Understanding Behavior Through Working with Birds
At The Animal Behavior Center, with Lara Joseph
May 18-19, 2024

Due to quickly selling out, popular demand, and positive feedback from attendees last year,
this workshop is being offered again this year.

Seating capacity is limited to ten working spots due to personalized attention and attendees working with the birds.

how to train a bird

Rock-solid recall with a toucanette.

This training workshop is for you if:

  • you already have a basic understanding of positive reinforcement
  • you want to better understand Applied Behavior Analysis and positive reinforcement in working with animals
  • you find yourself struggling with how to approach a variety of animal situations
  • you want to work outside the box and challenge your approach to different behavior and training situations
  • you want to fine-tune your current knowledge of training to learning through different species
  • you currently work with animals professionally and/or want to increase the quality of life of any species you are currently working with
  • you want individualized attention and guidance through working with Lara Joseph and the team at The Animal Behavior Center

Workshop led by Lara Joseph
Professional Animal Behavior Consultant & Trainer

Member of:
zoo associations

Why Birds?


Ready to expand your knowledge through application? Birds can be some of the best teachers. We’ll be working with predator and prey. Both have different approaches through working with the hunter and the hunted. Identifying positive reinforcers is vast and change at a moment’s notice. Many species of birds are considered prey and aversives can be many and we will work on shaping skills in approaching, modifying behavior, teaching behaviors, and focus on fluency. Lara will guide you individually and in groups, pointing out potential issues in your approach and making sure you are set up for success. Our hands-on workshops receive high reviews from peers and other animal training professionals. We’ll be shaping your comfort level in working with a variety of species of birds and send you home with new ideas and approaches to your training and behavior modification struggles.

Birds we’ll be working with:

Black casque hornbills, toucanettes, kookaburras, parrots, and others. Behaviors you can learn can be scale training, recall, syringe training to accept medication, voluntary nail trims, and so much more.


Lara working with a bonded, fearful pair of Black-casque hornbills. In the 2023 workshop, these two will be present during lecture and discussion for a lot of impromptu individual and group training sessions.

Here’s what you’ll get!

  • two full days of interactive training and lecture
  • side-by-side training and guidance with Lara Joseph
  • observe Lara’s training
  • off-contact, protective-contact, and full-contact training
  • learning activities to fine-tune your skills
  • problem solving training situations
  • individualized attention and guidance
  • group discussions with other professionals
  • interaction with a variety of species of birds and behavior to further your learning

Registration is offered first to our members, and then to the public. Once we open it up, you’re encouraged to register as soon as you can. Our first one sold out in less than a week!

Workshop Dates:

May 18-19, 2024

workshop registration button

Working with a bonded, fearful pair of hornbills. Training to get out of and return to enclosure using full and off-contact training

Beginning training recall of a bird with a history of no human contact and fearful of close, human proximity.

Pricing: $700

  • two full days of hands-on training, lecture, and science-application activities
  • participants will work with a variety of species of birds and problem-solving situations
  • limited spots available to be able to focus on individual participants
  • lunch included both days
  • free entry to zoo after both days of workshop

Cancellation policy: Full payment is needed to reserve your spot. If you need to cancel, you have 30 days prior to the workshop to do so. After 30 days, your payment will be refunded if we can find someone to fill your spot.

Travel and Lodging: Visit our travel page for information.

Videos from past workshops

2022 attendee and zoo trainer, Stephanie Cook preparing Koko for a voluntary nail trim.

2022 attendee and avian caretaker, Eva Kline training a pair of high-energy, flighted Hyacinth macaws to station and focus.

Feedback from Attendees

Lara’s workshop is fantastic for people who know the basics of positive reinforcement but would like the hands on experience to get that extra step in training. She starts with interactive activities without animals to learn the beginning steps of positive reinforcement. Then we work with animals with a wide spectrum of personalities, some with lots of experience with strangers and even new animals who are less social.

This is great for introducing the trainers to all animal personality types to prove any animal can be trained. She gives great examples of being able to train all types of animals, such as training her blind and deaf pups, or target and station training the gators.

I love the hands-on experience and learning more of the terminology. She also takes into account specific behaviors attendees would like to train and shows the process. Lara is full of knowledge and I’m glad she decides to share it with people who want better for their animals.

Stephanie C., Zookeeper

I came away from this workshop feeling empowered and more confident in my skills at reading the body language of various species. The exercises were fantastic as they allowed for discussion and critique without negatively effecting an animal. They also allowed for brainstorming on how-to approach a training issue: which also solidified the idea to do this at all times during training. I want to attend the next one too!! My birds are doing better because of my experience. Thank you to all the staff at the Animal Behavior Center that made this experience possible!

Emma Urban

Additional testimonials

Gifted trainer Lara Joseph has designed the Zoo Training Workshop to offer students of animal behavior and training an unprecedented learning experience: to safely work with a wide variety of species of zoo animals, large and small, predator and prey, in public and behind the scenes. Lara teaches developing trainers the importance of having a sound understanding of the scientific principles of training followed up with the practical application of these principles. During the Zoo Training Workshop, Lara’s expert guidance and support provides trainers with a truly unique and highly valuable opportunity to exercise their timing, mechanics and problem-solving skills, through working with species they may have only dreamed of training!

Shaune Whaley

aspiring animal trainer

Training along side Lara Joseph really helped polish my training technique as well as added valuable information to strengthen my training skills. It was a beneficial experience to be able to apply what I learned through the memberships in a controlled environment with someone by my side to guide me if I had any questions. I highly recommend attending one of Lara’s zoo workshops if you’re interested in challenging your training, experiencing new situations and animals to work with, and/or interested in becoming an animal behavior consultant using applied behavior analysis.

Melanie Canatella

zoo workshop

Experiencing Lara’s zoo workshop is exactly that, an experience. It’s something that can’t be replicated in a video or podcast or blog. You have to be there in person to be exposed to an array of species, having personal and immediate feedback on your techniques and seeing the progression that takes place in such a short period of time. Not only with your skill sets but with the amazing animals we worked with as well. Regardless of your species focus this workshop provides growth and refinement in so many areas such as target training, recall, timing, husbandry, medical prep and more. My skills in positive reinforcement have improved drastically through this intimate and hands-on experience. I’m thankful to have been a part of this great workshop and would recommend it to anyone interested in growing their skills.

Joanna Camburn

zoo workshop

Working with Lara Joseph is always an incredible learning experience. This zoo workshop and hands on experience is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to take their training skills using ABA and positive reinforcement to another level. I highly recommend it.

Sylvia Koczerzuk

zoo workshop

The Zoo Training Workshop was an immersive and unforgettable experience. Lara Joseph guides you through an exciting two full days of training a wide variety of species ranging from hoof stock, primates, wild cats, and so much more. It was a challenging but encouraging workshop where I experienced things I never thought I could, all while feeling safe and and receiving one-on-one attention throughout the process. You will start to form bonds with the animals in just two short days and learn how responsive animals can be to positive reinforcement training, all while learning and using the basics of applied behavior analysis. I highly recommend this workshop whether you’ve been training animals your whole life, or maybe just starting out. It was truly an amazing experience!

Amanda Cagna

Zoo Workshop

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Workshop: Understanding Behavior Through Working with Birds May 18-19, 2024

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