animal performers

Seventeen reaction to their S/O sleeping with a stuffed animal (performance unit)

requested by anon


Originally posted by myungeuna

You told him that you had a stuffed dolphin on a date before he left for a promotional tour. His immediate response was to take you shopping so that he could get one just like it to have on tour with him when he couldn’t be with you instead. The boys told you that he slept with it next to him every night after they got back.

“Where did you get it? I want one too so that we’ll be kinda connected!”


Originally posted by kwontv

When this cutie came over to your house and found your stuffed monkey on your bed, he was grinning from ear to ear. He picked it up, playing with it, causing you to giggle. Hoshi made the monkey do some of the dances for their songs, and you ended up taking turns making the monkey do different dances.

“Oh my gosh, your monkey is a better dancer than you. I’m just kidding, Y/N, don’t throw her at me!”


Originally posted by itseventeen-hasmoved

You had a stuffed cat that you slept with for years. When Minghao found it in your room, you were a bit shy about it. To make you feel better, he pretended to talk to the cat and tell it how lucky it was to get to spend the night with you.

“Mr. Cat, you’re the luckiest cat in the world. Sorry, but you’re gonna have to share Y/N with me, because I know I love them more than you do.”


Originally posted by performanceunit

The boys had invited you over for a sleepover, and you decided to bring along a turtle plushie you had gotten when you were a kid that you slept with every night. When Chan saw you hugging the turtle in your sleep, he couldn’t help but fall in love with you a little bit more.

“That turtle is adorable, Y/N. Gosh, I find something new to like about you every time I see you.”

minjoon moment….ft. hobi^^

p-dots  asked:

I was wondering if you knew anything about the situation with Billy the Asian Elephant at the LA Zoo? I just received an email from the Zoo that a city council motion was filed to remove Billy from the zoo, and they're still trying to fight to keep him. A lot of people claim he appears stressed which is why there's been a big fight to get him moved. I don't really know a lot about elephants so I don't really know what side is best to take or what sources to take seriously (other than the Zoo).

I’ve been following the story of Billy pretty closely. I’m glad you asked - it’s the sort of thing I think is really important to talk about, because people need to understand what’s going on behind the nicely framed stories about animal activism you hear in the media, but I’m never sure how much of that sort of animal industry politics followers are interested in reading. 

The reason this specific instance is so important is because it’s a hell of a lot more complicated than ‘sanctuary vs zoo, which is better for the animals’. The decision to go after Billy - and only Billy, and only right now - looks to me like a really strategic political decision from the animal rights movement, and it falls in line with what I’ve been researching the history, evolution, and MO of the animal rights movement. As I’ve been learning more and more about how animal rights organizations and their partnered sanctuaries conquer and divide to achieve the change they want to see, a very specific pattern of action has started cropping up and this situation exemplifies how they’ve learned to use legislation, the legal system, and the good intentions of the general public to remove animals from zoos. This explanation is going to seem a little bit like jumping at shadows, but this method of petitioning cities to seize zoo animals as assets - and the really conveniently timed fallout that would result from their success - is textbook animal rights organization planning. 

So here’s what you need to know - if Billy is sent to a sanctuary, the LA Zoo would lose their AZA accreditation. They’d likely then be subject to the new wild animal performance law that’s got major support in LA right now, because only AZA institutions would likely have an automatic exemption. The combination of loss of accreditation, potential inability to do public education and outreach, and the ability of the AR groups to spin the situation as ‘AZA kicked them out for being abusive to their elephants’ would massively damage the viability of the zoo as an institution for the foreseeable future… at which point AR groups could easily petition the city to seize more animals from the collection and send them off to sanctuaries, because it’s now “well known” what a horrible institution the LA Zoo is. That would normalize the idea that animal rights organizations and city officials with no professional animal experience know more about animal welfare than the best zoological institutions in the country, and would set a scary precedent regarding what sorts of institutions the public will accept the animal rights organizations condemning and removing animals from. With that sort of potential fallout - and all of the pieces of the puzzle having been successful, individually, within the last decade or so in regards to other animal rights campaigns - this really is not about a single elephant at all. 

