Fantastic Beasts and How to Train Them: Exploring Behavior Cue and Training Beginning with Small Mammals
June 1 – 3, 2018
Love animals of all types? Thinking about a career in the animal or training industry, but not really sure how to get started? Or maybe you’re just curious about how to better communicate with your own pets, or teach Fido that neat new trick you saw on Buzzfeed? Well Congratulations–as Wolf Park has a new and exciting seminar that will fit all the above needs and more!
“Fantastic Beasts and How to Train Them”, featuring master trainer Ken McCort will give participants the hands-on opportunity to learn, apply and practice their newfound training skills with a variety of animals, and even see more complex strategies implemented and extended to apply our Wolves, Coyotes, Foxes and various Small Animals! Geared towards those with limited experience or novice skills, topics of this seminar will cover a multitude of training bases—from the building blocks of learning, to shaping new behaviors and better understanding the animal perspective, to complex chains and more– all utilizing the positive reinforcement training method.
This seminar is designed for new trainers, or folks interested in honing their existing by providing a chance for tangible experience in a safe, constructive environment, as well as allow participants to gain the invaluable capability of working in a team setting with other trainers. At Wolf Park, some of our most passionate employees and volunteers have started out as youth in our education programs, and we’d like to extend an opportunity to the future of animal training: unlike other seminar opportunities past, Fantastic Beasts and How to Train them is open for anyone 12 years old and up! Do not let this dissuade any more mature participants, however —Ken’s unique teaching style and wealth of knowledge is sure to provide ample fodder for learners of ALL ages.
Learning Objectives: This seminar will cover a wide array of topics, but some things likely to be addressed are—
- Common Mistakes in early training activities
- Using Markers: Types and How-To’s
- When to fade Lures and Introduce Cues
- Establishing Solid Reinforcement Histories
Participants will be given the opportunity to single, and team-train a menagerie of small animals throughout the weekend as they progress in their skill building, culminating with opportunities to see these theories applied in our ambassador species. We promise a weekend jam-packed with activities, professional and practical skill growth, networking opportunities, and of course—Fantastic Beasts! We hope to see you there!
The seminar will be conducted over three full days. The program will begin at 8:30 each morning and continue until 5:00pm. Participants are invited to attend Saturday’s Howl Night and early morning wolf observation time. Although the seminar is open to all ages, only participants over the age of eighteen will be allowed to enter wolf enclosures. If younger participants have a parent along, they can sit in on thetalks and enjoy the food for just $50 a day!
Continuing Education Units
Ken McCort’s Biography
Ken McCort owns and operates Four Paws training center in Doylestown, Ohio. Along with his wife, Marilyn, a veterinarian, he lives with 6 dogs, 7 cats, 8 large birds, 2 goats, a pony and 4 llamas. In his profession, he works with animals with behavioral concerns. Most clients and animals are acquired by referred from veterinarians or other clients. He has been training animals full time and on a one-on-one basis since 1986. Currently, he works with dogs, cats, birds and llamas. In addition to his business, Ken is a certified master instructor with the Delta Society’s Pet Partner program. Not only does he evaluate and certify animal/handler teams to visit in hospitals, nursing homes and many other areas, but he also helped to develop and now teaches the Licensed Team Evaluator Course given by the Delta Society both nationally and internationally. Currently Ken is working with 15 hospitals that have visiting animal programs including the “Doggie Brigade” at Children¹s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, OH. Ken has taught courses on animal behavior at the University of Akron and Columbus State University. He has presented before the Midwest Veterinary Conference, the Society of Anthrozoologists, the Delta Society, Tufts University Animal Exposition, and many other animal related groups. In addition, Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana, which is a research facility that studies wolf behavior, utilizes Ken for some of its presentations, and has allowed him to train with their wolves for many years.
Participants must be over 18 years of age in order to enter the enclosure with the wolves.
Wolf Park reserves the right to cancel a seminar if there are fewer than 5 participants registered as of 30 days before the start of the seminar. In the case of cancellation, we will refund registration fees in full, or the participant can choose to transfer into a different seminar.
Call the Wolf Park office at (765) 567-2265 between 9-5 Mon-Fri if you have any questions about any of our seminars.