Animal Diaries Archive
1 February 2008
Recently we have started a new training regime for all the animals in the exotics department. This means giving them new things to try, instead of doing the same old training day after day. Each member of the team has been allocated a dingo to train. This means we can consistently work with the same dingo, allowing our bonds to grow, whilst teaching them new behaviors.
I am training one of our four-year-old dingoes, Teyha. She is the most playful of all dingoes and is always very willing to learn new things. So far, we have been focusing on doing some off-lead training. Because it is quite hot during the day, I keep training sessions short, usually five to ten minutes long. We do basic obedience commands such as sit, down, stay and come. We also have play sessions where we just have fun and give them toys to run around with.
Teyha has been excellent with all her training so far. I am looking forward to teaching her some new things in the future. Eventually we plan to teach each of the dingoes to “station”. Stationing is when we ask the girls to go to particular stationing points and wait to be let off to play or respond to other commands. This helps us when they do filming or various photo shoots.
All the training we do with them helps to stimulate their minds. The dingoes still have all their wild instincts and so we have to find ways to amuse them and get them thinking about things during the day. Learning new behaviors is a great way to do this because they are challenged to think about what they are doing, or what you have asked them to do. The training and activities are designed to enrich the dingoes, otherwise they become bored and destructive and we do not want that! Just remember; a thinking animal is a happy animal!