After so many years training dolphins, some time ago during a training session, I stood up and looked around thought if only I could create a program to make a session easier, for the animals and for the trainers.
I thought that showing people how I used Operant Condition (positive reinforcement) would be a good opportunity to create a program much easier to understand and less complicated for all trainers. This would also ensure fair treatment of the animals by less experienced trainers, who could then use positive training techniques to achieve quicker results.
I realised that the process of learning so many techniques could be daunting for students, but with my help in explaining how they can build, using small steps at time, they will be successful. Many students don’t make it, due lack of patience, frustration, uncertainty, but with my mentoring program they will be more relaxed and be able to glide through my trainer’s training process.
As we already know the fittest, strongest animal is the one leading!!
A new trainer’s program would not be complete without noting the importance of them having a healthy life style to ensure they were fit enough to keep up with their demanding career.
My personal trainer has linked with Via Dolphin and has devised dietary information to assist trainers in getting all the nutrients they need, workout advise for optimum results, so they can keep healthy and strong and even suggested supplements that can assist with a healthy balanced diet.
We have launched a Trainers Fitness program to ease a trainers hectic daily life style.
For more information visit our FaceBook page @
Nutritional values of soy
Soybeans are low in saturated fat, high in protein calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine and vitamin C, also a good source of fibre. There are many products made of soybeans soy such as soy milk and tofu. Young, green soybeans can be eaten out as an appetiser also be used in salads, stir-fries, and soups. It is even used in cosmetic products because there are claims that it reduces the appearance of ageing.
Isolated soy powder, as the name suggests, isolates the highest part of the soy protein, providing a higher quality source of protein. The soy powder which I use is 90% protein, being one of the highest sources of protein available. My personal trainer has used soy isolate for over twenty years and believes that it does indeed aid the skin and hair, improving the fight against the signs of ageing.
I am sharing my preference for this product because it has helped me and others, when working in busy environments, where sitting down to eat a meal, is difficult. I mix this soy for my protein source and add either porridge oats or a maltodextrin powder for my carbohydrate source. The resulting drink is easy to drink on the go, when you are busy, it gives you the right amount of protein and carbohydrates, whilst also being low calorie and helping you keep your waist small.
I use around 25g each of both soy and maltodextrin but the amount you can use will depend on your size and work-load etc. I will be advising in more detail through my other pages, what suitable diets for trainers and those with busy jobs.
I buy this Soy Isolate 90% product from My protein through Amazon.
Our Soy Protein Isolate delivers an impressive 27g of protein per serving, and contains 90% protein content.
What is Soy Protein Isolate?
Soy protein isolate is protein that’s sourced directly from soybeans – this means that it’s completely free from animal products, unlike whey protein or casein, making it a great choice for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone with lactose intolerance.
- Key Benefits
- 27g of protein per serving
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- Lactose-free and ingredients containing gluten
- Zero fat and zero sugar
- Available in four indulgent flavours
- Why Choose?
- Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
For allergens, see ingredients in bold. May also contain gluten, milk and egg.
Chocolate Smooth Flavour: Soy Protein Isolate (89%), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Cocoa Powder, Flavouring, Sweetener (Sucrose)
Strawberry Cream Flavour: Soy Protein Isolate (95%), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Flavouring, Colour (Beetroot Red), Sweetener (Sucrose)
Unflavoured: Soy Protein Isolate (100%), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin)
Vanilla Flavour: Soy Protein Isolate (95%), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Flavouring, Sweetener (Sucrose)
Matcha: Soy Protein Isolate (93%), Artificial Flavouring (Sweeteners (Sucrose), Artificial Flavouring Substances), Green Tea Extract (4%)
- Nutritional Information
Serving Size – 1 ¼ scoops (30g)
Servings Per Container – 33 (1kg)
|Per 100g||Per Serving||*RI|
|Energy||1642 kJ/387 kcal||493 kJ/116 kcal||6%|
|Fat||0.5 g||0.2 g||0%|
|of which saturates||0.1 g||0 g||0%|
|Carbohydrates||5 g||1.5 g||1%|
|of which sugars||0.1 g||0 g||0%|
|Protein||90 g||27 g||54%|
|Salt||3.8 g||1.1 g||18%|
* Reference intake of an average adult (8400 kJ/2000 kcal)
The nutritional information is based on the Unflavoured version, when choosing an alternative flavour, the nutritional values may vary.
