Animal Training: Understanding and Managing Animal Behaviour

This course provides zoo and aquarium staff with a background in animal behavior and animal training science and methodology, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the skills necessary to train animals. It includes an overview of training techniques and terminology. Participants will have the opportunity to develop their training skills via hands-on practical work, animal demonstrations, group activities and individual development opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course you will:

  1. Have investigated animal behaviour and animal training theory, terminology and methodology
  2. Explored how animal behaviour and training knowledge can be applied to daily handling, husbandry, behaviour management, public education and problem-solving with focus on exotic animals in zoological and aquarium settings
  3. Be able to create appropriate training plans that take into account the safety of animals and trainers


  • Relationship between animal training and animal welfare
  • Understanding animal’s natural behaviour and individual histories
  • Learning theory and concepts
  • Understanding motivation and communication
  • Husbandry and management training
  • Reinforcement strategies
  • Shaping
  • Training with social groups or groups of animals
  • How to create a Training Plan and record keeping
  • Problem solving
  • Understanding animal aggression
  • Animal and keeper safety Assessment

There may be a short quiz to check understanding if it can be accommodated within the schedule.

Additional information

It is recommended, but not required, that participants read ‘Don’t Shoot the Dog’ by Karen Pryor before attending the course. Full book details: Pryor, K. (2002) Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training. Gloucestershire, Ringpress Books Ltd. ISBN I 86054 232 7

The registration fee is €360 for EAZA Members and €450 for non-members. This includes all course materials and lunch and refreshments during the course.

For questions please contact EAZA Academy Manager Laura Myers


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