Animal Training is both an art and a science. The science of applied behavior is a fascinating world. There are several universities in the United States that are noted for their outstanding professors and programs on the subject of behavior analysis. Animal models are commonly used to demonstrate and teach students the fundamentals of behavior analysis.
There are some well known experts on animal behavior who have made it their life's work to educate the general public and the animal training community about behavior analysis. Most of the experts mentioned here have written books on the subject for layman and professional alike. We encourage you to seek out their work should you be interested in furthering your knowledge of behavior analysis.
The International Association for Behavior Analysis is a world wide association based on the work of B.F Skinner and other noted scientific researchers. The conventions of this organization draw together thousands of university professors, scientists and others together to present their work to each other and further the science. Catherine Crawmer has demonstrated applied work with a number of species at these conventions, including a lion, tiger, house cat, goat, horse, koi fish, parrot and a vulture. At one convention Catherine presented with Karen Pryor and others on the new theory of adduction, presenting a video demonstrating its application.
Catherine Crawmer served as the newsletter editor of the Animal Training SIG (special interest group) of the Int. Association for Behavior Analysis for two years and served as chair of a paper session where the presenters were Thad Lacinik of Sea World, Ken Rameriz of Shed Aquarium and Tim Sullivan of the Brookfield Zoo.
Catherine's work has also included the first ever house cat trained to do an agility course. This video is all over the internet, on the web sites of many trainers, and was the catalyst for what has become the sport of cat agility. This video has been shown all over the world by Karen Pryor and other noted behavior experts and is presently included in the Karen Pryor Academy 6 month dog trainer course curriculum.
Catherine has trained a number of house cats including the first and, at this point the only, cat trained to negotiate a full size dog agility course in its entirety, including a full size see-saw, all done in an outdoor venue. This video was shown at Tuft University during a convention for animal trainers.
Catherine's book Here Kitty Kitty; Catherine Crawmer on Training Cats has become a classic on the subject and is recommended by many notable behavior experts including Susan G. Freidman Ph.D of the Gabriel Foundation. This book also won the 2002 Kuykendall Image Award and Muse Medallian offered by the Cat Writer's Association
A vulture is not something people tend to think about when it comes to entertainment or the science of applied behavior analysis but Catherine Crawmer gave the world both with the training of a cara cara bird. This video was literally shown all over the world to academics as well as animal trainers in such notable venues as the conventions of The Marine Mammal Trainers Association, The American Association of Zoo Keepers, The International Association of Behavior Analysis and the North American Falconry Association. The training of this vulture has been used to teach the science of applied behavior by Kent Johnson, Ph.D of Morningside Academy, Gary Wilkes well known dog trainer and behavior expert, Karen Pryor, author of many books on animal training and founder of the Karen Pryor Academy, Sharon Kirkpatrick Sanchez, MS and others including Jon Bailey, Ph.D (see document below)