AZA has this one really important rule in their accreditation standards, and it boils down to: any zoo they accredit must be considered the experts and have final say over the care of their animals. If anyone external to a AZA accredited zoo overrules that zoo’s choice of care for their animals in any way, that zoo loses their AZA accreditation because they are no longer viewed as having ultimate control over the welfare of their charges. This is really important when it comes to elephants, as the Toronto Zoo lost their AZA accreditation over exactly this situation: animal rights activists caught wind of TZ’s plan to transfer their elephants to a facility in Florida where they’d live in a bigger herd, and petitioned the city council to send the elephants a the Performing Animals Welfare Sanctuary (the same one they want Billy to go to, which has a known history of uncontrolled tuberculosis infections on the property to this day). The Toronto Zoo is a municipal zoo - which means its animals were city property - and the city council chose to claim the elephants as assets, ignore the evidence of animals with active TB already living at the chosen facility, and then overruled the Toronto Zoo staff’s due diligence about what choice would provide the best welfare for their elephants and sent them away to PAWS. Having been overruled by the city council and having lost control of animals in their collection, the Toronto Zoo lost their AZA accreditation. (They later reapplied and were re-accredited). 

So, if the animal rights activists can convince the city council to claim Billy as an asset and remove him to PAWS, it would really damage the LA Zoo as an institution. Their credibility in the eyes of the public would be destroyed, they’d lose exemptions from federal legislation due to losing their AZA status; they’d be forced to pull out of multiple major SSPs (because only AZA institutions are allowed to house animals in the Green level programs, of which LA zoo has number); they’d likely lose grant funding. What’s more, the zoo would then be subject to the recent law banning the use of any exotic animal in “entertainment”in LA, because if has the same structure as similar legislation we’ve seen in other states, only AZA facilities get an exemption. If true, that would mean the zoo would no longer be able to do education and outreach programs with their animals (and this law was backed by PAWS, the organization that runs sanctuary they’re trying to send Billy to). 

There’s a very specific reason that this whole campaign centers on Billy, not all three elephants, which is part of what makes it so clear this is a campaign with an end goal of damaging the LA Zoo’s AZA accreditation. Billy’s two elderly companions, Jewel and Tina, would be far better candidates to be sent to a sanctuary if welfare is really the concern driving the advocacy. They’re rescues from a private owner who were massively underweight and had chronic medical conditions, and it’s not as important for them to stay within AZA’s management as other elephants because they’re too old to contribute to the Asian Elephant SSP. The LA zoo has previously been willing to send older elephants to the PAWS sanctuary without needing intervention from the city council (that story is discussed below), so why is this newer campaign ignoring the elderly females and bypassing the zoo entirely by going to the city council when their welfare would likely be more improved by that sort of move? Jewel and Tina don’t belong to the LA Zoo - they’re officially part of the San Diego Zoo collection and on loan to LA - which means the city council can’t claim them as assets and forcibly remove them. The only elephant at the LA zoo that the LA city council has the ability to control is Billy, and so it’s pretty clear this is about getting the city council to overrule the zoo’s choices in caring for their collection and not about which elephants would benefit most from leaving the zoo environment. 

This is an attempt by the animal rights industry to undermine the LA Zoo as an organization - that much is clear. Billy is just a convenient figurehead and an animal that the public will empathize with while being completely unaware of the the ulterior motives behind the advocacy effort. It comes at a delicate time, too, as the LA Zoo is currently in the process of developing a new master plan for the future of the facility. That’s a future that would be massively impacted by a loss of accreditation and all the potential fallout that would go along with it. 

So that’s the context to the Billy situation, and why people are fighting so hard on both sides of the issue. But what the public really cares about here isn’t the politics, it’s the animal welfare, so here’s a look at history and the welfare of the elephant at the center of all this furor. 

Billy at the LA Zoo. (Photo Credit: San Diego Blogs)

Billy is one of three elephants at the LA Zoo - he’s the youngest, at 32, and the only male. Billy is kept separated from his two elderly female companions, Jewel and Tina, because he’s young enough to still want to reproduce and would injure the elderly ladies if he tried to mount them. However, while the elephants are always separated by a barrier, the exhibit was designed with heavy-duty wire fences that meant the elephants could always be able to see, hear, and touch each other through it. The LA Zoo Asian elephant exhibit is one of the biggest elephant habitats in the United States at 6.5 acres (with almost four acres of yard space), and was opened in 2010 - the construction of a state-of-the-art habitat was part of the resolution from the first time animal rights activists demanded the elephants move to a PAWS sanctuary. 