In a healthy well-balanced diet, we need carbohydrates to give us energy, to help recover from normal muscle function, as well as giving us an energy boost before any hard work or work-out. To consume carbs, we may have to prepare and cook meals and we may not have as trainers, enough time to cook or even eat these meals throughout our busty days. I use Maltodextrin mixed with Soy Isolate Powder which then creates a quick cost-effective easy meal to have on the go. These drinks have given me a very good way of controlling my calorie intake when needing to lose weight, energy and recovery when working out
I use Maltodextrin 100% from My protein which I purchase through Amazon.
- Key Benefits
- Great source of energy
- Fuel for your workout
- Recovery post-workout
- Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free
For allergens, see ingredients in bold. May also contain gluten, soy, milk and egg.
Unflavoured: Maltodextrin (100%)
- Nutritional Information
Serving Size – 1 ½ large scoops (50g)
Servings Per Container – 20 (1kg)
|Per 100g||Per Serving||*RI|
|Energy||1700 kJ/400 kcal||850 kJ/200 kcal||10%|
|Fat||0 g||0 g||0%|
|of which saturates||0 g||0 g||0%|
|Carbohydrates||100 g||50 g||19%|
|of which sugars||0g||0 g||0%|
|Protein||0 g||0 g||0%|
|Salt||<0.01 g||<0.01 g||0%|
* Reference intake of an average adult (8400 kJ/2000 kcal)
The nutritional information is based on the Unflavoured version, when choosing an alternative flavour the nutritional values may vary.
Follow the link below
Have you ever wondered how fit a Dolphin Trainer needs to be and how a healthy lifestyle can help them?
Many trainers struggle because of lack a of time, even for any social life
Here you can learn about healthy diets that they can fit into their busy day, what supplements they can add to their diets and smart ways to fit in meals, whilst at work with little breaks.
Naturally, these diets and fitness tips can be used by anyone who has a busy lifestyle or a demanding job that does not allow you to have many breaks to eat meals.
As a mentor, using my years of experience to guide and teach new trainers, one of the most difficult and challenging problems trainers have is finding time to eat. I remember I was always very busy and being naturally hyperactive, I always had to eat very quickly. Other trainers used to regularly ask how I could have so much energy and asked if I took any vitamin supplements.
I did take a multi-vitamin supplement and also high protein powders and oats in a quick drink. I would prepare drinks the night before and carry them to work.
Here I can expand on the types of food that are both convenient and high in protein, energy and healthy.
I have further developed this eating regime with the help of my personal trainer and nutritional advisor, who helped me some years ago to create a healthy meal and
training program, supplemented with vitamins and minerals. I always trained at a gym and ate healthy foods, but he was able to help me increase my fitness level whilst burning fat, with a healthy diet, not just reverting to traditional diets for fat lost.
What you will find out is;
- The most effective way to lose fat.
- What to eat and how to prepare simple drinks and meals to eat on the go..
- When to eat to maximise weight loss and recovery..
- Diets that are creative and calorie controlled.
- Workouts that are easy to fit into your busy lifestyles..
- The potential for bespoke advise tailored to your specific requirements.
As I mentioned my personal trainer has helped me develop these simple tips, but if you are interested in finding out more or if you need advice more tailored to you specifically, you can follow the link below.
Just contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are ready to try our Drinks on the Go, check Animal Trainer healthy program support on our shopping page!!
If you would like to take a look at our Facebook mentoring page, with just a click you will be there!!
