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English III Honors; 1st Period
18 January 2011
A Dolphin Trainer is a dream career of many people! Almost everyone has seen a dolphin, read or had some type of interaction with them. It’s amazing how such these beautiful creatures can perform such cool tricks. It’s even more amazing what the trainers have to do to instruct the animals to perform the tricks, it might seem easy while they are cueing the dolphins, but there is so much more behind of all of it. What people don’t see is the unique dolphin-human relationship, planning and time they put in. Dolphin trainers have to go through a lot of school, and training before they make it their profession. Just like any other marine mammal trainer, the challenges and dangers are just a part of their everyday life.
When choosing dolphin training as your profession, you have to realize what you’re actually getting into. There is a lot more than just playing and teaching the mammal a trick. You can prepare yourself in high school by taking extra math and science classes such as Marine
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Biology and Chemistry. Many trainers pursue in Biology, Marine Biology, Psychology, and Animal Behavior in college. There isn’t any specific college for marine mammal training, but the college you choose will depend in your interest. Once you get your degree in the field you want to study then you can start the stages of becoming a dolphin trainer which include many different methods of studying and learning the animal’s behavior. Brown says “Training is a very much two-way communication process” (20) the trainer must adjust to the dolphin also; you cannot force the animal to do something that it does not wish to do.
While a formal education is very important, the only real way to gain the understanding and skills needed to successfully care for and train marine mammals is by working with them under the supervision and tutelage of senior team members. Many people have unrealistic expectations of what a trainer does. It is a very rewarding career, but it is also a very tough job. It may take years of on the job training before a staff member is able to work independently or actually train new behaviors. Much of a trainer’s daily duties include cleaning, preparing fish, cleaning, feeding and training, cleaning, writing records, cleaning, performing in shows or demonstrations, public education and interaction and more cleaning. Employers want to hire people who already know what the job is really like and are ready to take on all of these important responsibilities. No one wants to hire or work with someone who is only interested in the fun stuff or quits after a short period of time. Voluntary and professional experience with all animals, especially large mammals, is a great way to demonstrate this type of understanding and commitment. Many trainers got their first practical experience by volunteering at local zoos,
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veterinary hospitals, wildlife rehabilitation centers, animal shelters or horse stables. Often the next step may be a paid position as a summer job, seasonal or part time keeper or trainer’s assistant. Many facilities are busy during the summer or holiday seasons and hire extra entry level staff. These types of jobs allow management staff to evaluate a candidate's qualifications and potential and decide if they have what it takes to move on to the next step as a full time position as a professional marine mammal trainer.
The trainer’s response to the dolphin will either increase or decrease depending on the behavior that reoccurs. If the behavior is by something the dolphin likes it is most likely to increase. If the trainer’s response is not agreeable the dolphin will tend to just avoid that particular behavior. When then dolphin responds positively you want to award him or her to show that they are doing a good job and hopefully they will do it again. Not only...
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