What is Force Free Animal Training?

Force Free Animal Training is the term Barbara Heidenreich uses to describe her style of animal training. Barbara prefers this term as it allows her to encompass many principles of behavior change that result in eager training subjects, the realization of amazing training  goals and fosters a relationship based on trust. These methods include using positive reinforcement, systematic desensitization,  pairing procedures, behavior economics, empowering animals to choose to participate , utilizing excellent observational skills and practicing sensitivity to animal body language.  Skilled force free animal trainers utilize a combination of knowledge of behavior analytic principles, ethology and excellence in practical application.  Animal training is multi-dimensional, drawing upon many sciences….but in the end always returns to a question of excellence in practical application to truly influence behavior. It is for this reason that Barbara is most passionate about teaching the intricate details that help trainers excel at practical application.


FFAT uses kind, ethical and effective training practices including:

Building a relationship based on trust

Positive reinforcement for desired behaviors

Empowering animals to choose to participate

Teaching what to do, instead of what not to do, to address behavior problems


FFAT avoids the use of these traditional approaches to influencing behavior, such as:






A trusting relationship with the animals in your life

An animal who is eager to participate in training

Behavior problems solved and you get to be the good guy, not the bad guy

Incredible behaviors like cooperation in medical care, free flight and so much more.


To learn more about how to train your parrot check out Barbara’s parrot training webinars, DVDs and workshops.  Sign up for the mailing list to receive more information on parrot training and  notifications on upcoming events near you.