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Depressed? Swim with dolphins

Does this explain why so many dolphin trainers have such pleasant dispositions?Paris - Taking a dip with dolphins can be a tremendous therapy for people with depression, according to a study published on Saturday in the weekly British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Taming the wild in mustangs, with clicker training

Robert Denlinger of Kentucky utilizes imaginative and low key approaches in dealing with ungentled and troubled horses. When working with mustangs, he employs participant involvement and his "human round pen" is a popular activity at the workshops.

When training, Denlinger uses a clicker to signal to the horse. "When she hears a click, she knows exactly at that point in time that she did exactly what I wanted. I will then unobtrusively give her the reward, which in this case is some alfalfa hay because she likes that."

Denlinger stressed that he only uses food as a reward. "We're not bribing her. I'm getting as close as I can to that little wild horse and saying (by making the click-click sound) because you allowed me to get in close, here's your food."

Denlinger said he does the exact movement to her maybe 100 times and the horse then knows it is safe to get the food. Patience in the pen is a virtue to gaining trust with a wild animal.

Zoo Uses Chickens To Train Trainers

"Because of their lack of intelligence, they respond to exactly what you ask them to do," zoo trainer Colleen Baird said. "It teaches our keepers how to concentrate on the three elements of training, (including) timing, criteria and rate of reinforcement."

Don't miss Attila & Fly at ClickerExpo Newport!

In his day job Hungarian Attila Szkukalek is a biochemist in Norwich, England. In his private life he's a husband, father, and dog training instructor. To the rest of us, Attila with his dog, Fly, is the best freestyle trainer and performer on the planet—and a powerful ambassador for reinforcement-based training.

Piano playing and grief counseling: A day in the life of clicker training cats

Being partial to cats myself, I love this piece on a journalist who discovers that - gasp! - not only can you clicker train a cat, but it can open new doors never before imagined:

At one outdoor concert, a 10-year-old boy with Down's syndrome walked by. He was enthralled by the piano-playing feline. He stared at Ricky for several minutes, then spontaneously began to laugh. We're not talking little giggles here. I mean full-blown belly laughter. His mother was stunned. She told me quietly, "Billy's father passed on two weeks ago. Everyone tried to get him to talk, to react, but he wouldn't."

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