About this Blog
Welcome to the blog; the idea of this blog is to have a place where I can answer questions about training in general and bird training in particular. You will see that this blog does not display comments on the posts. This is by design; the blog is where you read my training philosophy and my understanding of Operant Conditioning and Applied Behavior Analysis.
I have set up an email address (TrainingBlogAvianAmbassadorscom) where questions about OC and ABA may be posted. As and when time permits my idea is to select a question and answer it in the blog. Hopefully the blog will become a good gathering place for some of the concepts of OC and ABA and at the same time looking at the questions will enable me keep on top of the subject too. Plus, if you would like to be notified by email when a new article is posted to the blog please sign up for our Training Blog Updates mailing list. Your email address will not be shared with anyone else or used for any other mailing list without your consent, thank you.
There are several documents that I consider as prerequisites for training and I ask that everyone read them before posing a question. They are:
- The ABCs of Behavior – Dr. Susan Friedman PhD
- Training Animals – The Art of Science – Steve Martin (Natural Encounters Inc.) & Dr. Susan Friedman PhD.
- What’s in it for me? – Steve Martin (Natural Encounters Inc.)
First published in 2001 this paper gives a really good practical outline to the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. It is on my list of prerequisites because the first step in being able to address training and behavioral issues and goals is to be able to describe the training goal or behavior problem in a way that is precise and therefore more widely understood.
This paper was first published in 2004 at the Animal Behavior Management Alliance Conference and I include it because it is essential for trainers to realize that although the sciences of Operant Conditioning and Applied Behavior Analysis appear to provide a very well defined set of rules that govern behavior modification they are only the start of a life-long journey of learning how to apply the science, in other words the “art” of training.
This is perhaps the most important question a trainer can ask on behalf of any animal they are training.
The writings of Dr. Susan Friedman, Steve Martin, and the staff of Natural Encounters provide a wealth of information and I encourage you to visit the web sites and read as much as you can.
Training animals is a combination of craft and science; to be a good animal trainer one needs to work to develop the craft based upon a sound understanding of the science. Learning the science provides the underpinning for what should be a life-long journey learning the craft. This Blog is dedicated to providing insight into animal training based upon the best science available.
Science is not a static statement of fact, it is the ongoing questioning of fact, the pursuit of understanding, it is about two of the most powerful and enlightening questions anyone can ask, “how” and “why.” Through these questions we all may expand our knowledge.
I have one more short article that I wrote for Good Bird Magazine (itself a great resource) called “Science and Art in Training“, it outlines my background and my training and teaching philosophy.
So, read and enjoy and email (TrainingBlogAvianAmbassadorscom) your training questions to TrainingBlogAvianAmbassadorscom.