I’ve just been inspired by a comment from Mary Hunter (Stale Cheerios). She mentioned the fantastic idea of having a group of Positive Reinforcement Trainers from all walks of life, aquariums to aviaries, to paddocks and living rooms, come together and share their experiences. With the click of my mouse, I found this site Animal Management Resources. Here’s how they describe themselves.
Animal Management Resources was established to educate zoo and aquarium staff on the principles and applications of operant conditioning as a highly effective management tool.
Here’s the cool part. On their members page they have this invitation:
Do you want to post your own blogs about animal training? Are you interested in learning about other trainers experiences? From dogs to dolphins, trainers of all species can blog on one site!
I just read a few of their blog posts and they sound wonderful. I can only imagine how much insight I could glean from a marine mammal trainer blogging about how they taught their Orca to swim a lap around the pool. I’d lay money that they didn’t use pressure and release techniques with a 100 ft lunge whip.
Although I’m not big on membership and joining groups, I may have to make an exception here. I want to see if my theory is correct. I have a notion that all creatures great and small share the same motivation, they just want to feel good. Whether they have wings, fangs or hooves or are considered predator or prey, I have a sneaking suspicion that at their core, they all speak the same language. And it doesn’t require force, pressure or pain to have a conversation.
If this is the case, it supports my other theory that we all live in a state of interconnectedness. In short, we’re all one. This is why I have such a passion for handling my horses in such a way that supports their core motivation, to feel good. Because of this divine interconnectedness, how I treat them ultimately affects me. Since I blog about it, it possibly affects you too.
My secret wish is that the language of positive reinforcement and operant conditioning will become contagious and spread happy feelings everywhere.
I think we live in exciting times.