Every animal, from fish to primates, has needs and wants – and that is precisely what facilitates training. I am a firm believer that virtually any animal can be trained, at least to some degree, with the right approach. That’s where positive reinforcement comes in. Positive reinforcement is the use of those wants or needs as rewards for behaviours that you want to encourage, and the simple lack of reward for undesirable behaviours. When using the positive reinforcement method, you never introduce any element of punishment.
With Easter now upon us, I’m sure many of us are about to partake in the bizarre custom of eating large chocolate eggs delivered by a beribboned bunny. But as you’re smashing up your chocolaty treat, take a moment to celebrate the marvel of its form. The humble egg, an item found in millions of kitchens worldwide, is a symbol not only of Easter, but of spring, fertility and new life – yet it’s something we seldom stop to truly appreciate.
If you’ve been keeping up to date with our British Wildlife of the Week series, you’ll know Britain is home to many weird and wonderful creatures. But during springtime, they all start to have babies. It’s my favourite time of year for spotting not just the most interesting but also the most adorable animals our gorgeous countryside has to offer. Here is my list of the top five cutest British animals you can spot this spring.
Anyone who’s had their pet put under general anaesthetic will have had their vet run through the associated risks. We all know what it’s like to have selective hearing, drowning out all the reassurances and just having the warnings and hazards ringing in your ears. So choosing whether non-essential surgery is the right path for your animal really is one of the hardest decision any pet owner can make. That’s the position I found myself in a short while back when I asked myself whether I should get my guinea pig neutered.
Around Christmas time, the whole country comes together and there’s a universal appreciation for one of my all-time favourite animals – the robin. And I’m not the only one who loves this charismatic little bird. Here in the UK, our passion for the robin has caused it to become extraordinarily tame, and it isn’t uncommon to see one flitting between your feet, collecting crumbs, as you sit on a park bench.