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tiistai 12. maaliskuuta 2019

Eläinkoulutusluento - Miten eläin oppii



Tervetuloa Treeline Outdoors –liikkeen tiloihin eläinkoulutusluennolle, osoitteeseen
Hanuri-Topin tie 35, 36200 Kangasala.
Luento alkaa klo 16:00 torstaina 16.3.2019

Luennolle osallistuminen maksaa 20€.
(liput paikan päältä)
Treeline Outdoors -liike ja kahvila ovat avoinna luennon ajan ja väliajalla voit tutustua ulkoilun laatutuotteisiin.

Luennolla Kai Mattsson valottaa pitkäaikaisen kansainvälisen ammattikokemuksensa pohjalta eläinkoulutusteorian perusteita ja kehittyneempiäkin nykytekniikkoja siitä:
"Miten eläin oppii?"

Luento sopii kaiken taitoisille eläinten kouluttajille ja hoitajille. Lähde mukaan tutustumaan miten voit parantaa vuorovaikutteista kanssakäymistä lemmikkisi kanssa eläinten käyttäytymisen ja kouluttamisen teorian tuntemuksen kautta.

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Mattsson on luonut uraansa laajakirjoisesti eläinten koulutuksen & hyvinvoinnin sekä luonnonsuojelun ja tutkimuksen kautta. Pitkäaikaisessa työsuhteessaan Tampereen Särkänniemessä sekä oman yrityksensä, Meritime, kautta hän on jo vuosikymmenien ajan saanut olla tekemisissä niin eksoottisten kuin domestikoituneiden eläinten parissa.

Kai on myös ollut monien kansainvälisten yhteisöjen luottamustehtävissä:
- Euroopan merinisäkäsjärjestö (European Association for Aquatic Mammals, EAAM)
- Kansainvälinen merieläinten koulutusjärjestö (International Marine Animal Trainers Association - IMATA)
- Pienvalaiden suojelusopimus (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas, ASCOBANS/UNEP)
- Itämeren pyöriäiskannan tutkimusprojekti (Static Acoustic Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Harbour Porpoise, SAMBAH)
- Euroopan eläintarhajärjestön akatemian kouluttaja – (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, EAZA)

www.meritime.net

sunnuntai 17. helmikuuta 2019

An animal within me ?


                                                                                                                                         

I got kind of stopped recently when a friend of my asked:  "If you'd be an animal, which animal would you be?"  

Well thats not too rare that people play this kind of game. It’s fun to think of what would be the one character I do admire in some specific animal species.  

What would be your answer  
Which is the animal that dwells within you 
My answer would most likely and quite naturally be  a dolphin ….or a cat. On the other hand an eagle is in top three as well. It would be fascinating  – quite majestic.  
Who wouldn’t like these animals? 



Of course - we could think of it from a completely different point of view; would anyone like to be a skunk or a cockroach … or any other - not so popular nor majestic animal?

 Can a wolf wear a sheep’s clothing?  

Often times we hear parables of how we, or our caracteristicsare compared to an animal - or to be more spesificwhat is believed to be their characteristics behaviour.  
Just to give an example:  ”Your stuborn or dum as a donkey …or you've got such a great memory – just like an elephant.”  

This kind of comparison has been in our culture already for ages. One of the earliest could be the one just above referring to: A wolf in sheeps clothes. Some say it’s from Aesop’s fables but most like it origins from bible of a  sermon by Jesus: Beware of false prophetswhich come to you in sheep's clothingbut inwardly
they are ravening wolves (Gospel of Matthew 7:15, King James Version) 
This just tells us how long we humans have been using these kind of parables  basicly as long as we have been invoved with animals. 

Many animals have great skills and the point for them to possess such one's is because of their survival. They have them in order to survive better in their natural environment. Fox is considered to be very smart and cunning. They need those skills to be able to hunt and survive more successfully. 
Many laws within animal kingdom are based on energy efficiency and by this way those skils promote the survival of that particularly individual, a population, family, pod or even a species.   The less an individual has to spend energy in accomplishing food for itself or it’s offspring – the better they will cope in their surrounding environment. Competition is an ongoing state of life. 

