WWL>Topics>>8-6-14 2:10pm Angela: on pet training

8-6-14 2:10pm Angela: on pet training

Aug 6, 2014|

Angela talks with exotic animal trainer/author Barbara Heidenreich about how to break your pets of bad habits.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I'm Lamar trending guys don't wanna thank them again and Arum they'll be with us again tomorrow at 1. I am so looking forward to this hour however so many of us love them. But not all of us understand and our guest today does. And not just dogs and cats. Barbara -- Reich is an authority on animal behavior. From rabbits to rhinos. She works with zoos and with people like you in Maine who are struggling with an animal issue. An adjunct professor at Texas thing in -- barber is the author of two books and south an instructional dvds. But what separates her from Manning is her belief that behavior can be taught through kindness. Barbara -- right calls herself a force free animal trainer. And she -- with this for the next hour so don't hesitate to give us a call with any animal issues or problems you're facing. And that's dog cat bird fish Guinea pig. Or maybe if you have that rhino in your backyard. I have truly looked forward to this because I think we can all learn all the time how to handle our pets better. And and really I'm fascinated by the work with the to do with -- news. Because I have such respect for the good news who who takes such good parent and really that's often the only exposure so many people will have to -- Or rhino or whatever so let's talk I wanna start and -- and how you've got into the world that your. OK first -- thank you for the very lovely introduction but it was a wonderful. I like a lot of people out there I've always had a love of animals and you know used to put frogs and baby carriages when I was a child and all those crazy things and my parents fostered my interest in animals and so as I got older I. It was brought to places where can interact -- animals quite a bit like zoos in the places -- can feed animals. And then I essays to quality in college and that's really -- first started learning a little bit more. Was involved in some projects were -- study. Behavior of chickens are salamanders -- things like that. But really where I got into training was in this community I started out bear. And worked with small animals like rabbit and -- it's in the we had some parents and reptiles that. People would have an opportunity to get close to him learn about and those animals need to be tree and to be comfortable being around people so that's really where it got introduced a positive reinforcement training. And then quickly moved over to their free -- -- -- so work into flying birds outside for many years different kinds of birds and did that many years worked with. It's used in cleaning Disney. Repealed -- and Chicago. And then went out on my on as an animal training consultants -- now I still consult with views on training everything has as you mentioned in we trained. Giraffes to present codes for hooked trams and tigers to let us manipulate their tail for a blood draws its authors stress free for the animals. And of course working with the companion animals is very important to -- you because I think the wonderful information that I learned from this community. Really applies to her companion animals and people just aren't getting that information so they're being told to do these really heavy handed things with their pets. That really isn't necessary so and that really was my next question. Animal for treating with kindness to me it makes cents -- when you say the positive reinforcement. Many years ago I had a pot belly pig and I read a book. About it and it said if this is not a dog. And -- But this is how you can really help train. And it was about positive because they're very Smart and -- at fault for being all that it's positive reinforcement so your kindness training. Whether it be the giraffe. Or the dog is now. How do you do yes so well you're right contract there it is about positive reinforcement so the idea is. Instead of having to dominate an animal or be the boss or tell him what to do. You're gonna make it fun for him to do what it is he asking him to do so the wonderful thing about pigs -- I have to mention when my favorite animals to work. Is usually they're very easily motivated by things like food a lot of them left their bellies -- you can practically you know get hand picked to do anything if Iran does -- And so what we do is we set it up so it's easy for the animal to do what we one entity assays step on a scale or something like that. And then we followed it up with something that they really like like -- food treat her belly rapper had scratch or getting to play with a toy. And that teaches piano -- there's value in doing that behavior so they wanna do it over and over and over again so you get this animal was actually very eager. To interacting cooperate and do what you ask as opposed to the animal that's afraid of making a mistake because something that's going to happen. So screaming or hitting with a paper or whatever. Doesn't totally not necessary. It I mean it can't work and -- -- at those strategies don't work