In 2006, an elderly Asian elephant named Gita died at the LA Zoo. It’s not clear what led to her ending up in position she did, but she was found laying on her back legs with her front legs stretched in front of her. Nothing they did could entice her to stand back up, and she eventually died as her body weight crushed her own tissue and the toxins released during that process overloaded her kidneys. (While this sounds brutal, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is likely how many elderly large animals die if they lay down for the last time in a position that puts their weight on their own body). Animal rights activists had already been agitating for the LA Zoo’s elephants to be sent to a sanctuary, and they used Gita’s death as momentum to push for Billy and the other female housed there at the time, an african elephat named Ruby, to be transported to a sanctuary where it was claimed her welfare would be much higher than at the zoo. The LA Zoo eventually caved to public pressure and chose to send Ruby to PAWS (keeping their AZA accreditation by doing so voluntarily) where she was immediately housed with other animals without a proper quarantine period, exposed to animals who were TB positive and were not diagnosed until after death, and eventually died herself in 2011 from an unknown disease that looked suspiciously like TB (PAWS declined to send out samples for testing, despite what appeared to be physical symptoms observed during the necropsy). 

Gita at the LA zoo in 1999 in the old exhibit. ( Photo Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Billy remained at the LA Zoo after Ruby left, and the organization undertook a 42-million-dollar elephant exhibit renovation with the intention of bringing in another breeding male and a number of females as part of the Asian Elephant SSP. In 2007, local activists sued to halt construction of the exhibit with the goal of removing elephants from the LA zoo permanently and forcing Billy into a sanctuary - after a case that was drawn out for a number of years and repeatedly stalled exhibit construction, the judge assigned instead that the LA Zoo was allowed to continue exhibiting elephants but was required to exercise them frequently, make regular exhibit improvements such as tilling the soil, and banned the use of tools such as bullhooks and guides at the facility. When the new elephant exhibit opened in 2010, the LA zoo decided to put breeding plans for Billy on hold in order to house a pair of bonded female Asian elephants - Jewel and Tina - who had recently been removed from a private owner who had neglected their medical care. 

The three elephants share access to the large, heated elephant barn and have 24/7 access to five unique outdoor yards. Each yard has a substrate of soft sand that is tilled regularly to keep it from becoming compacted and hard - the shifting motion of the sand helps keeps the elephants in shape as they walk over it - and each yard has unique features like puzzle feeders, bathing pools and waterfalls. 

Browse and treats are placed at unique locations around all the yards each day, encouraging the elephants to explore their environment anew each morning. In addition, a comprehensive environmental enrichment program makes sure the elephants always have novel objects and stimuli to interact with and a daily training session (which the public is able to watch as a demonstration most days a week) keeps them mentally engaged by practicing foot care, grooming, practice for any veterinary behaviors that might be needed, as well as strength- and balance-focused exercises.

The AZA accreditation standards - which cover general animal policy in 34 pages, and use another 12 to cover animal interactions with the public or use in education programs - have dedicated 32 pages specifically to the regulations regarding elephant husbandry, training, nutrition, body condition, enrichment, and welfare assessments. As a large AZA-accredited zoo that frequently falls under the celebrity-studded, critical eye of the local populace, it’s inconceivable that Billy’s care (and that of Tina and Jewel) is not in accordance with these highly detailed requirements. 

Photos of the new LA Zoo elephant exhibit. (Photo credits: The Portico Group).

The LA Zoo’s elephant exhibit, finished in 2010, was designed by The Portico Group, a design firm founded in Seattle, WA in 1990. The Portico Group’s exhibit designs consistently awards every year within the industry for their incorporation of the newest animal welfare science and management technologies as well as educational and interpretive options. Their design for the LA Zoo is on par with the quality of the rest of their designs, and features a similar amount of yard space for the elephants as the design they created for the widely-praised Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Africa expansion that opened in 2013. 