When 10 years has passed and you see with your own eyes, the proof of a unique bond between an animal and a human.
I was so flabbergasted it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.
Misty… the closest animal to me and the smarted dolphin I have ever trained, proved to me once again, what a special bond we had after 10 years without interacting with each other.
When I remember how we found her its breaks my heart!
She was just a baby, floating lifeless, like a piece of drift-wood in the open ocean, alone and close to dying, when we came to her rescue.
It was April the 4th 2005, she was a very sick, cast away from her family, very dehydrated body, with severe infections plus around six ulcers in her stomach, which I later observed through our endoscope camera.
After nursing her back to health, she soon became the most intelligent and responsive animal and after sleeping many nights by her side on the trainer’s platform, we developed a bond that was evident in her reaction to me, whenever we were together.
Fast forward now to two weeks ago, on a visit to see all my friends at Dolphin Cove Jamaica Ocho Rios, my one thought was how was Misty. She was 16 years old whilst I was there, so I wanted to see my young friend! I was asked if I wanted to help feed her and naturally, with such a kind offer from the trainers who by now had heard of our history, I could not miss the chance to see Misty.
I gave her a tactile signal, which I used to give her always when we used to play, only she and I knew about it, it was our little secret… I was speechless when she responded positive and with fluency to my signal after 10 years…my heart was bursting with happiness, after she showed me that she remembered my unique signal and touch. I spent a short while with her and could tell by other unique signals and touches that she remembered each one perfectly.
It was an amazing experience and confirms my belief that not only are these beautiful animals so intelligent, but that a special bond can exist between a trainer with an honest kind heart, putting their love into how they treat their animal and an animal respecting that treatment. Often, Misty offered to perform without constant positive reinforcement, because she trusted me to reward fully at the end of the program, this was also somewhat unique to Misty and I, but it also demonstrates what can happen, if you treat the animals with love and respect.
A big thank you to you guys at Ocho Rios for making this experience possible, it will remain in my heart, as will Misty, forever.
Bottlenose dolphins are being exposed to chemical compounds added to many common cleaning products, cosmetics, personal care products and plastics, according to a new study in GeoHealth, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
The new research found evidence of exposure to these chemical compounds, called phthalates, in 71 percent of dolphins tested in Sarasota Bay, Florida during 2016 and 2017. Previous studies detected phthalate metabolites in the blubber or skin of a few individual marine mammals, but the new study is the first to document the additives in the urine of wild marine mammals.
Some phthalates have been linked to hormonal, metabolic and reproductive problems in humans, including low sperm count and abnormal development of reproductive organs. The study’s authors do not know what health impacts phthalate compounds may have on dolphins, but the presence of byproducts of the chemicals in the animals’ urine indicates they have remained in the body long enough to process them.
“We focused on urine in dolphins because, in previous studies of humans, that has been the most reliable matrix to indicate short-term exposure.” said Leslie Hart, a public health professor at the College of Charleston and the lead author of the new study.
Studies have linked human exposure to phthalates with use of products containing these additives, such as personal care products and cosmetics, but Hart said the source of dolphin exposure to phthalates is not yet known. Elevated concentrations in dolphin urine of a specific phthalate compound most commonly added to plastics hinted at plastic waste as a possible source of exposure for the dolphins, she said.
“These chemicals can enter marine waters from urban runoff and agricultural or industrial emissions, but we also know that there is a lot of plastic pollution in the environment” said Hart.
Understanding exposure in dolphins gives scientists insight into the contaminants in local waters and what other animals, including humans, are being exposed to, according to the study’s authors.
Gina Ylitalo, an analytical chemist at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center who was not involved in the study, said dolphins are good indicators of what is going on in coastal waters.
“Any animals in the near shore environment with similar prey are probably being exposed as well,” she said. “The dolphins are great sentinels of the marine environment.”
