Guest: Peter Amelia

Peter Amelia is from Seattle and started working with birds over 15 years ago. Peter’s goal is to improve animal welfare by creating choice and encouraging voluntary participation from learners in as many situations as possible. They began training early on and started the journey toward positive reinforcement based least restrictive methods. Since then, Peter has trained all kinds of animals from parrots to crows to hoofstock to snakes and lizards. They live with parrots, pigeons, goats, dogs, poultry of different kinds, snakes, lizards, tortoises, fish and tarantulas. Along with consulting locally, Peter travels and provides virtual consultations. Peter is joined at the hip with Carrie Davis another reptile trainer and co-founder of Reptelligence. Together they teach virtual reptile training courses and run a facebook group called Reptile Enrichment and Training (RET) When not training animals Peter trains people as a contortion and trapeze coach at Seattle circus schools as well as freelance performing.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What your options are when starting from scratch trying to shape behavior.
  • How you can get stuck when trying to shape behavior and your animal isn’t offering much.
  • Considerations when making changes to the environment to get behavior started.
  • Changing the environment to stimulate new behavior.
  • Thinking about reinforcement beyond food.
  • How to improve your observational skills to be a better trainer and not die of boredom in the process.
  • Increasing variability and building a larger behavioral repertoire.

Links Mentioned:

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