove course completion, community, and more. Barbara is an advisor for the Animal Training Working Group and the Parrot Taxon Advisory Group for the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She also serves on the Zoological Association of America Animal Training Committee. She has provided her expertise to conservation projects The Kakapo Recovery Program and The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science in zoology and has begun the journey towards a Master of Science in applied behavior analysis. Her goal is to leave behind a legacy of kindness to animals by sharing her expertise.

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