Phthalate compounds are added to a wide variety of products to confer flexibility, durability, and lubrication. Some phthalates interfere with body systems designed to receive messages from hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. This can disrupt natural responses to these hormone signals.
Tests for phthalate exposure look for metabolites of the compounds, the products of initial breakdown of the compounds by the liver.
“We are looking for metabolites. These are indicators that the dolphins have been exposed somewhere in their environment and that the body has started to process them,” Hart said.
About 160 dolphins live in Sarasota Bay, a subtropical coastal lagoon tucked between barrier islands and the cities of Sarasota and Bradenton on the southwest coast of Florida. The Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program has tracked individual dolphins since 1970, monitoring their health, behavior, and exposure to contaminants. The dolphins are residents of the area year-round, across multiple decades, with individuals living up to 67 years.
In 2016 and 2017, Hart and her colleagues tested the urine of 17 wild dolphins in and around Sarasota Bay for nine phthalates. They found phthalate metabolites in the urine of 71 percent of the dolphins tested.
Hart compared the dolphin data to human data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which includes information about behavior and diet as well as blood and urine samples from a large cross section of the U.S. population. She found concentrations of one type of phthalate metabolite, monoethyl phthalate (MEP), were much lower in dolphins than in the human population surveyed by NHANES, but concentrations of another type of phthalate metabolite, mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), were equivalent or higher to the levels found in humans.
“If you look at the primary uses of the parent compounds, MEP’s parent is commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products including shampoos and body wash, whereas MEHP is a metabolite of a compound commonly added to plastic,” Hart said.
Understanding what dolphins are exposed to gives researchers and the public a better idea of what is in the environment.
The study is particularly valuable because of the long-term data available on the Sarasota dolphins’ health and behavior, said Ylitalo. Bottlenose dolphins are good indicators of pollutant exposure in whales and dolphins that can’t be easily sampled.
“We will not be getting urine samples from killer whales in my neck of the woods,” Ylitalo said. “They don’t know what the health effects are yet, but if any group can do it, it will be these type of folks who start teasing it out.”
Documenting exposure was an important first step, Hart said. She wants to expand the sample size to continue investigating the extent and potential health impacts of exposure and start tracking down possible sources. Ultimately, she hopes this research could be used to help curtail the sources of contamination.
“We’ve introduced these chemicals, they are not natural toxins, and we have the ability to reverse it, to clean this up.” Hart said.
Scientists flew a small drone over the blowhole of a few humpback whales in the US and Canada to collect the microbes living inside their breath. Sampling the community of microbes and bacteria living inside whales, called the microbiome, can help us better understand what makes a healthy whale, and what happens when a whale gets sick.
In the new research, published this week in the journal mSystems, scientists describe 25 species of microbes found in each humpback’s breath they sampled. Though they don’t know how exactly these organisms affect the health of the whales yet, many of the same microbes are often found in other marine mammals, suggesting they play a role in keeping the animals healthy. The study is also the latest example of how drones can help scientists in their quest to conserve species: in Hawaii, botanists are also using drones to hunt down rare plants in hard-to-reach places like cliffs.
Just like humans, animals have a microcosm of organisms inhabiting their bodies — which help keep them healthy. While we’re just starting to explore the human microbiome and its functions, very little is known about the microbiome of whales, especially inside their breathing organs, where a lot of infections occur. So researchers decided to sample the spray of water and snot coming out of the hole atop the whale heads, which the animals use to breathe at the surface.
Usually, whale breath is collected by approaching the animals — which can be up to 60 feet long, in the case of humpbacks — with a small boat, and then holding 23-foot pole with a collection plate above the blowhole. That’s obviously time-consuming and dangerous — for people and whales. In search for a better method, scientists used a remote-controlled hexacopter equipped with a petri dish. They then flew it a few feet over the blowhole of 26 healthy humpback whales off the coast of Cape Cod in the Atlantic Ocean and Vancouver Island in the Pacific.
