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How can research and science help improve animal training? In this section, you’ll find information about research studies that have explored different animal training techniques and how animals learn. By studying learning and behavior, we can learn more about how animals learn and develop more efficient and effective training techniques.

Teaching language to dogs

Have you heard of Chaser, the dog who knows 1,000 words? There’s a neat article that was published on the Scientific American blog earlier this week about Chaser and her owner and trainer, Dr. John Pilley. You can find the full article on their site here. Most media reports about Chaser have focused on Chaser’s […]

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The Science of Consequences book cover

The mice are in control!
(The science of consequences: part 1)

I’ve recently started reading Susan Scheider’s fascinating new book, The Science of Consequences. Susan Schneider is a biopsychologist who has spent years studying learning and behavior in both people and animals. (You can read more about her background on her bio on her website.) The Science of Consequences is a fascinating journey through the science […]

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photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/beggs/6589768817/">beggs</a>

A talking elephant (Really!)

So, elephants can’t mimic human speech. Right? Actually… wrong. Koshi, an Asian elephant at a South Korean zoo can do just this. Scientists from the University of Vienna saw video clips of Koshi on YouTube. At first, they thought just what I did — this must be fake! However, they’ve been studying Koshi and his […]

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agility-training-jesus-and-ginger-cropped

Teaching animals the clicker way

I’ve just uploaded an article to my site that you need to read. It’s by behavior analyst Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, one of my professors at the University of North Texas. The article is about B.F. Skinner, shaping, trial and error learning, errorless learning, and Isreal Goldiamond’s constructional approach. Clicker training originated out of research conducted in […]

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horse going through a covered bridge

Animal Training Research: Teaching trailer loading using positive reinforcement

Many horses resist loading into a horse trailer. A trailer is a strange, noisy box on wheels – it’s no wonder many horses are afraid. Unfortunately, horse trainers have traditionally resorted to negative reinforcement based methods when teaching trailer loading, tactics based out of force and discomfort. Trainers create potentially dangerous situations when they try […]

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