Friday, July 11, 2008

Learning to Train with Dolphins -- and Dogs!

DolphinLab students working with Tanner and AJ during Advanced Marine Mammal Training and Enrichment

A DolphinLab student trains a new behavior to a staff member's dog.

So many people tell us they dream of training dolphins. Not everybody gets to realize that dream but at Dolphin Research Center you can experience a lot of what is involved in working with these amazing animals.

We offer a few different DolphinLab classes that delve deeper into the training, care and enrichment of dolphins. Teen Advanced DolphinLab: Training I, for ages 15-17, and two courses for adults -- Marine Mammal Care and Basic Training and Advanced Marine Mammal Training and Enrichment courses – provide hands-on experience and academically intensive programs.

Students work side-by-side with Animal Care and Training and Education staff in multiple daily sessions where they learn to work directly with the dolphins. They also participate in various other activities – including learning how to present the dolphins to the public in a narrated behavior session.

In two of the classes, the students receive additional training experience from some canine instructors. In Teen Training I and Advanced Marine Mammal Training and Enrichment, each student works individually with a staff member’s dog. In three sessions a day, the students apply their newly-learned training principles and practices and train their dog partner a new behavior!

No other programs in the world provide this level of hands-on, in-depth training experience with dolphins and dogs, all supervised by our experienced trainers and educators. Students can also receive college credit for the two adult courses.

For more information including course dates, costs, and prerequisites, please click here to visit the DolphinLab area of our website!