Give Training Back to the Animals

In this Session, Chirag will focus on training from the perspective of the animal and on looking at the larger context of animal welfare and humane care. The Session will look at what a trainer should consider before picking up the clicker, including understanding the animal’s natural behavior, safety, and long-term needs. Chirag will discuss the importance of teaching animals to cooperate in their own health care (husbandry behaviors) and how to make that easier for both trainer and animal.

The Session will explore the benefits of and methods needed to empower a learner. Chirag will demonstrate how he teaches the learner to engage in a signal that cues the trainer that the animal is ready for the training conversation ahead, as well as when the learner needs a break. These strategies help increase positive welfare, reduce aggressive behavior, and create learners that are motivated and actively part of the conversation.

Chirag Patel

Chirag runs Domesticated Manners in London, UK. He consults on the ethical and science-based practice of behavior management and training for animals housed in domestic, zoo, and laboratory environments. Chirag also conducts workshops for professionals internationally and was a behavior consultant on the BBC 1 television show Nightmare Pets SOS.

Chirag earned his BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Sciences from the Royal Veterinary College in London and a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Animal Behavior from the University of Lincoln, UK. He is also a certified parrot behavior consultant (CPBC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Currently, Chirag is studying for a MSc in Applied Behavior Analysis.