Advanced Animal Training Workshop

The advanced animal training workshop is an immersive four day retreat that offers a deeper dig into animal behavior. WithAvian Behavior International Workshop a main focus of training time in the field with ABI’s animals, attendees will have the opportunity to work through mentored sessions with professional animal trainers honing their skills.  Here at Avian Behavior International, we have a strong background working with companion parrots, birds in educational programs, and falconry birds of prey. That said, with our qualified staff and co-trainers and various farm animals, reptiles, and companion animals, we are excited to provide a well-rounded experience for attendees looking to enhance their knowledge. Animal training opportunities will involve a wide variety of bird species, farm animals, dogs, and even reptiles to look at concepts cross species and learn how to develop a creative behavioral toolkit.  From miniature donkeys to ravens, goats to toucans, attendees will work with a variety of species to offer a wide range for students to practice this approach. The customized format also includes a question and answer panel and case studies discussion to address specific questions and learn how to incorporate these practical skills into our daily lives.

The advanced animal training workshop explores five main topics across the course of the retreat:

  • Training veterinary and husbandry behaviors
  • Building sensitivity as an animal trainer
  • Environmental arrangement to avoid fear and aggressive responses
  • Creating complex behavior through shaping
  • Different approaches to changing undesirable behavior
  • The how’s, when’s and why’s of food and non-food reinforcers


What You Will Take Home

This animal training workshop and retreat is designed to take our guests to the next level of their relationship with the animals in their care. Coursework and practical application with ABI’s animals will allow attendees to practice and refine complex concepts across species.  Utilizing various aspects of learning theory, including operant conditioning and natural behavior, students will come away with skills to create motivation and support appropriate behavior through environmental design and innovative animal husbandry practices.

Who This Retreat is For

This animal training workshop is animal keepers, owners, and trainers that have an understanding of operant conditioning and learning theory. It’s recommended  that advanced workshop guests will have attended a workshop, conference, or online course before and want to continue their exploration of animal behavior and creative problem solving. While we have a strong attendance in companion parrot owners, this course also fits well with industry professionals and other animal lovers excited about animal behavior.

Workshop Leaders and Training Team

Trainers Hillary Hankey of Avian Behavior International, Chris Shank of Cockatoo Downs, Cari Clements Inserra of the San Diego Zoo and the training team of Avian Behavior International

Current Dates Available

Wednesday January 29 – Saturday February 2, 2019
(Optional Tuesday Night Icebreaker)

Registration includes four lunches, Saturday dinner, snacks and beverages, and transportation to and from recommended hotels.

Early bird registration through December 20, 2018: $875
Regular registration after December 16, 2018 : $975

Recommended Hotels

Booking online offers the best room prices

Best Western Escondido Hotel
1700 Seven Oakes Road Escondido, CA
(760) 740-1700

EconoLodge Inn and Suites Downtown Escondido
515 Washington Ave Escondido, CA
(623) 748-7681

Terms and Conditions

Workshop Testimonials

My experience with Hillary Hankey and her expert Avian Behavior International colleagues and amazing animals was inspiring. Although I have studied the application of behavior science to animal behavior and training in many hands-on work-shops, I highly recommend Hillary Hankey and Avian Behavior International where you can learn, regardless of your level of skill, in a highly supportive and enriching multi-species environment set in the stunningly beautiful hills of Escondido, California.
-Patricia K. Anderson, PhD, CPBC

The ABI Training workshop was one of my favorite animal experiences of all time!  Very well done, and very useful information delivered in a fun and interactive manner.  Hillary and her team are a wealth of information on training and animal behavior.  I would highly recommend the ABI Training Workshop to anyone that is interested in improving their animal training skills, working with unique species hands on, and having a blast all at once!
-Paige Davis, World Bird Sanctuary

Prior to the ABI workshop I had no bird experience. Working with Hillary, her amazing guest trainers from around the country and amazing animals was a great experience. The content was easy to understand and we had tons of time to ask questions and join in on discussions about the covered topics. The training techniques can be used with all animals and has helped me train the many different animals on my ranch. Since the workshop I have also acquired two birds and have continued training with the techniques I learned there. I would highly recommend this workshop for anyone interested in building a solid foundation in bird training.
-Jason Duncan, Janda Exotics Animal Ranch

I was fortunate to attend a five-day workshop at Avian Behavior International earlier this year. The instructors were educated, compassionate and skilled animal professionals, and excellent educators. It was the perfect setting to work on/acquire new skills in a safe, supportive environment. It’s also a unique opportunity to work with a wide variety of bird species and hoofstock. I look forward to attending many more ABI workshops in the future!
-Jennifer Michelle Phillips, Canine Behavior Science