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Last sync:2022-11-20 07:45
Huckleberry the beaver is getting more practice with target training. Now he's learning how to Stand Up and Turn in a circle. Watch a training session with Jessi and see what goes right and what goes wrong.

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Welcome back to Animal Wonders!

I'm Jessi, and this is Huckleberry the beaver. Come here!

You are so interested in the camera. Today I want to do another training session with this hunk of love. [CHEERY INTRO MUSIC]. So when I first started training Huckleberry, (here buddy) the first thing I did was I tried to train him a target, which is I wanted him to touch his nose to this little ball on the end of the stick.

The reason I did that is because it's one of the easiest, most straightforward things to communicate and train with an animal, and you can go so many places from there. So I've established targeting already (good boy), and now I want to take it to the next step. So to target I just simply hold it out, and he has to touch his nose to it. [CLICKER NOISE].

I click, and I give him a treat. So I'm also using a clicker here. I have it kind of wedged between my treat bag and my target, and when he targets... [CLICKER NOISE] Like, he gets a click, and then I treat him.

And the click marks the exact moment that he's done the right thing. Alright, so what I would like to do now, he can smell the food... And I'd really like to try and get him to rise up, and I'm gonna be doing that simply by moving the target stick up.

The thing with Huckleberry is he doesn't have very good vision. Beavers don't have great vision, but he also has impaired vision in his right eye. And let's see if I can get him... [CLICKER NOISE] Perfect!

Good job, buddy. Alright, let's try this again. See if I can get him to go up...

Up high... [CLICKER NOISE] Good job. Nicely done, buddy. I'm going to wait until he's done eating first.

And then here's the target stick... See if he'll come to it... [CLICKER NOISE] Good job, buddy. Nice work.

He's hissing, I'm not sure if you can hear that. But he's doing a little bit of a hiss, and so he just noticed the camera again, and he might go and check it out. Are you done with the training session already, buddy? [WHISPERS] I still have food over here.

Yeah, I do. Hi! Come here!

Come on over and say hi to me. Food? What do you think?

Come on over. Come on over. [CLICK NOISE] Good job. Alright you ready?

Let's do another rise up. Up here... [CLICK NOISE] Good job! I gave him a jackpot on that one, I gave him many treats, because he was kind of... um, I don't know... losing interest or getting nervous or not really being engaged in my session, so I wanted to bring him back.

He did a really good rise up, and then I wanted to make sure he knew that that was well worth his time by giving him a jackpot. Ready to try it again? Way up here! [CLICKER NOISE] Good job!

There you go, buddy. Alright, I'm gonna try a turn. [CLICKER NOISE] Good job! And eventually... [HUCKLEBERRY WHIMPERS] That was a little bit... [JESSI LAUGHS] So, he saw that I had food in my hand that I didn't give to him, so he got a little upset that I wasn't giving him ALL the food at once.

So I'd like to get a turn here. I'd like to see if I can get him to take a step sideways and eventually have a full turn. You wanna touch your nose? [CLICKER NOISE] Good job!

There you go. Can you turn your body and not just your head? [CLICKER NOISE] That was good work! ... Yep.

Are you gonna leave now? [JESSI CHUCKLES QUIETLY] He's like, "I've got better things to do. I've got logs to chew." That's okay. I bet he'll come back.

Let's do an easy one again, get his focus again. Ready, Huckleberry? Wanna get that? [CLICKER NOISE] Good job.

I also just realized something. I'm asking him to turn to his right. He has impaired vision in his right side, so there's a chance that he's not seeing the target stick very well.

So I may try and switch that up to moving to the left. But let's just get his focus back again. I'm gonna try and get him to rise up again. [CLICKER NOISE] Good job, buddy.

Is that good stuff? What do you think? You want to target onto my lap?

It's right there. [CLICKER NOISE] Good job. He may be getting full now... or just weary. [CLICKER NOISE] Good job. [CHEWING NOISES] Good job. Okay, so we've been doing this training session for five to ten minutes, and I do like to keep my training sessions short, so about five to ten minutes.

I don't want him to get bored... That's a really good target right there, working on his left side. I don't want him to get bored with this.

It is kind of an easy thing to just repeatedly touch your nose to a target. [CLICKER NOISE] Good job! So I want to make sure that he continues to have fun with this... Can you move your body all the way?

He's doing really good. There we go! Good job!

Good job. Alright, I'll ask him one more. There's always that one session of like, "One more, one more!" But it's gonna be a super easy one right in front, and then I'm gonna jackpot him.

Good job! Well done, beaver! Good job. [JESSI CHUCKLES] [CHEWING NOISES FROM HUCKLEBERRY].

There you go, buddy. We're going to keep working on doing different things with the target. I would love to be able to get him just following the target around, and then we can go on walks anywhere we want to go.

It'll keep him nice and safe, so if a scary situation happens and we're out and about, I can simply show him the target and he'll be like, "I know how to do this!" It'll calm him down. It'll be a great behavior just to strengthen and make it very versatile. And he's doing really well with it!

This went so much better than the last training session we did on camera. [CHEWING NOISES]. Yeah, he's like, "I don't care, I got my food now!" So during that training session, I was reassessing his behavior and my actions and trying to figure out what was going on, and I was kind of doing a little bit of a talk with you. But now that we've finished, I'm replaying everything in my mind, and I really think that I made a pretty big mistake trying to get him to turn to the right.

I was trying to play to him to the camera a little bit, and I should have just gone with his strengths. He definitely responded better to the target when I put it on his left side, so that's what I'm going to continue to do in further sessions. And the last thought I have about the session is that I think he was a little slow in his responses to me.

I think that's just because he's a nocturnal species and he should be sleeping right now, but he's very motivated by food. I think the next session should be at night. I think I'll see a much stronger performance then.

Alright, now we're done with the training session. I'm gonna give him his last treat here... [JESSI CHUCKLES QUIETLY] [CHUCKLING] He has a huge mouth. He just put the whole thing in his mouth! [CHEWING NOISES].

That's not how you eat corn on the cob, dude! Huckleberry is awesome. I love training!

Clicker training and target training are one of the first steps you should train any animal you have. It makes it really easy. I hope this has inspired you to go and target train whatever animals in your life.

Have a lot of fun with it. It's a lot of fun! And if you'd like to continue going on animal adventures with us every week, subscribe to our Youtube channel, and I'll see you next week!