Zoos and Sanctuaries

Operant conditioning and enrichment are key elements of successful animal care. They are taking an increasingly important role in managing animal health care, as well as offering quality public education and interactions. Behavior management programs are important tools for providing animal care that meets and exceeds standards for USDA inspection and AZA accreditation.

Train with Trust consults with zoos and sanctuaries for individual behavior projects or for larger institutional goals with a broader scope.


We provide guidance for planning, implementing and evaluating behavioral strategies including:

  • zoosTraining for cooperative husbandry and management (e.g. shifting, scale training)
  • Training for health care and medical treatment
  • Training for public demonstration
  • Training for public interaction
  • Decreasing stress
  • Reducing stereotypic behavior
  • Goal-based enrichment

Behavior Program Development


Successful behavior management programs start with a systematic framework based on broad institutional goals, as well as the focused needs of individual departments and work areas. Comprehensive behavior programs evolve over time and contain plans to assure long-term results and growth in the future. Train with Trust will help your facility to:

  • Prioritize projects for behavior management
  • Establish guidelines for safety, time allocation, resource allocation
  • Develop protocols for project proposals and planning
  • Provide a path for staff development and advancement in behavior management

Classes and Workshops

Seminars and classes are customized for a variety of zoo and sanctuary staff ranging from trainers, caregivers and managers to interns, volunteers and support staff.

Introductory level
These courses teach fundamental behavioral management principles help to jumpstart new programs.

  • Basics of learning theory
  • ABC’s of behavior training
  • Principles of goal-based enrichment
  • Team communication and making training fun

Intermediate level
These classes put fundamental skills to work for everyday applications

  • Managing behavior for animal interactions
  • Managing behavior for education & public demonstration
  • Managing behavior for husbandry and medical care

Advanced classes
These classes enhance existing programs and address complex behavior questions

  • Solving behavior problems
  • Addressing aggression
  • Variability, predictability and consistency
  • Creativity to expand and advance animal programs

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