Meet Dr. Julie Grimes. Julie has a PhD in Behavior and did her thesis work on the principles of animal training. She’s been a Behavior Management Consultant for many years working in the “zoo” world as well as with private individuals and their pets. She is also a faculty member in the Psychology department at Davidson County Community College.
We’ve been working with Julie for almost three years. She helped us get our operant conditioning program up and running. At first, she worked with us on the basic principles of operant conditioning. Now, she meets with the keepers monthly to help them problem solve when they are having training issues with their animals.
Julie helps the keepers work with the animals to reduce stress in regards to veterinary procedures, to help animals shift or stay, making husbandry much easier and safer, and talks through whatever ideas the keepers have in regards to training the animals. (She even helped Kimberly teach Satyrus to read upside-down).
Having a professional consultant for the keepers to bounce their ideas and issues off of is a great resource.
Put “operant conditioning” in the search box and read all sorts of interesting posts the keepers have written about their work with the animals.