Billy in his habitat at the LA Zoo. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

One of the biggest reasons people express a concern for Billy is a head-bobbing behavior he’s been known to perform his entire tenure at the LA Zoo. The public is aware that repetitive behaviors (called stereotypies) can be signs of low quality welfare, and often worry that means that Billy isn’t being well taken care of at the zoo. However, one thing that isn’t commonly known about sterotypical behaviors is that once developed, they rarely go away once the animal is in a better welfare situation - which leads guests to often misunderstand an animal’s behavior as it relates to their current care. 

The LA Zoo has studied Billy’s head bobbing behavior over the years, and concluded that it appears to be an anticipatory behavior rather than one brought on by stress, as it mainly occurs when the elephant is awaiting the arrival of food, expecting a keeper interaction, or getting ready for movement into another area of his habitat. They also found that Billy had been noted to be displaying the head bobbing behavior when he came to the zoo at age 4 and that it was not something not something he developed during his life at the facility. 

Just because the behavior doesn’t mean that Billy has low welfare in his situation at the LA Zoo doesn’t mean the staff just want to leave him to bob and sway: to help decrease the amount of head-bobbing Billy does and engage him in a range of other behaviors, the keeper staff change their husbandry routine slightly each day and provide enrichment at different times in order to keep him investigating his environment instead of standing and waiting for regular occurrences. 

At the end of the day, Billy’s welfare does not appear to be the impetus pushing this current furor around “rescuing him” - he’s a convenient figurehead for what appears to be a well-coordinated attempt to undercut the LA Zoo’s credibility and accreditation status. 

But even though the actual welfare of the elephant is irrelevant to the organizations pushing this agenda, the general public is now very invested in understanding Billy’s welfare in regards to the outcome of this situation. 

The sanctuary animal rights activists are recommending Billy be sent to has multiple issues with basic elephant husbandry and medical treatment. PAWS was unable to evacuate their elephants in when threatened by a massive wildfire in 2015, due to their policy against doing even the most basic husbandry training with their animals that would have allowed them to be walked into a trailer or crated for transport. Instead, the animals were sheltered on site as the fire came within a few miles of the facility, putting them through massive amounts of stress and resulting in probable smoke inhalation. PAWS frequently take in animals that are reported as healthy upon transport, only to report having to euthanize them within a few years due to crippling chronic conditions. Most concerning is that PAWS appears to be plagued by frequent tuberculosis outbreaks among their elephants, potentially with multiple strains of the disease, despite their stated adherence to biosafety protocols -and that they have had at least one animal die while sick with active, contagious TB infections that were only discovered post-mortem. 

Billy is currently housed in a modern elephant habitat that was created in accordance with best practices for elephant management by outstanding architects - a remodel that was done specifically in response to the original welfare concerns about LA Zoo’s elephants in the late 2000′s. He has access to state-of-the-art veterinary medicine and is cared for by a dedicated team keepers who practice medical treatment behaviors, like foot care, with him daily to ensure that he can quickly receive treatment in a stress-free setting if it becomes necessary in the future. LA Zoo’s elephant keepers work hard to keep Billy active, mentally stimulated, and make sure he has plenty of positive social interactions with both the human and elephant members of his herd. 

If the goal of the general public is Billy’s welfare, he is far better off in a habitat designed for him to inhabit with the staff he has known for a better part of two decades than being sent across the country to a facility with massive red flags in their elephant management program just to fulfill a political movement’s agenda of damaging the facility that holds him. 

Citations under the cut. 

Keep reading

“Ritual of Oak & Mistletoe”, another painting for my recent show at Gallery Nucleus. This one was inspired by the actual druid ceremony of cutting mistletoe from a sacred oak and performing animal sacrifice to produce an elixir with healing powers. Mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant that sometimes grows in strange spherical formations (known as “witches brooms”) in the boughs of trees – it’s really incredible looking and not hard to understand why it would be thought to have magical properties. In my work for this show, I replaced livestock and other commonly-sacrificed animals with animals that we consider to be pests in urban areas; animals whose lives are often viewed as unimportant relative to our human comfort and desires. Goodnight, sweet pidge 🐦💖


We made an acoustic guitar duet of “Go K.K. Rider” from Animal Crossing :) 

I was telling my boyfriend about this and I decided that I had to make a post to introduce tumblr to Pedals the bear.

