Over the past several years I have been lucky enough to spend time with Lara and the animals at The Animal Behavior Center. Lara has developed an amazing and truly unique educational facility. As a long-time dog trainer (25 years +) I came to The Animal Behavior Center for the opportunity to learn about and work with new species. Lara’s depth of knowledge about all things bird-related is impressive. But even more impressive is her obvious devotion to the well-being of all the animals in her care and her dedication to positive reinforcement as a basis for her training.
I really admire Lara’s focus on education and freely sharing information related to animal care and training. She works hard to improve the lives of all animals by helping others learn more about scientifically based training methods based on mutual respect and affection.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit The Animal Behavior Center or learn from Lara take it! You will not be disappointed. Lara and her animals are excellent ambassadors for the power of positive reinforcement based training.
Deborah Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology Kent State University at Stark
As someone who does zoo work and runs my own live animal education program, I am quite aware of the impact good quality training can have. After my first meeting with Lara, I knew she was someone in whom I could trust. I have gotten to know her as a colleague and collaborator but I have also had the pleasure of watching her train my own personal birds. Her incredible perception of the subtle cues that many ignore is quite amazing to me. Her common sense approach and her ability to feel her way through training sessions is apparent. Her quick instincts make her one of the most flexible and adaptive personalities with which I’ve had the pleasure of working. I am so thankful for her continued service to our animals and their caretakers.
Jason J. Crean
Lara is a gifted teacher and trainer. She is such an intelligent, special, caring, warm and inviting person! Her center is spectacular and is set up perfectly for any sort of animal you might need help with. She shows you how to achieve the utmost enjoyment from your animal by teaching how to reinforce good behaviors by making it desirable for them to want to continue doing the behavior! There are no words that even begin to express the admiration I have for the gift she obviously has in working with animals in such a positive and make-sense fashion. She is absolutely a wonder! I feel so much gratitude toward Lara for the positive behaviors she has helped me to bring forth, sustain and enjoy in my Kwynn as well as Fetta! The workshop far exceeded any expectations that I had going into it. I am just beside myself with awe at her connection with animals! I highly encourage you to utilize her services if you have some things you wish to work on with your pets.
owner of Fleetwood farms
It was a-freaking-mazing on SO many levels. I can’t even put it into words.
Wheaton College, Massachusetts, vet student and animal trainer
I have attended and held a number of Lara’s workshops and each time I have walked away with a much better understanding of ABA. Her workshops are fun and educational, especially the hands on training workshops. I encourage you to attend at least 1. You won’t be sorry you did.
Animal keepers, trainers, interns, volunteers, and companion animal owners who strive to provide the best lives possible for the animals in their care will benefit immensely from joining the Memberships and the Projects.
Lara’s work with different types of animals across the Memberships and Projects beautifully illustrates how the scientific principles of training, along with the physical and mental benefits of appropriate environmental enrichment, apply universally across species. Her on-line, highly interactive teaching style is truly unique; through sharing unedited livestreams of the progression over time of her training sessions and implementation of enrichment for a wide variety of exotic and domestic animals, Lara is able to both show and explain her work to members in real time, as well as answer questions from members watching live; her livestreams are also conveniently recorded for members to watch later at any time. Through monthly, on-line Q&A sessions, Lara thoughtfully and thoroughly answers members’ specific questions about working with their own animals.
Another exciting benefit of the Memberships and Projects is that members are invited to share short videos of their own training sessions within the group and receive valuable and supportive feedback from Lara and fellow members. The Projects are a great resource for people who desire in-depth learning about the training and enrichment of the specific types of animals featured in each Project, as well as for people like me who have joined all of the (very affordably priced) Projects for the benefit of learning how training and enrichment can be tailored to working with a variety of very different animals. Memberships and the Projects open the door for animal caregivers to receive a steady stream of learning through Lara’s in-the-moment and fun teaching style; she is a gifted trainer and teacher to be treasured in the animal behavior and training community.
When an animal’s caregiver becomes a member of The Animal Behavior Center at any level and/or joins one of the Projects and implements the work Lara teaches, the caregiver will receive the gift of building a better relationship with the animal, and the animal will receive the most valuable gift of all – a better quality of life.
