Animal Behavior

For individuals or groups that are further interested in cultivating an understanding of the behavior and psychology of certain animal species. These courses look closely, first hand at behavior and behavioral ecology to see nature through some of its most magnificent microcosms. They provide a dual emphasis on animal learning theory as well as on reaching behavior objectives. Applications are individualized with respect to goals, background, and personality differences in birds or canines.

Bird learning theory and practical applications

Taking into account relatedness among groups of birds:

Bird behavioral enrichment

Bird learning and bird training: training of parrots and corvids, including, for example, establishing rapport, stepping up and remaining stationary, presenting for health maintenance, working to attain various fun challenge behaviors. In all, things which are plain fun to do together. In training birds of prey, these things are addressed but in different forms and from a distinct psychology.

Problematic behavioral conditions: for example excessive noise, aggression, feather plucking. Problem prevention. Analogous problems for raptors and some of their own. Understanding what behavior you cannot or should not attempt to change.

Falconry experience:  Participate in a hunt with the help of a bird of prey.  Plenty of opportunities to learn how to approach, handle, and properly maintain a hunting partner. 

Owls - Findings and folklore:  There is a depth of cultural folklore concerning owls, from harbingers of death to icons of wisdom and intelligence, and many things in between.  We will explore this, especially with regard to American aboriginal traditions, and participate in ongoing experimental research.  Then we will go out, call for, and meet these wonderful creatures in the surrounding environment. 

Canine learning theory and practical applications

Motivational team building (“obedience”): including the basic directives, plus others you might want to achieve. Examples include the stationary commands, retrieves, recalls, jumping. Behaving “in drive” versus simply on cue. Setting an appropriate culture, including behavioral enrichment, free time, etc.

Resolving dog behavior problems: for example human or dog aggression, property destruction, dominance issues, housebreaking, “pulling,” avoidance.

Tracking dog training: for competition, field work, for exploring your dog’s abilities, and for having fun together. Tracking people per footstep and/or air scent, tracking particular animal species, line handling, reading your dog, understanding your dog in light of scent behavior, handling cross tracks of varying ages, article and/or person indication, knowing when your dog is doing his best but beyond his limits, hard surfaces, etc. Tracking for older dogs.

Schutzhund



Custom group programs focused on various aspects of animal behavior.

Generally, one and a half hours in length, these insight courses provide basic background to help you independently derive insight from your growing experience.  Customized age appropriately from young children through adults, past examples include Breeding Bird Systems, Birds - Ancestry and Adaptation, Bird Ecology, Bird Behavior and Psychology, Species Identification and Natural History in the Field, and Michigan Bird Families (just for kids).

Registration

Contact us directly at 734-262-0998 to arrange your course.

About the Instructor

Craig Perdue is a falconer of over 10 years.  He has studied under some of the most innovative falconers in the country.  He has ten years of rehabilitation experience from psittacine, corvid, and raptor behavioral problems, including a stint at a zoological park.  He has demonstrated to numerous adult and children groups.  He has won national championships in competitive working dog sports, been deployed in SAR searches, and has taught and titled for clients in different tracking techniques.