SK: clicker training

Jeff Calhoun jeffrycalhoun at
Mon Jan 4 16:20:07 PST 2010

You could try associating something like a raisin with the click.  Then later, reward a natural behavior with a click and a raisin. Hunger will not go away, especially in Winter. Use this as a motivator.  Intelligence varies greatly regarding its type and amount, so if you can't train this one, don't give up on another.  Time of day could make a difference as well (amount of sleep before training).  Many get very good at discovering how to get what they want.  I don't know how well they will respond to a click.  They can respond to voice, smell and routine. Mine learned that a small meal would come after his training. They do enjoy play and intimacy. 7 months seems old enough.  If you wait too long, he will be rigid.  It is more difficult to train them new things when they are older.

----- Original Message ----
From: Bryan Summerford <bsummerford at>
To: "skunks at" <skunks at>
Sent: Mon, January 4, 2010 11:51:18 AM
Subject: SK: clicker training

I have a 7mo old male neutered skunk.  We are trying to use him in our education program at the zoo.  So far he has been great as far as walking on a leash with a harness and allowing us to cut his nails.  We have tried to start clicker training him, but he does not appear to be getting it so far.  He is just so excited looking for food he doesnt pay much attention.  I have upped his daily diet a little in hopes that he wont be as hungry and may pay more attention.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  This is our first skunk at the zoo that we are actually trying to train behaviors.  Any ideas would be great!

Bryan Summerford
aquarist/central zone animal keeper
Skunks maillist  -  Skunks at
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