Animal Care & Training Student, Intern, and Volunteer
Your dedication and determination to help little Sunshine are simply heroic and I am so happy to be able to follow his journey.
Your passion for what you do is awe inspiring. I am loving both The Parrot Project and my Level 1 membership. I have listened to your podcasts repeatedly since I found them. I have currently tasked my husband with redesigning Jonah’s PVC play stand to prevent a stagnant environment. You have made such a marked improvement in Jonah’s life. My gratitude cannot be measured. Thank you.
Member of The Parrot Project & Level I
You know when your instincts kick in and tell you something before you have proof?…I knew Lara Joseph was unique and special before I ever even met her. And now that I “have” met her and chatted at length with her, I endorse her 100 percent. A woman with heart, patience and a sense of humor, she is going to take this field by storm… Look out world, you have been gifted with a rare and gifted soul. What I like best about her professionally is that she gives animals what we as humans all want for ourselves…quality of life through communication, love and play. It was an honor to meet you Lara …Thank you for your dedication and look forward to crossing paths with you again soon.
Wildlife Philanthropist, East Bay SF, CA
Thinking of you on Thanksgiving Day and everyday. Sending Love and Gratitude for the myriad things you do for bettering life whether for humans or non humans. Meeting you last Feb was life altering for me. I have learned so much from you and I intend to put it to good use. Your passion is contagious. I love your conversations, use of words and your sense of humor and I often laugh out loud during your livestreams. You are blessed with many gifts. Thank you for sharing them and putting your love and expertise out for the world to see. You are part of Social Media’s Best!
Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden
I can’t tell you the difference your toys have made in the life of this older YNA. He used to never forage and never eat anything fresh. I’ve got him foraging for stuff all the time now and started with getting him to do this with one of your Berrie Blocks. He has graduated to more complex forms of foraging where items are now hidden from view and he must “hunt” to find them. This toy of yours was a good learning tool to teach him this.
Kelly Reed Lucas
As a person who works with non-releasable wild animals that are kept for education purposes, I am always looking for ways to reduce their stress in being at in captivity, and to get them to participate willingly in their own care, such as allowing grooming, going into carriers, and coming to a human’s hand, for example. Positive reinforcement allows me to ‘communicate’ with the animals, and empowers the animal to make his own choices. Lara’s blogs and videos have been very helpful to me in learning the fundamentals of operant conditioning and positive reinforcement, which has allowed me to improve my own training skills. Her videos and blogs illustrate the concepts clearly, and I am most impressed by the helpful videos and descriptions of case studies of real animals learning in this way, which bring the concepts to life in an easy-to-understand, lively way.
PA State Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator
Thank you Lara for the wonderful work you do at the Animal Behavior Center. You are a “Deliverer of Awesomeness”.
Before meeting you, I had been successful at clicker and target training with positive reinforcement that worked well in some birds and animals that responded to my few methods.
For all the ones that didn’t respond to my early learned methods, I ignorantly thought them unteachable and dismissed them. Oh, how I was wrong. My gosh, I just didn’t know and I’m still learning.
Lara, you opened the door for me years ago to understand the science and application of ABA and OC. I get it, and I love it. Over the past few years I have been successfully reaching most any animal with whom I come in contact (wild, domestic, exotic, young, old, angry, disabled, afraid, etc.). My confidence and my ability as a trainer have risen to levels I never thought achievable. My personal relationships with people are also benefiting. I am such a behavior geek now and look every opportunity to provide +R where appropriate. I continue my education, passionate and thirsty for new data and understanding. Having experienced ABA and OC, I see it as much an Art as it is a Science and that has allowed me to venture away from textbook training and recipes and to explore my artistic side. Rewarding artistic improvements in my methods, however small, has led to some accidental leaps towards my own self-improvement as a person and a trainer.
I encourage anyone who desires a stronger relationship with their pet/companion or who wants to delve deep into behavior analysis to check out the help, training and resources that Lara and the staff at the Animal Behavior Center provide.
I strongly recommend looking into the training provided by Lara Joseph at the Animal Behavior Center. One of her programs is called The Pig Project. I’m a member and it is absolutely worth every penny. She is an awesome trainer with years of experience and amazing insight into why our piggies do what they do, and how we can shape their behavior through positive reinforcement.
