Positive Reinforcement Training

Training with LaToya

Chimp Haven
Chimp Haven July 15, 2018

Clicks and juice for LaToya! This lady recently made some great progress in her positive reinforcement training.

One thing you should know about LaToya is…she doesn’t like to shift. Shifting is something that happens every morning so that staff can clean the chimps’ habitats: all the chimps in a group are asked to come outside while staff are cleaning their bedrooms.

During shifting, Miss LaToya is notorious for sitting in her habitat doorway and letting all her friends back inside (the little sneak!). As you can imagine, it tends to derail the morning routine for her group. So, Awbrea and Jordan set out to find positive ways to encourage LaToya to shift outside each morning.

The red target pictured is placed in the same place each morning and LaToya is asked to meet her trainer at that spot, where they’ll reward her with juice (grape is her fave), or a small food reward like a banana or apple slices. The goal is for her to sit and hang out with her trainer while staff is cleaning her bedroom.

Jordan recently saw some wonderful improvement in their training when LaToya came right out and met her at the target as asked – bedrooms were cleaned in record time, and Jordan squealed to LaToya about what a good girl she was while rewarding her with clicks and juice.

These little breakthroughs help strengthen the bond between trainers and chimps, and help ensure that they can trust and understand each other should an urgent situation ever occur.

Jordan says that Awbrea, LaToya’s primary trainer, has been dedicated to LaToya’s training, and that the foundation she’s built allows other trainers to step in and work with her successfully.

Wonderful work, and click/juice for everyone!

Chimp Haven
Chimp Haven