they do work the sad thing is is what they do is they make you the bad -- And not the good guys so what happens as your animal is afraid. Of a bad consequence. And sometimes. You. You have to -- a really really bad consequence liking people using the shot colors and things to teach him to not diss something when you're using that approach. And so then you're associating something very. Unpleasant review and to meet the hold joy and animals is this wonderful relationship you can develop them based on trust. And when you're using ever since it's not trust building an -- so we've got this other tool kit available to us where we can use kindness gentleness and wonderful things that the animal enjoys to teach them what to do and still have -- be incredibly well behaved doesn't mean they're spoiled and that they're getting away with stuff. It's just that their learning that doing certain things earns them things that they would -- That theory then would apply literally to the rhino or the rabbit absolutely. Even humans. Even. If you're right about that right I agree I think that's very true you just can. Be much more successful with kindness than with any form and -- -- Leavitt is the policeman when he pulled you over he gave few checks for not speeding instead of a fine for speed it really -- -- better that's good that's very good. What do you think is the biggest mistake. We humans make with animals. Well it ties in with what we -- just talking about people forget to reinforce. Good behavior. And we do with people -- we forget to tell them when their humanity job you know we sort of expect -- animals -- just behave. I always tell people to guarantee it by reinforcing your ram for doing the right thing. You know let him know that's exactly what I want you to do good job whether it's ahead patter traitor or Bentley rubber toy let him know that's exactly what it wants unity limiting I know there's people driving their car right now sank. I have a dog that will not stop jumping. On friends who come to visit now and I've tried everything and it's not working right common problem. Okay yes so what's going on there is that. Jumping up on somebody is reinforcing for the animal that getting up close to them can be really fun and exciting so most people do -- -- they try to push the animal away. Which doesn't really stop the behaviors that we typically see so there the strategy wanna deal is when that Don jumps up and you instead of pushing him away. I have to do is take one step backwards and what's gonna happen is that dogs -- gonna slide -- few and all of a sudden you're gonna have four ponds on the floor. And the exact moment for concert on the floor. That's when you squat down there and you love all over that dogging you give them lots of attention and so what you're teaching him. Is four paws on the floors with Kenny gets your attention. When you jump up at me I take a step back and you don't get to -- come plane interact with mean that the moment you do the right thing. All is -- -- gonna happen so instead of focusing on punishing. Bad behavior jumping up we stay I'm -- -- positively green for you for doing the exact right which is having four -- on the floor so the theory of would you say you didn't have to teach dogs in particular no. The word now that's a really great question I actually never used the word no with my animals because when we think about now. What we're trying to do is stop an animal from doing something and we're saying don't do that. And really what we do as forestry animal trainers is we focus on what I want the animal to do instead and I'm gonna positively reinforce that so instead of saying notes up jumping up and say it's four -- on the floor perfect. So instead of focusing on the bad you're focusing on the good behavior. And getting more good behavior instead of having needed to be that -- I punishing bad behavior. Well stay with this we have just begun and if you at all we do we have some wonderful callers. Give us a call this is your chance to 60187. Day we'll be right that I'm Angela on WW well. Well we are fortunate enough to have Barbara heightened -- with this she -- say yeah animal behaviorist. Among many other things and a -- and we're thrilled she's here and I'm so pleased that we have. So many callers let's start with and from who -- been holding. Hey Kelli good. A lot. So incumbent I have a dog. Which. Are -- that point you probably -- when you at all bench it like apple. They are not our current -- calmer daily. We're coming up Colin we are we think our opener and -- -- great -- in the back of a Latin he'll jump. That. It will help. -- sorry to hear that I have. So you are actually my neighbor has the very same problem with her died. And I will say. One of the things that you always want to look at the behavior problem initially. Is arranging the environments so it's difficult for the animal to do the behavior and I know that's a big investment sometimes with a backyard. But if you can if he can look into some different. And seeing might look at things that angle in certain ways there's slippery ten that you can actually. Staple gun to the top so that there's nothing for them to grab hold onto. I