Barbara offers the following consulting services to zoos, nature centers and related animal facilities. She provides guidance for training of all species in the collection. To request a proposal click HERE.
You can also visit her virtual learning site for Zoo Professionals at www.AnimalTrainingFundamentals.com
STAFF TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
The best trainers are ones who incorporate a knowledge of learning theory and excellent practical application skills. Barbara’s consulting services include a series of lectures to introduce new trainers to learning theory and to help experienced trainers move onto the next level. Barbara’s presentations feature her extensive library of video examples, showcasing many different species, to help illustrate basic principles of learning and animal training. Practical application skills are an essential part of exceptional training. Barbara provides one on one coaching during training sessions to ensure staff members are excelling at practical application and are able to accomplish the animal training goals of the facility.
TRAINING ANIMALS FOR HUSBANDRY BEHAVIORS
Husbandry behaviors are ones that make managing the day-to-day care of animals in a collection easy to accomplish. Some examples include targeting, shifting, recall, separating from a group, stationing, waiting and backing up when cued. Training for husbandry behaviors is one of the more common training goals for many facilities. Barbara teaches staff members how to get these behaviors started, how to maintain them, and also how to address problems if they arise.
TRAINING ANIMALS TO COOPERATE IN MEDICAL CARE
There are many advantages to training animals to cooperate in their own medical care. Preventative healthcare is easy to accomplish. The need for anesthesia is reduced. Medical conditions can be diagnosed early and/or treated non-invasively. Medical procedures can be stress free when animals are trained to cooperate using positive reinforcement. Training can also be an important part of a cost effective approach to animal healthcare. Training for medical behaviors is one of Barbara’s passions. She frequently lectures to the veterinary community and is honored to have their support. Barbara is a clinical adjunct instructor at Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine.
TRAINING ANIMALS FOR SHOWS, EDUCATION & GUEST INTERACTION
Making a connection with an animal is an integral part of creating future conservationists. Educational programming that features animals is an excellent vehicle for giving people the opportunity to connect. Experiencing an animal up close and personal and observing its natural behavior often has more impact than the words spoken by the presenter. Animals are powerful teachers. Barbara’s first animal training job was in the education department at a zoo. She then moved into training birds and presenting educational and entertaining free flight bird shows. Barbara understands the important role trained animals play in conservation education.
TRAINING FOR CONSERVATION
Like many zoo professionals, Barbara has a passion for conservation. Some of her recent work has included working with the Kakapo Recovery Program in New Zealand. Animal training is emerging as an important tool in accomplishing conservation goals. Animals are being trained using remote technology to allow collection of data such as weights and activities without interfering with the natural behavior or social behavior of the species. This same technology is being used to train wild animals for capture and transport. Training also plays a role in helping animals scheduled for release to learn species appropriate behavior for survival in the wild. Barbara is excited to be a part of this emerging trend in conservation and is looking forward to opportunities to contribute more in the future.
Award winning animal training and consulting work done by Barbara and the bird keeping team at the Dallas Zoo. To read more about this training click HERE.