The researchers found 25 species of microbes in the breath of all whales, including 20 that were previously found in other marine mammals. That suggests that those organisms are connected to the creatures’ respiratory health, according to the study, although it’s not exactly clear how. But understanding what makes the microbiome of a healthy whale can help us monitor their health, identify dangerous pathogens in the future, and possibly understand how pollutants in the water can affect whales.
That’s key for their conservation. A number of large whales are listed as endangered or critically endangered, including some humpback whale populations off the coast of northwest Africa and Central America.
Let’s say you have done your research and you have reached your conclusion… that you want to be a dolphin trainer!
This would be my first piece of advice to you.
Observe your animal, bear in mind that all of them have different characters.
Observe the animal you are being assigned very closely, it is important that you observe all of them and the way each one behaves, but in particular, the one you are going to work with. Every time you have any spare time, sit down close to the animal and observe all their behaviours, their body language and interaction with other animals.
Environments affect behaviour, predict your animal’s behaviour, keep your eyes scanning around while working with yours and be aware that another animals’ behaviour affects your animal behaviour. If there is anybody or an even an object around, that your animal is not comfortable with, try to take them to another area or environment where they are more relaxed. As with children, once your animal has realized that you are always protecting them, then they will trust you.
Communication skills are paramount; during your sessions, your animal’s behaviour depends on the quality of the communication you have with other trainers and how aware you are of your surroundings. Anticipation and planning ahead is very important when handling your animal. Dolphins love doing different things, they are very cheeky, they also get bored quickly with the same thing over and over, but when they are learning something new, they are usually concentrated, curious and excited for what may come next. Some behaviours take time and concentration. Take as an example, husbandry behaviours (medical behaviours) these are examples where a high level of concentration from your animal will be required and they also need to be very relaxed.
Before you start training any behaviour, you must communicate with other trainers and let them know how long you are going to take and where the training is going to take place. State the starting time and ending time, before you end, you need to make eye contact with other trainers and let the animals go at the same time, so your animal does not go and interrupt any other trainer’s session. This is the best way of getting the best discipline, instilling good habits in your animals that results in a good quality training session and a positive outcome for all.
Do not copy other trainers, do not assume because the animal you are working with would let another trainer to put their hand in their mouth you can do the same. Different animals have different relationships with other trainers, you must gain and build your animals trust and this will depend on the way that you treat them, just like any other human or animal interaction. Observe the best trainers work, but do not confuse the best one with the one in charge. Observe closely and choose what would you do different, take a notepad with you and write it down, one day you will need it.
Many trainers underestimate and misunderstand the importance of Operant Condition (Positive Reinforcement), when to use it and how to use it. Some trainers just read through it to “tick that box,” but there is a big different between reading it to pass a test, perhaps making your supervisor happy or to take him/her off your back and really using it properly. Supervisors and other trainers, should be watching each other and making sure that everything is right and that your work is acceptable. To assist you, they should always make sure, that the other trainers handle their animals fairly and in the best way possible, especially if you are a new assistant. Trainers must learn the techniques of positive reinforcement to apply it successfully, for the benefit of the animals and you.
What to do in a competitive environment such as a dolphin training job?
Responsibilities: this is what is going to set you apart from the crowd and so you are not classified as just being one of the usual group of trainers.
Be independent: consistent, practice good discipline, but also be very patient with your animal and others.
Be confident: trust yourself, do what your gut tells you, usually when you have researched well and apply good principles, it is the right thing to do.
Ask: if you have doubts; ask, there is not such a thing as silly questions.
Improve: progress is what makes people happy, make sure you are going forward and improving your skills.
Study: make sure you find time to study, allocate the best time for you to improve your knowledge. The world is constantly evolving, updating information with new research, so you need to keep your knowledge fresh.
Want it: make sure whatever you do is the best for you and then do it to the best of your abilities. Whatever the circumstances, never think you are not capable of doing whatever you desire. You just have to want it!