can make it more difficult and now it's hard. Tootsie -- -- invest in that figure that out she's going over the top right up underneath she's not. Not gonna and ancient going we have a live -- and that is the wire and it's pretty big yardage and a lot of them just run back. Gotta be on the outside the well. Yeah well in another part that you know obviously first might make it difficult for her for her to do the wrong behavior by setting up the environments like my neighbors -- actually jumps up on the -- chain link fence to get cute the private -- that helps -- over. So they've had to extend their offense a little bit and are working on some other options to. But another part of it is to try and make it really engaging and interesting to stay in the backyard so a lot of times we just think put him in the backyard that's fun. And that's enough but in Richmond -- which is kind of the fancy word for toys and all that fun stuff. -- is something that. We -- trainers heavily rely on as a way to keep animals in cage but a lot of people think of it. As I gave them a new toy last week so that's it but really what we tend to do is we ramped up big time. Novelty is important animals so I'm having. Toys that are constantly rotating. Toys that may be dispense food foraging toys my dog never actually eats from simple heats from a treat dispensing toy that I filled with his regular dog food. Is it takes some time to to those behaviors and on -- -- freezing wet dog food in Kong's that it takes a while to work on that. And suddenly you're making it more fun to be in the backyard can run things in interest in things are happening all the time not all the good stuff is happening just outside it's happening inside. And of course anything he can -- to help increase. Your dot you know -- having fun and and where himself battle little bits -- he's not some motivated to go find out what's on the other side and that tends to help a little bit you. But I love that you're looking at alternatives. You know to help you get there -- -- too -- I am give those trying to effect gives you a little bit of help. Will outline that the -- who look at climbs trees. Plan a few trees. Died in the middle -- Sure. -- thank you -- very very much let's go over to frank on the Gulf Coast prank. -- Questions. On clicker training and good behavior. Into the -- You. Acting in an entry yeah. My question. Is free and. Are angry question at a lot of people have heard that -- clicker training and it can be a little confusing to people. So what clicker training is it's it's just. Using it clicks out. To tell the animal when it did the behavior correctly did the right thing. And now it's giving you a little bit time to get a treat to him or ahead scratch or or praise -- you're animal response to -- some -- some animals -- yet to be very aware of that as your animal like praise. I'm if you're gonna use that answering enforcer. So it is positive reinforcement training when you're using a clicker it's just that people are using that little sound to say yes he did it right. Now other people just use the word yes you know say yes and here's here's -- -- But usually it's a tool we use when the animals far away from us and we can't deliver the -- right away it's gonna take as little time to get there. Or behaviors happenings so fast that we can't get the -- to the animal right at the moment he did the right things so that's really what the -- is used for. -- And when they make jokes about. You know what he's the clicker. Remedy let me -- for hours. You could you could but -- but ideally you really wanna focus on getting down there and reinforce in the -- derisive you can think about do them both at the same time that's totally fine you can do that. But sometimes will happen is people click and the dog is RD jump in operating. So you really wanna be sure to deliver that reinforce the moment for pause or down there are so that he makes that connection west stayed down here and doesn't think about to open back up again. Thank you so much about it visualizing what if they -- person got down on all fours -- all the dogs. And then -- visually saying now it's down here -- That's not a bad idea I will tell you went strategy I typically used when I meet in new -- is I don't want I don't stand up I actually get lower before the dog is even come up to mean. The dogs did ten feet away from me so he's. I'm RA at his level he doesn't need to jump up to get closer to my face to have attention and so it -- one -- the proactive and preventative ways. Getting away from a -- -- Very good on through the we have some cat questions -- -- not mobile. And I'm so I think Pakistan's than happy to see you big picture shows are always delightful and so you. And I'm happy you're here is yes if I have a problem with the male cat. Very large. And every time down. Lead or. Whatever he jumped on top of constantly since he takes his wallet and I guess I call it milking I don't know what else to call it. -- -- look down when it comes up he he had a when he has his claws and you heard. -- Like to call that making biscuits like he's eaten doe but get -- it makes -- Eight yet and so one thing to keep in mind about behaviors