Stretching is a very important part of an exercise regimen—even Baranov knows that! Watch the steps I took to teach him how to prep that big neck of his for an intense seal workout:
1. I introduced the signal — a tap on the right side of his neck — and lead his head in a wide roll with my hand as a target.
2. I gave the signal and instead of using a hand target to lead his head around, I brushed his whiskers. I needed to fade out my target hand all together. He's getting the hang of it! So I think he's ready for the next step.
3. I give the signal, and instead of leading is head around by my hand, I tap his other side as his head his coming around. This lets him know where his head needs to go—around the bend towards the tap.
(Since Baranov is a sight-impaired animal, he is really responsive to tactile direction.)
4. Lastly, I take that leap and give him the signal with out extra information.
It's so cool to see that he put it all together!!
Check out our other New Balance Foundation Fitness Friday posts! Watch how Isaac managed to learn an impressive flipper stand, and see Ursula zip across the pool with a little speed swimming.
Marine Mammal Trainers
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We train the Aquarium's Atlantic harbor seals and Northern fur seals for enrichment and to build a trusting relationship that allows for regular medical checkups. Read our posts to learn about what's new with the animals and how we train behaviors.
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