Pedals is a very special black bear because he always walks on his two hind legs and doesn’t like to use his front paws (bipedal, hence Pedals). A few years ago people started seeing him in and around my town and for a while no one was sure what the heck he was. Some people claimed that he was a man in a bear suit until people started capturing footage of him doing his thing. He became a local celebrity and NJ news networks started covering his appearances. 

People started worrying that he might be injured or a lost performing animal that wouldn’t be able to survive in the wilderness, so they called for an investigation from the local wildlife service to see if he needed to be taken into captivity. After monitoring him though, it became clear that Pedals taught himself how to do this due to an injury to his front paws when he was young, and continued to walk out of habit. He’s perfectly healthy and able to forage and be social with no problem, so he’s still free and wandering around my town. He has fans who follow his appearances and seeing him is a great surprise :]

Things Not to Do to People with Service Dogs, Please, I’m Begging You
  • Immediately assume they are pets without looking
  • Pet them, ESPECIALLY without asking
  • Ask their owners to leave without checking to see if the dog is a service animal
  • Roll your eyes when the dog is a service animal
  • Ask whether the dog is a service animal when they are clearly wearing a service coat
  • stop????????????? questioning my wife’s fucking service dog
  • It doesn’t matter if “other people have tried to bring pets inside,” that doesn’t give you the right to ask illegal questions??
  • That’s like saying, “Someone hit me with a stick once, so no one can use a walking cane in my establishment because they might hit me with it.”
  • if you see a dog wearing all of these:

Helpful Facts About Service Dogs

  • They can be any breed.
  • They may even be other species, such as miniature horses.
  • They are allowed anywhere the human public is allowed, such as restaurants, stores, markets, hotels, bathrooms, etc.
  • You do not need to ask if a dog is a service dog, as long as the dog is wearing a clearly-visible jacket.
  • As an owner/employee of an establishment that someone brings a dog to, you are only entitled to ask two questions. You don’t NEED to ask any. You are allowed to ask two.
  • The first question: “Is the animal required because of a disability?” NOTE: If it is obvious what the dog does and why it is required, you ARE NOT allowed to ask this question (for example, if the handler is in a wheelchair or also using a red-tipped white cane).
  • The second question: “What task does this animal perform?” ALSO not required if it’s obvious.
  • That’s it.
  • Any more and you are violating the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), opening yourself and your business up for a hefty lawsuit.
  • There are two times you are allowed to ask a service animal to leave. You are NEVER allowed to ask the dog’s handler to leave, no matter what the animal is doing.
  • The first time you are allowed to ask the animal to step outside: if it is not housebroken, and poses a sanitary risk.
  • The second time you are allowed to ask the animal to step outside: if it is acting aggressive towards or endangering other patrons.
  • That’s it.
  • You are only allowed to charge a cleaning fee if you would normally charge a human for the same fee. In other words, if the dog leaves hair on the floor and you wouldn’t charge a human for shedding on the floor, you can’t charge. If it’s a hotel and you wouldn’t charge a human for peeing in the tub, you cannot legally charge the dog for the same.
  • You are never allowed to ask for documentation that an animal is a legitimate service animal. This is in part to protect many people who don’t have access to medically-provided dogs, who have trained their own service dogs (perfectly legal and fine), or who can’t carry papers around with them at all times.
  • You may not ask that the animal perform their task for you. What the fuck, don’t do this. Think of allergy alert dogs–are you really going to wave an allergen in front of someone that might have a deadly allergy just to prove that the dog is “real?” congratulations, your ass is sued.

If you want more helpful facts please hit me up, I’m just really sick and tired of going places with my wife and her service dog only to get the message loud and clear that everyone is nervous and we’re unwelcome, when her dog is the most polite, well-trained, well-MARKED animal you’ve ever seen.