Member of The Pig Project
Being a member of this group has been life changing for my birds and me. We have gone from questioning my ownership of one of my birds to getting behaviors that I had only dreamed of having with all of my birds. They accept showers that was unheard of before, they can take liquids from a syringe, they know how to target and station and are easily moved from place to place with no force at all, and so many more things! I highly recommend this group to both novice and expert bird owners – there’s always something to learn to give your bird a better life! Lara can help you to do that!
If you have a deaf dog, angry parrot, bonded pigeon or frustrated vulture (it’s illegal to take injured or orphaned animals from the wild, please don’t do this ?), Lara is a non-judgmental, start-where-you-are professional. The best way to help an animal you love with issues they have is to work on how you communicate with them; we weren’t all born knowing how to speak sign language or pigeon or vulture. So please, PLEASE ask a translator for help, if you can’t understand the animals around you. Lara is a translator; it’s her life’s work and clearly what she was put on this earth to do.
Dr. Karen Becker
I never thought in a million years that I would be able to sit in the same room with Pear, my African Grey, in her cage, not screaming. But here I am, one day after your consult and a few Parrot Project videos about Differential Reinforcement. Now I’m able to sit on the couch, write this email, with her happily talking in her cage. I was able to achieve this in one hour after watching your videos. My parrot is now less anxious. She may stop plucking, she may not. But I am thankful that my bird was smart enough to communicate that something was not right. And I am thankful that you were able to be our translator. What a gift you have.
Thank you again and again.
Anna and Pear
Member of The Parrot Project
As a board member and co-conference chair of the Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association we have had Lara speak at our conference the last two years. The first year, we had Lara teach a one hour session and our attendees told us that they wanted more. The following year, we had Lara offer a half day workshop and it was very well received as our conference evaluations indicated.
We were able to watch Lara work wild animals. Lara also offered us an opportunity to observe her in action but more importantly we were offered many hands on opportunities to put in action her methods of positive reinforcement training.
Upon our return to our facility I began to implement the methods that I learned from Lara with some of our education animals. I was totally amazed at how readily our animals took to the training.
I would strongly recommend Lara’s trainings as she is a wonderful teacher and truly has a gift working with animals.
Executive Director Ohio Nature Education Johnstown, Ohio
As a professional trainer, I believe that continued education is really important. I also think it is important to be thoughtful about where you invest your time and money in terms of learning opportunities. Travelling from California to Ohio to spend two days doing Lara Joseph’s Day with the Trainer was so worth it on so many levels. I learned so much. Lara was very committed to working on what I wanted to focus on. She made me feel comfortable and relaxed in her coaching and teaching. Lara and her animals are wonderful teachers and I have every intention of going back to train with them again as soon as I can! I highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in animal training or behavior.
CPDT, CAP2, CNWI San Leandro, California
I’m getting so much from my membership! As a wildlife rehabilitator, parrot rescue (currently with 9 that ALL have major behavior to modify before they are able to be adopted), and a pig mom. We really need this thank you!
Thank you for everything!
Chanel & Animals
Level II Member
You provide a huge amount of information that cannot possibly be learned from theory or books. I am enjoying the course immensely and feel my knowledge has grown massively in just a year. Plus stuff I already know is gelling better – I have a better understanding of it and how it works in practice. There is something to be learned in every video and the Q&As. I LOVE the podcasts too which are easy to listen to when I’m cleaning out the cages
Roz, from the UK
Level II Member
I missed a few years if Euphemia’s growing up beautifulness because I did not know enough about pigs. Actually, when it comes down to it , I knew nothing because what I had learned was incorrect and damaging to our relationship. This caused Euphemia stress which resulted in her causing me great stress and sadness also my husband was very unhappy about it all.
I am so thankful to Lara Joseph you have given me the information and tools to slowly but surely create a happy harmonious life for Lady E myself and my Husband. Although I still have a long way to go before Roderick can have an actual relationship with Lady E , he can see the difference in her and can understand why I love her so much . He can see that your teaching methods work Lara.
Katie Langenheim, in Australia