Barbara Heidenreich is an expert exotic animal trainer. We met Barbara in Boston at ABAI and we were fascinated by the way she uses ABA and behavioral principles in animal training. Barbara specializes in working mostly with zoos and facilities that care for exotic species. She also works with veterinary professionals and conservationists. Veterinary medicine is now becoming more focused on cooperative care, reducing animal stress, and making the animal care experience fear-free. Behavioral analysis fits perfectly with this new focus, and like traditional ABA, it’s centered around compassion.
Just like with humans, when animals exhibit behavioral issues, there’s always a reason behind them. Barbara applies the science of ABA in her profession. Also, like people, it’s always important to understand a particular species’ habits and tendencies to help come up with the best behavioral solutions. In this podcast episode she shares a great story about correcting a problematic behavior in a rare bird in New Zealand that you won’t want to miss.
- Barbara’s journey and how she developed her career.
- How the ABA principles can be applied to animal training.
- Stories from Barbara’s experience working with animals.