A typical conversation entering 2/3 businesses we went into today:

Person: Ma’am, you can’t have a pet in here. You have to leave.
Wife: She’s a service dog. She’s wearing her coat.
Person: Oh, sorry. We have to ask. People bring their pets in here sometimes, and we have to ask them to leave, because they’re not allowed.
Wife: She’s not a pet, she’s a service animal.

Please spread this. Some people just don’t know. Others think that if they can’t see a disability, it doesn’t exist or need treatment.

gravitren  asked:

On animal intelligence, I feel it's something very hard to quantify. Something that might seem unintelligent to humans doesn't matter since the animal evolved to perform x tasks and survive which requires that set of intelligence. Just because they can't do something another animal can or cannot doesn't make them less intelligent. If they perform the tasks they need to to survive and pass their genes on, they've done a good job!

Yup! And intelligence has to be viewed in context for the species too. Currently we compare everything to our skills, which makes no sense when you reverse it. Compared to dogs, humans are “stupid” aka not as good as them at using our noses to find stuff.

Bebop Jazz

A frustrated Kofi tries to drum up more business by buying several discount animatronic animal characters to perform musical shows inside Fish Stew Pizza. While most patrons don’t even care, Peridot instantly becomes enamored with Bebop the Bear and his Rock ’n Roll Band and soon becomes Fish Stew Pizza’s #1 customer. But after Peridot offers to reprogram the band to make them more kid-friendly, Bebop and friends begin to run amok in Beach City and the only way to stop them is beating them in a battle of the bands. Can Peridot, Greg, Lapis and returning special guest star Steve Winwood get the bots back under control?

Satanic Killer Couples
Amber Burch and Pazuzu Algarad

On the 5th of October 2014 in North Carolina, authorities discovered the bodies of Tommy Welch and Joshua Wetzler in the garden of, Amber Burch and Pazuzu Algarad. The men had been missing since 2009. What shocked officers was the sheer dedication to satanism the couple had.

Algarad, who was born John Lawson, changed his name to the demon who possessed Regan in The Exorcist, lived with his mother, Cynthia James and his wife Amber. They all practiced satanism and performed animal sacrifices regularly. The house was riddled with pentagrams, depictions of the devil and other satanic items.

The couple were arrested, alongside friend Krystal Matlock who was charged with helping bury the bodies. If found guilty Algarad could of faced the death sentence

On the 28th of October 2015, Pazuzu Algarad committed suicide in his cell

Amber Burch and Krystal Matlock are currently facing trial

perfectlycrazydragon  asked:

The discussion around Billy made me think of something. Do you have any advice on ... well...I guess "How to tell the difference between Retained Stereotypical Behaviour from a Previous Enviroment and Current-Welfare-Related Sterotypical Behaviour"?

Oops, you forgot the third part of the trifecta: “Anticipatory Behavior That Looks like a Stereotypical Behavior.”

The only really good answer is: ask a staff member at the zoo. Seriously, they love those questions because it shows that you care and you’ve noticed. I’ve never once asked a staff member a question about their animals’ health or behavior (and you can guess that I probably ask some tough ones) and gotten a negative response or not gotten an honest answer. If you can find someone to ask about why an animal is performing something that looks like a stereotypie, I promise you they’ll be happy to tell you all about what is going on. I would also always ask someone you want to talk to what area they work and if they’re paid staff - volunteers are notorious for giving out well-intentioned but misinformed information on collection animals when they don’t realize they don’t know enough to answer, and it’s not always likely that reptile staffer will know the intricacies of a specific polar bear’s behavior. 

The problem is that a guest standpoint, no, there’s basically nothing you can do because you don’t know the animal or it’s history or it’s routine or it’s exhibit setup and there’s a ton of variables that go into that sort of behavior. The most you can do without more information is try to figure out if it’s an anticipatory behavior - watch the speed of the animal, where it is doing the behavior, and where it’s attention is focused. Look at the setup of the exhibit and try to figure out what is behind that fence or next door, look to see if something unique is happening outside of the exhibit, look up the schedule for the zoo day and try to figure out if something like enrichment demos or shifting in for the night is coming up.  Generally, fast motion with attentive behavior - even if repetitive - is anticipatory. What people think of as stereotyped behavior - the really detrimental stuff - tends to be slow, endless, unaltered, and often involves repetition to the point of being injurious - and really isn’t very common anymore. Almost everything I’ve ever seen in a zoo that looks like a stereotypie is actually just anticipatory behavior, and the few instances where something wasn’t and did look like a welfare issue, it was something the staff knew about and were actively managing. 

