About Stale Cheerios

I am interested in the science of animal training — how and why different training methods work and how we can find smarter and more humane ways to teach our animals.

Mary Hunter and her Arabian horse Apollo

On this site I share information about the science of animal training and animal behavior, as well as stories from working with my own animals. You’ll learn about how clicker training and positive reinforcement training methods can be used with horses, dogs, rats, cats, exotic animals, and more.

Click here to find out more about why this site is called Stale Cheerios.

If this is your first visit, visit my Top Posts page to get a taste of Stale Cheerios.

Who is Mary Hunter?

I completed a Master of Science in Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas in 2013. While at UNT, I spent three years studying animal behavior and animal training under the direction of Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz. Before starting my master’s, I earned a biology degree from the University of Chicago.

I currently provide animal training and animal behavior services to people and their pets in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas metropolitan area. I work mainly with horses and dogs, but sometimes also coach clients who need help with their cats, pot-bellied pigs, and more! Please contact me if you are interested in training lessons. I also teach an Shaping Skills Workshop through Behavior Explorer.

In addition to teaching animals, I also teach people. I teach undergraduate and graduate classes in the behavior analysis department at the University of North Texas as an adjunct instructor.

In 2019, I published my first book with Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz. The book, PORTL: The Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab, provides a curriculum of exercises for a tabletop game that can be used to teach people about shaping and other behavior analysis principles. You can learn more about PORTL on the Behavior Explorer website.

I also serve as president of the Art and Science of Animal Training, a Texas-based nonprofit organization that provides conferences and other educational programs for professional animal trainers.

I have trained a wide range of species, including dogs, horses, cats, rats, raccoons, Patagonian cavies, macaws, and more. While in graduate school, I also spent four years helping run the training program and volunteer program at a local horse rescue.

I am always interested in learning more about animal behavior. I am involved in several research projects currently related to training animals and teaching people. I am a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and have presented research at the organization’s annual convention.

If you have any questions about my website and blog, clicker training, or animal training in general, please leave a comment or e-mail me. I will do my best to help you find an answer!

~Mary Hunter

About the site

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Contact Mary Hunter: Have a question about animal training? Interested in scheduling a private lesson or an online coaching session? Want to discuss something you saw on the blog or the progress you’ve been making with your own animal? Contact me, I’d love to hear from you!

Disclaimers, Terms, and Conditions: Just so we’re all on the same page! HERE are some disclaimers and legal info about the information you’ll find on this site, information about the site’s comment policy, disclosures about affiliate links, and copyright information.