A NOT SO STUPID PET TRICK: RABBIT AGILITY

Animal Trainer Barbara Heidenreich Claims Stupid Pet Tricks Lead To Bonding With Your Pet

Austin, December 13, 2011- A fuzzy bunny that leaps and runs through an agility course may seem like an anomaly. But if professional animal trainer Barbara Heidenreich gets her wish more and more people will start training their companion animals to do stupid pet tricks. These cute and often amusing behaviors are a step in the right direction towards getting pet owners to embrace positive reinforcement training techniques.

Positive reinforcement training is sometimes referred to as reward training. When the animal presents a desired behavior it is rewarded or reinforced with something of value. For most pets this is often a food treat. The end result is an animal that is eager to present the behavior. This is much different from traditional training styles that are based in coercion and the use of aversives. “Positive reinforcement training is based on trust. Your pet learns you will deliver good things, like treats.  He also learns you will not do things that cause fear or aggressive behavior. The end result in an amazing relationship between you and your pet.” says Heidenreich.

Barbara’s goal is to get people to try it at home. Inspiring videos on the internet of her companion animals, such as her Holland lop eared rabbit Loretta, are doing the trick. Loretta runs a seven piece agility course, retrieves, spins in a circle and digs on cue. Loretta was adopted as an adult and learned most of her tricks in just a few weeks.  Heidenreich filmed Loretta’s training for her instructional DVD Bunny Training 101.

Barbara says “Getting people to learn how to apply the techniques is the goal, even if it is just to train a fun trick. Once they discover they can influence their companion animal’s behavior, including problem behavior using these methods, they will be more connected to their pets.” It is this connection that leads to a dedicated and caring pet owner.

Rabbits can be litter box trained, enjoy companionship, don’t need walking and are usually most active in the morning and early evening when busy professionals are home and ready to interact. These traits are making rabbits the new favorite companion animal for apartment dwellers. This rise in popularity also means a need for educational materials to help people do well with these creatures. With a handful of treats and a few props pet owners can be well on their way to a rewarding bond with their bunnies. For more information on rabbit training visit www.bunnytraining.com

Good Bird Inc provides behavior and training products for the companion animal community. These products include Good Bird Magazine, books, videos and animal training workshops. Discover kind and gentle ways to train animals to be well behaved, interactive and fun. Visit www.BunnyTraining.com and  www.GoodBirdInc.com for more information.

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About Us

Good Bird Inc provides behavior and training products for the companion parrot community. These products include Good Bird Magazine, books, videos and parrot training workshops. Discover kind and gentle ways to train parrots to be well behaved, interactive and fun. Visit www.GoodBirdInc.com for more information. Good Bird Inc president Barbara Heidenreich has been a professional in the field of animal training since 1990. She has been a featured speaker on animal training on six continents and has been published in nine different languages. Barbara is a former president of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (www.IAATE.org) and served on the Board of Directors from 1997-2009. She is a behavior and training consultant for KAYTEE and SuperPet. Barbara also consults on animal training in zoos, nature centers and other animal related facilities. She has worked with over 20 different animal facilities and has volunteered her services to the Kakapo Recovery Program conservation project in New Zealand. In her career she has trained animals, trained staff, and/or presented shows at facilities around the world.