Use of the E-collar while Training my Falconry Dog

I had someone ask me about how I use e-collars in my training. I don’t mention the e-collar much because I know a lot of people are against them and, if not explained correctly, they can be interpreted badly. I always prefer positive reinforcement training when possible, but I make an exception for e-collars with my hunting dog because I think it is a very important asset for both functionality in the field and safety for the dog.

If you don’t want to read this whole thing, then here’s a quick summary: I don’t the e-collar as a tool to teach behaviors, only to enforce already known behaviors that have been taught through positive reinforcement. I primarily use the tone and vibrate features of the e-collar as a form of communication with my dog when she is working the field and out of easy ear-shot. In addition to helping me maintain tighter control over my dog, the e-collar is also a valuable safety precaution to keep her away from dangers we might encounter while hunting.

If you’re curious about learning more, I go into more detail on each of those points below.

The e-collar I use is a Garmin TriTronics Pro 550. It’s a fairly high-end collar with a tone setting, vibrate setting, and 21 different electric stimulation levels. Having so many different levels allows each trainer to match the proper stimulation level for each individual dog. You generally want it to be just strong enough for the dog to notice it and want to avoid it, but not strong enough to actually hurt the dog. You can tell it’s too strong if the dog shows signs of pain, such as yelping or jumping, and you can tell when the dog first starts to notice it by a slight change in facial expression, like a confused look (lips moving forward, a pause in what they’re doing, etc). Generally the best setting will be somewhere in between those two reactions.

Some people use e-collars to train new behaviors through negative reinforcement (removing an unwanted stimulus when the animal performs a desired behavior). It is not the same as punishment (providing an unwanted stimulus after an animal performs an undesirable behavior). A common example of negative reinforcement would be steering a horse by pulling the reigns in a certain direction until the horse moves that way to relieve the pressure. In the dog training videos I watched, they trained a dog to “woah” by providing light electrical stimulation (just strong enough to slightly annoy or confuse the dog, but not enough to hurt) each time the dog started to move after being told to “woah”. This eventually taught the dog to stay still when the cue was given in order to avoid an annoying sensation. They would also supplement with treats when the dog performed correctly on its own.

While I don’t find negative reinforcement training to be cruel, it isn’t my preferred method. I prefer to teach with positive reinforcement, which is rewarding the animal with something it wants each time the desired behavior is performed. I taught Malia to “woah” by placing food in front of her, then putting my hand on her chest and saying “woah,” stopping her from getting to the food. As soon as she would stop trying to move forward, I would click, say “ok” and scoot the bowl forward to let her eat. I would then start moving my hand away for a couple seconds but continue telling her to “woah” before letting her eat. If she tried to move forward before I said “ok,” I would just lightly block her and start again. Once she learned that “woah” meant “stay still until I say “ok,” I started offering the cue outside in other situations. Each time she offered the correct response, she’d get a treat. Each time she didn’t, we’d stop, I’d move her back into positon, and we’d try again. All positive, no negative at all.

I used positive reinforcement techniques to teach her all her field cues. I focused mostly on “come,” “woah,” “down,” “heel,” “get in there,” and “find it.” Up until about 7 or 8 months old, the only tools I used were treats, a clicker, a whistle, and a check cord (a long training leash). If she didn’t respond correctly to a cue while we were doing field work, I would just wait and try again when I knew I had her attention, chase her down and get her attention back, or sometimes end the session and try again later. I would train her in locations that were safe and away from roads in case I lost track of her temporarily.

Here’s where the e-collar came in for me. Hunting season was starting soon, and once Malia was actually out in the field hunting, I would need tighter control because she would be exposed to a lot more hazards. At this point, she knew the meaning of all her field cues and was reliable about 70% of the time, which is great for a young dog! But not good enough to be able to actually take her hunting with me. For example, I often hunt near roads, so I needed to make sure that she wouldn’t chase a rabbit into oncoming traffic. I would also be introducing my hawk into the equation and needed to be able to stop Malia should she try to run in on him while he’s on a rabbit (that could end up traumatizing the hawk or getting both of them hurt). So I began introducing the e-collar into our training regime.

