Magic Mustang Tamer

Ethology & Animal Training

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This course will help you understand the value of using the animals natural behaviors in their training and recognize the problems of ascribing behavioral or emotional constructs to the animal.

We can only interpret our world in terms of the frame we see it through, but what happens if your frame is wrong? You will learn to evaluate the frame by looking at objective factors and questioning constructs. You will be better at identifying distorting labels. You will become aware of how semantic and romantic notions about animal feelings and motivations are pervasive in the training world. We will explore ethology as a training tool through reading, videos, and online activities. This achievement will be evaluated by a quiz and written essay assessment. This badge is required for anyone participating at Mustang Camp either as an intern, or trainer.

In this course you will learn to:

  • Explain why an animal trainer needs to know something about the ethology of the species.
  • Differentiate between objective descriptions of behaviors and unhelpful interpretations of behaviors.
  • Reflected on their own personal cognitive biases that will impact them as a trainer.

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