that animals do you. Is any time they're doing something kind of over and over and over again. It means they're getting something out of it that there's something reinforcing and that so. Maybe when yours laying down he knows you're not movement for a little while so that's a good opportunity to come up there and start making biscuits on your -- And am and that might cause you to you know pat and org or even pick him up and move them even picking up and moving him can be attention that he considers. As pleasant something that he wants is basically learning if I did this I get something that I want out of it. So again it's a little effort to make it typical for him to jump up onto your belly. But this kind of ties in with our dog climbing the fence question when I would be thinking about those moments is there something else he could be. Engaged and when you feel like I'd like to take a little nap right now I'm not be bothered by my cat. So believe it or not there are foraging toys for cats and and and activities that they can get involved with. When my favorite things aside enough anybody's willing to go to this extreme. But somebody made an entire enrichment mall for their -- where -- that they built for headlight wheels and it's and dangerous to open and and -- these little compartments and they randomly hide cat treats in those different areas and cat never knows where they're gonna be. So he's constantly looking for all those little goodies in there and keeps him engaged in something else. When your your trying to do some. You're really saying is. It's our responsibility to entertain these animals I -- -- I've really -- we're gonna have to break for news -- we're gonna come back so Gladys and Maryland stay with this. We will be back. With anybody understands animals it's Barbara heightened right and she is our very special guest today issues and animal trainer and the behavior expert. And we're just very grateful and we're gonna get our callers -- -- thanks for holding. I think that. The problem with -- yes -- -- Where. A week ago you didn't actually. I think maybe we didn't. Pregnancy. It in. Identity she -- -- In the bill that in -- what I figure out that -- Make investors. Black literally like you and I went home and shoot a model where. Allen and and week -- and body. And but she sure they stay -- She'll light and just think my. -- Thirteen -- -- In cheek and you -- the deal. -- that -- -- as polite. -- In order to. What can we do is the bottom -- -- that's -- great question Barbara can you turn your TV down and Barbara I'm sorry blistering your TV down it. Matt -- and great question because you believe it or not this is a kind of a problem we seen a lot species not just cats. But what you described as very common name in cats. What happens is when when we're interacting with animals there's sort of an inclination to want to. And a plane with damning get them a little excited may -- cut them out you know read their bellies a little bit. And what can happen in -- animals is they can't get. I'm excited you know little little amp up a little bit and what can happen a second very easily flip to aggressive behavior. It's almost like a switch and we see this in other species announced -- we can see this in non parents especially. And I definitely -- and -- lot. So. What I try to do -- even though it's fun for us as humans to kind get a little more rambunctious with them. If you're gonna have your hands -- face involved. -- it would take try to keep things as gentlest possible and definitely a lot of cats when you read their belly adults tolerate for a little bit and it's like they get too excited and also in the start. Start clamping down I am so so I would say if you want to play a little you know little -- rambunctious they -- their kitten. Maybe use toys where your hands aren't going to be closed today and you know select the feather on a string kind of thing. Our our straying so that the cat can run after that but it doesn't have to clamp onto your hand. And then when you do interact with your hands trying make sure everybody's really common relaxed and if -- touch in the -- media do that for two moms that the cat doesn't get that over excitement -- through aggressive behavior. Not blood pressure wonderful together can't we have such an overpopulation. I'm always thrilled when -- hear somebody has just gotten new content with. 82. In its chemicals. Attracted you know actually at the money in but it hardly. -- -- -- and she is actually. So we ordered our political. In I held on the. Well bless your heart thank you and thank you for calling I appreciate it we're gonna quickly go to Maryland in Jefferson. Hello Maryland. -- what happens you know our. Yeah he recommended he not you know there were. Correct in your god. Out of -- I was I was walking my little dog. And we're walking down street ball he caught it on wanted I believe I'll drawn. And and -- he's. Logged. I am not alone and that yeah yeah. And then he didn't bother is that employee is gone along in black if I used to work out what should I don't. That's a great question and yes so I certainly understand that then you know. Making a loud noise there's shouting -- are trying to correct behavior that we can. Interrupted behavior and can give viewers all that you want in that moment but let's say you know that your -- generally has a problem with cats I don't know that he does or not. But if you knew that that if -- -- -- -- on our side -- -- dogs aren't cat on a lot and he's likely to chase after one. What I would focus on is teaching your -- there's a lot of value in hanging out with you when he sees it cap. And so I didn't agree -- example in my own dime -- and maybe this is a problem at your back to my god. Love ST cap to put the iris it's like his like brownies to dogs and pick up I don't know why they love it's much that they shared you. And so what I taught my guy to do was to drop anything he has in his mouth. And and if he drops whatever is in his math he's gonna get. Such an awesome tree like cheese or or tuna fish which he lives or maybe some. You know and meat from dinner like you know first Burris did chicken or something really fabulous better than when he would normally get is a -- And so very quickly he learned that if he has anything in his mouth it's worth dropping even -- was a piece of food he'll drop that piece of food I have. -- it's something batters I can take a bone out of his mouth anything. So one day we went on a -- and he sought cap room and he went after he got it in his mouth and I said and he -- -- and spit it out. And came running over to me -- same thing with neighbors' dogs we have neighbors -- are bark at my dog and when I -- backyard. And that the neighbor's dogs barking have now become -- for him to run into the kitchen. On to get a treat me happily doesn't because he knows good things are gonna happen so so what you would usually build up to you. You're -- Not going after cat so let's say you're going on regular walk in there's no cats around. And it just collier dog's name and he looked at you it's good boy and give -- favorite treat had something really nice video and that -- And then maybe you're locked in a line and he goes to sniff the bush or something in and you college name and he. Left that -- came over TU I give them his favorite tree right away and get lots of attention and praise. And you work up to the difficult situation where there might be a cat nearby. Ideally you'd start of the cap far away as he could and I am and gradually and Colin back TUN and gradually work at his situation or -- little bit closer. That the reason. We talk about no verses. Then you say in not using now is because. You're having used university get them to stop this we use a treatment work up to that you're actually. Teaching him to come to you happily and he's not in trouble he's actually being an excellent good dog by coming to you so -- situation you don't have to punish bad behavior. Instead you get to reward good behavior be the guy. Maryland. I want trying -- all. I'm saying there. Don't want you on the court -- The. Good place to -- country had to be honest if he if you can get redirected attention TU and that moment and reinforce it would go -- -- good place to get started. -- thank you so much now. We're gonna take another break and come back and Bergen and Donald get to you but we're gonna talk a little bit about birds lot -- people out there right after this. Well we're talking about animal behavior with an expert Barbara -- -- is our -- and very quickly Donald Donald Denham springs thanks so much for calling. Aren't. Here -- -- dale. Any of they're just now here in a couple of weeks I just want the question on the young lady -- it what is your opinion on the best way to prop -- to house break. Struggle -- I can't believe he will be mostly -- -- when we get -- beginning and now breeder but any suggestions on. That's a good question you know. I'll probably surely don't do. There as well. -- at this. The outlook it is a lot about am about you paying attention right so in those those first few weeks there. You're really gonna wanna pay attention to when you think that's the puppy might need to go out. And be sure to get him out before those times so that he's got a little time to you know walk around ER and take care business. Typically what people like to do is keep them in a smaller space doesn't have to be crepe but say you've got like -- Near the kitchen or laundry area that's a little smaller space. If you're not supervising you know if you are supervising and you should be looking for those little telltale signs very sniffing around looking for spot to go out and right in that moment you're like -- we're going outside. And -- and -- wait let him do his business and once he does lots of attention lots of praise not a good stuff from the moment that he takes care business not in the middle of that you wanted to finish first. And then and they give -- to get attention but you do have to monitor that's the main thing it's not just. Hoping for the best so on the whole time it that he out roaming around your house make sure you're paying attention to him if you're not going to be -- pay attention to impediments smaller area with that. Unique but the puppy pads down things like that comfort and Casey as a -- in his. It isn't it also times that which you