I started with the vibrate and tone function. If I said “come” and she ignored me, I would vibrate. This would confuse her and get her attention, at which point I could repeat the cue, usually with better response. The vibrate obviously didn’t hurt, but she didn’t like the feeling either. It could also pair the vibrate with an “ah-ah” or “no,” so that she learned to recognize the vibrate as a warning. I taught her that the tone (a beep emitted by the collar) meant come by beeping the collar and then saying “come,” and rewarding her.

Once she learned what the tone and the vibrate meant, I began introducing low level electric stimulation in the field if she ignored a cue. Sometimes she would get too excited if a rabbit busted out and she just HAD to chase it. No treat I could offer her is better than chasing a rabbit. So if I wanted to call her off the chase I would beep the collar to tell her to come. If she kept running, I would vibrate it. If that didn’t stop her, I would give a low shock. I would start on the lowest setting (she can’t even feel the first 5 levels) and slowly increased the setting until she noticed it enough to stop chasing. I could do the same thing when telling her to heel. If she started to wander off, I’d vibrate it. If she wandered off again, low level shock (it feels similar to when you shock yourself on a static rug or balloon). I very rarely had to go past the low levels to get her attention back on me. After a few days, she knew that the vibrate was a warning before a shock, and it was often enough to stop any undesirable behavior.

By the time she was 10 months old, hunting season had begun and I felt comfortable taking her into the field with my hawk, confident that I had enough control over her to protect her from danger and teach her how to cooperate with the hawk. I knew that I could stop her from running onto roads in case of an emergency, or from trying to steal food from my birds. And she knew that she had a job to do while out in the field. Hunting was still her favorite thing in the world, but, unlike her young puppy days, it wasn’t just all fun and games anymore. In order to hunt, she needed to stay focused on me and respond to my cues.

This is the method I chose to use. It may or may not have been the best method for her, and it certainly isn’t the only way to do it. This isn’t me telling others how they should train their dogs, I’m just sharing how I did it in case others would like to know. She is my first hunting dog (first dog at all, actually), so I’m learning by trial and error. It seems to be working well for her so far, but she’s still got a lot to learn!

Steven Universe End Credits (rainy day performance)
Sky High
Steven Universe End Credits (rainy day performance)

i edited it a bit and added in some rain and the meteor shower song from animal crossing 

i used–> Meteor Shower - Animal Crossing

               Steven Universe End Credits - Rebecca Sugar

               Some Rain Files I Had On Hand

Scientific Reasons to Give Sam a Dog

- They have a house now 

- Because they can adopt a dog with a tragic past that has a hard time trusting anyone other than people it knows so that it’ll fit right in to the hunter lifestyle

- Animals can sense paranormal activity and can identify shifters 

- Sam likes dogs

- Dogs are great

- Because Sam needs something to love that won’t die

- If one of the boys or a person in general goes missing, a dog can be taught to track 

- Because dogs won’t make things complicated, like lying to you, getting the mark of cain, doing stuff behind your back, becoming a demon… You know, the usual.

- Because dog’s make people trust you so they could get information with more ease. 

- Because if they name the dog Christo, they can find out who’s a demon 

- Because Team Free Will needs a mascot 

- Because Team Free Will is one species short 

- Because that way, Dean won’t be the only one looking out for Sam. 

- Just, someone to watch their backs, generally 

- Because they can perform the animal communication spell and we can finally find out what dogs were placed on this planet for 

- Ratings would go up because everybody loves dogs

- It’s what the people want 

The After

A/N: This is very different from than anything I’ve ever done before. This was inspired by a drabble that I read called “Sieve” by ReadyMachine on AO3. After reading that I got the idea for this fic and started writing immediately. It’s taken me awhile to get up because it is much different from my other fics, but I hope it’ll be just as good. There will smut in this series per usual, so stay tuned for that lol. Kay, that’s all I got, I will be posting Part 2 of Wrong Loves My Company next. 

Warning: None, I think.

Word Count: 2632

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