When we value different characteristics of animal species in this manner, we are using anthropomorphism, by doing so we reflect our social, religious, educational etc. image or beliefs to the assumed characteristics of those specific species in question. 

But what is the animalistic instinct within us 

Some may say it’s the thriving force we are experiencing in different situation during our lives; the adrenaline boost within us. The beast or the animal within us. 
What if we just are plane humans? Whom happen to be under the same rules or principles behaviour wise as any other life form of the animal kingdom? 
Behaviourism raise its head in human psychology in the early 50’ and even earlier. Some scientists went pretty far with behaviourism; explaining our physical and emotional actions through principles or forces which mold our behaviour. Some of those statements were correct some just went “over the top”. 

It is true that in many ways we do act very much in the same way as any other animal would do in a similar situation. And when we are discussing of them we do like to be anthropomorphic and pick up animal characteristics to describe our actions from the animal kingdom - especially if we think that it is somehow dignifying quality to us.


What if ?

...The 'animal within us' is something complete different to that what we usually think. I believe we are closer to animal behaviour sometimes when we are reacting to our environment in a ways as animals do when they get in such situation. When our behavior is trigged by a sudden stimuly.

Let’s think of frustration. 

What happens when we get frustrated? 
Everyone is familiar with the emotion of it.  We may start to magnify our reactions, our behaviour or wording in order to get out of the frustrated situation. 
Let's assume it’s a que or a closed door that we are facing and we cannot get forward in an assumed pace we anticipated we would. Very easily and quickly we’ll start to find solution how to get things progressing much faster or in the direction we anticipted things would proceed. Trying harder or trying to find a shortcut or a way to bypass the problem. The phenomenoms I am referring with these simple examples is called extinction and extinction bust.  

If an animal does not get the reinforcement it usually gets by performing a familiar behaviour there is a tendency for the animal to get frustrated and as a consequence of that the behavior escalates into something different. The intention of this of course is to get the usual feedback (rewarding) or stimuli. The individual gets frustrated as it is not receiving the type of reinforcement it used to get. Frustration may lead into agression but also evnetually into "giving up".
The very same happens to us. If you bump into a closed door at your office, the one you open and walk through several times during the day, you’ll get a bit annoyed (frustration). You try again and again ...but the door doesn't open. The next thing is that you try harder (escalation of your effort). You may try once or twice more, try your keys etc. but eventually it can lead into giving up and finding another way to get to your destination.  There are several ways to get to the destination but what really happens at that moment when you don’t get your reinforcement  iegoing to the other room or getting stuck in a que. 

This is a very common in animal behavior. Eventually if nothing helps the animal gradually gives up the task. It is not worth to waist any further energy to this task and the behaviour dies out as time passes, or some other form of behaviour is formed. If the final result of this type of lack of reinforcement is the diminishing of the behaviour then the procedure is called extinction. The term describes extremely well the process of a gradual death of that behaviour. In animal training it is often times used in trying to rid of non-wanted behaviors. Other term that could be used in a bit similar situation is; learned helplessness. This procedure however almost always has an aversive stimulus present in order to make the behavior diminish.. so it is actually a bit of a  different story.  

The animal within us. 

As fancy it would be to possess some awesome characteristics of an eagle or other majestic animal... Maybe – just maybe - the animal within us is something much more common or it is something of an “everyday character”. I believe we all are under many similar rules of behavioural forces as any other individual in the animal kingdom of our beloved planet.  
It can be just like previously told one - or maybe the aimal within us is a tendor parenting animals express to their offspring. So, whether you like it or not, our behaviour resembles in many small nuances the one’s animals do act on similar circumstances. 

I am fascinated of each and every species – how they behave and how they’ve adapted and evolved into the ones they now are. I don't mind if I act upon in similar ways.
So - Let’s respect all animals, weather they live next to us or within us, after all we are to cultivate and keep & take care of the nature in this ball, we all share. 

Kai Mattsson 
Animal behaviorist 
Meritime Consulting 
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