Taking the opportunity in this information age, there is no better time to educate others about this exciting but sometines controversial topic.
Help educate those who do not have any idea of how we train dolphins and explain proper techniques that are enriching and caring.
There are some people out there, who think training a dolphin is something negative, here we try to help aviod common misunderstandings and shock those who thought they knew about this subject.
For instance, it may be surprising to some to know that the technique used to train dolphins is the same technique used in school to teach children at school.
Positive Reinforcement/Operant Conditioning
Apart from my extensive years of experience being a spetialist in marine mammal training behaviours, I have adquired teahcing qualifications that have enabled me to work with children, within national education schools in England, UK. I have used positive reinforcement to modify unwanted behaviour in countless children, many also having learning desabilities, with great success.
I expereinced that edutaional staff, who had excellent teaching records and an experienced career in teaching, had given up on these children ever being helped fully. They did not have the right knowledge or resources to correct certain kinds of behaviour. I took up the challenge to improve their behaviour and had fantastic results, removing unwanted behaviour completely. Because I focused on positive reinforcement, I could target my actions specifically and positively modify the childs behaviour. This encouraged them to learn on a more positive way, especially those with learning desabilities children. I corrected behaviours using operant conditioning methods, always rewarding wanted behaviour positively and being careful never to punish, but divert, suggest ways forward and show the merit of good behaviour or effort.
A couple years ago I was invited to create the first FaceBook group about dolphin training, Dolphin Trainers of the Caribbean. I realised whilst doing educational programs for this group, that I would like to expand this help in the future. I wanted to educate those who lacked knowledge in the dolphin training world. I created my own group Via Dolphin. One of the main reasons and the greatest joy of this group, is seeing the posibility of making a difference to the lives and careers of trainers all over the world. I wanted to give the opportunity to anyone interested in learning how to train a dolphin. I would show them how this can be achieved in a happy and positive environment, which is then not only the best way to care for the dolphins under human care, but gives joy and enrichment to both dolphins, trainers and lovers of dolphins alike.
So to recap on the reducation regarding any negative attitudes towards dolphin training, I hope to educate and inform those animal lovers, who think that training dolphins is not right. Dolphin under human care dolphins cannot be transferred into the wild environment, since most have never lived as wild dolphins and the would not survive or be happy to leave their only known environment, where they have food, health care and enrichment amongst familiar dolphins. To try to ensure their environment is the very best it can be and their lives are the most enriched they can be is my goal. Intelligent open-minded people will see that there is nothing negative about training an animal positively, whether it is a dolphin, a sea lion, monkey, hourse, dog, tiger or a bird.
I understand there are people that believe dolphins within human care, are treated very bad and that they are mistreated by the facilities. I aknowledge some problems may be out there, but to address this, my information, help and training is designed to educate and help improve all facilities and trainers environments. It must also be ackowledged that negative misinformation and manipulated propaganda, also exists to confuse and misguide, so our message is one of factual contant, proven techniques and explainations of positve reinforcement and positive enrichment approach at all times.
Many years ago, there was not enough information for trainers and their techniques left a lot to be desired. Today there is no such excuse, research studies scientificaly prove that positive training is the best and most effective technique for teaching and enrichment of all living life, animals as well as humans.
Animals and humans learn best whilst palying and having fun, they don’t even notice they are learning or training because it is enjoyable and is based on trust.
No-one should be deprived of the opportunity to learn and providing material for all animal lovers, to understand what a positive and enriching experience the proper training techniques can provide, will hopefully help us all to live together in a much more positive way.