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Preview: Birds



The Unexpected Benefits of Training

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:59:57 +0000


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On My Mind: Adventures in Panama

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:18:25 +0000

What’s your escape?


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On My Mind: Too Many Birds

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 01:08:19 +0000

Bird friends


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A Raven’s Tale: Cues that Reduce Stress

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 14:00:00 +0000

A note from Karen Pryor:

Sherri Lippman was an early adopter of clicker training. She is co-author and co-star, with Virginia Broitman, of the award-winning clicker training video, The How of Bow Wow! Sherri has been a presenter at ClickerExpo and at APDT.

While working in California at a wildlife rehabilitation center with a public display of educational animals, one of the challenges Sherri took on was the training of a long-term resident, a crippled raven that was fearful and unapproachable. The following account is, in my opinion, a dazzling example of ingenious behavioral management. Sherri taught the bird to recognize cues for necessary upcoming events, negative (netting the raven for veterinary care), harmless (cleaning and feeding), and positive (training). More to the point, she taught the staff and the many volunteers to present the cues reliably. Read on to see what happened.


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On My Mind: Bird Talk

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:07:27 +0000

Far, far away

It's cold. It's winter. It's boring.

Let's travel, at least in our minds. Let me introduce you to my long-time pen pal, Shanlung, probably one of the best bird clicker trainers on the planet.

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Podcast: Karen Reads Animal Attachment Selections from Reaching the Animal Mind

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 14:00:00 +0000

You’ll enjoy listening to Karen’s own podcast (available at the bottom of this page) – audio selections about animal attachments from her latest book, Reaching the Animal Mind.

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Media Files: KPCT_PC_1102_RTAM_06.mp3

Clickin’ Chickens: How Training Chickens Helped Me Become Leader of the Peck

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 14:00:00 +0000

Trust the force

As a life-long fan of sci-fi movies, it brought a smile to my face to hear one of my training heroes say “Trust the force.”

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KPCT Accepting Submissions for Canis Film Festival Video Contest

Thu, 15 Jul 2010 05:00:00 +0000

Over $500 in cash prizes and a video contract await the producers of top videos that showcase innovative and informative animal training featuring positive training methods. Everyone can qualify for entry, provided that each demonstrated trick or feat is achieved through force-free training methods, and submissions can feature any species.

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It's a Clicker Win-Win: Shelter Animals and their Volunteers

Sun, 01 Mar 2009 17:00:00 +0000

If you've ever had a rewarding experience volunteering, you know that it's not always clear who benefits more: the person donating their time and services, or the recipient. This is especially true when working with animals. That win-win scenario is exemplified in The Latham Letter article "A New Wrinkle in Animal-Assisted Therapy," written by Lynn Loar, Ph.D., LCSW, President, The Pryor Foundation and Ken White, President, Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.

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Top Animal Trainers Teach Trade Secrets to Everyone

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 05:00:00 +0000

ClickerExpo announces the 2009 season of its highly popular conference series for animal trainers at every level, from new dog owners to professional zookeepers. If you've ever wanted to know how trainers bond with orca whales, teach sea lions to play soccer, or train a dog to lie down quietly outside the local coffee shop while they sip a cup of java inside, then ClickerExpo is for you.

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A Change—and a Canary

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 06:00:00 +0000

For six years I have been writing a monthly letter to you. In the beginning, back in 2002, "Karen's Letter" was usually about new products and events, but gradually I began using the letter to talk about the science of training, and about the impact of the new technology we are developing from that science.

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The Shape of Shaping: Some Historical Notes

Tue, 10 Apr 2007 05:00:00 +0000

Shaping is a concept that many pet owners find hard to grasp. We're used to making animals do things by leading them or pushing them into the behavior we want—and it is hard to believe that there is another way. Common sense tells us that there is no possible way to get an animal to do something it has never done before, doing nothing yourself but reinforcing spontaneous movements.

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Congratulations to the Canis Film Festival Winners!

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 05:00:00 +0000

Laura VanArendonk Baugh won Grand Prize at the first-ever Canis Film Festival, a contest designed to showcase innovative animal-training videos. This unique festival focuses on short films of seven minutes or fewer that educate animal owners and professionals about the power of training based on the science of operant conditioning. 

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Clicking Raptors in the Saguaro

Wed, 01 Mar 2006 06:00:00 +0000

We're standing on a gently sloping foothill with Tucson's jagged volcanic peaks behind us, looking across the vast, flat Avra valley far below. The hills beyond that valley are in Mexico. The desert sky is a brilliant, piercing blue, filling the eyes with light. The mild warmth of the winter sun is welcome. This is Saguaro National Park.

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Ridin' the Storms Out

Wed, 01 Jun 2005 05:00:00 +0000

During the hurricane season of 2004, Florida endured a phenomenon never before encountered in recorded history. The "Sunshine State" took the brunt of not one, not two, not three, but four major hurricanes! Three of these amazing storms, Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne, blew directly through Central Florida and impacted the two animal facilities maintained by Natural Encounters, Inc. (NEI).

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