know he's going to be fed. You learn when he has to go and just keep keep diskette to your apps. -- Donnelly got the best thank you. I -- I cannot let this woman go without talking about birds as solidly as everybody did Hutu Hulk hilarious. Photographer who was shooting a very rare. Picture very rare bird in New Zealand. And the bird jump on the man's head and started meeting with Edmonton it was it was hilarious it was funny it was. I'm opening an. So what does one do. I so that very rare bird is -- sir Rocco and it's that type -- called a couple of pow yes which is a rare parent found a New Zealanders on the 126. Left in the entire world. And and yes a very interesting situation expert with hand raised so he learned that people are his object of affection and and how and what I did. Excuse is I went over there to. Help them stopped expert from gains behavior because he actually got her one time he would ambush people on the way to -- out how us to try and -- with them at night. And someone dislocated his -- turn again and -- -- so what we did is we taught him something called target where he orient his peak towards Michael -- -- So we CM approaching and he's in the -- we haven't target might have a stamp on the stump and then we actually transferred mating behavior to a Crocs Q. And fell in love with the croc -- yeah he associates used the people he has elephant that is so when you do it right behavior we would hand and that -- when he can meet with the issue instead. That is priceless you know were also lucky to have in this room our friend doctor Greg rich who is. The bird authority. The bird authority and I don't that you both have been at the meeting that's a national -- and of bird that's. The association. Of Avian veterinarians -- had their annual conference and expo at the Sheraton Hotel on canal street for the last. For five days. Barbara -- Reich and I have been. Fans a positive reinforcement. -- much longer than I have but certainly since I have been. Looking at her dvds. Attending her courses her or online videos. We -- use of the bird world and start to use of the rabbit world. Biting birds screaming birds birds that are mutilating themselves -- of their feathers. Using positive reinforcement and in this heightened Reich has a number of tools. On number ruled. Basic principles to help us what are birds. So that are performing proper behaviors and not doing bad things so you train the bird with the same concept. Positive reinforcement that's correct. Before we go about the birds what is there any way to train fish. Because I know people with aquariums absolutely and their wonderful it it's kind of a new trend actually that's picking up. Because there's actually -- you can buy that has all the tools that you can use to train your fish -- Like push a little soccer ball and go over a little stick and Alice and -- the is the same prince both. You teach the animal that you do certain behavior and good things can happen and now on music with the fish training it's delivering a little food item to the finish. What are the biggest struggles with birds. Well as as doctor rich mentioned we typically seabirds that show fear responses to people because people have been too forceful with. Will also seabirds that will bite in response to get people to stop being forceful with them. And then -- and those people that often have a really tight relationship with the parent to parent doesn't wanna be away from the human. And so they'll scream to find out where that person is. And that becomes problematic overtime so those -- the main behavior problems that people usually have questions about their solutions for all those it's actually. All very fixable problem and -- I watched the tape of Barbara. On Jay Leno show with a parent. And the pair -- like seven songs and and you're saying okay we're we're gonna sing and I got so nervous that the pair. -- -- -- -- and he didn't. Have I would agree I was nervous that he doesn't quite this. Smiling and hopefully -- think that the and it just takes a little time to get on that particular bird and he he came and came through for -- -- in and -- of the -- also has dvds one is good bird and it's training prepared to talk also. Bunny training one no one is of people as you know who have wonderful. It's so. But it's it's it is our responsibility to do it right and to make. Is technique which makes these weakened slightly to me it's about that relationship. With animals that we learn how. Wonderful they aren't taking care of them and their counterparts which opera. Whether it's on the kitten while brand new -- or. If we start off training early and don't let them -- Years. Like -- can be some more on and warning about the owner and. That is true and there's you know tremendous figure of what the percentage of animals in shelters. If they had been trained early may never have made it to the shelter absolutely and I think that's what we need to think about too. It is bad behavior that's correct double absolutely -- so you know -- Doing its business in the kitchen where you don't want it find out how to fix it and then you'll have a happy pet him. We're not finished stay with -- we'll be right back.