Conditioning Confidence

By Emily Cassell

© Emily Cassell

Husbandry training has been the primary focus of zoo training for decades, but has only made it into the world of companion animals relatively recently. The reason for this probably has something to do with the relative ease with which we can restrain domesticated animals. You could say the need for training a rabbit or guinea pig is not as pressing as it is for, say, a dolphin, which cannot be restrained physically or chemically without extreme difficulty and risk. It is probably for this same reason that training pocket pets is still viewed as a somewhat odd hobby rather than a positive aspect of a small mammal’s day. In the past, the training that has been prevalent for these animals has mostly revolved around “cutesy” tricks, which undoubtedly benefits them in terms of feeling confident about the world around them. However, husbandry training can also be exceptionally beneficial when it comes to decreasing stress and improving welfare. The best part is that it is not really all that hard! Read more.

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