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Cats Can Be Trained - Even to do Acrobatics - Find out How!
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You have heard of and probably seen the dogs that have been trained to do all sorts of acrobatic movements. But cats that can ride skateboards, ring bells, walk a high wire and even run an agility course? Today, hear all about the "Acro-cats" who do all the above things and play music (although not exactly your top 40 hits.) and find out how they learned to do all these things. You may not want to train your cat to play the drums, but the technique used, clicker training, to teach the cats, have many benefits and applications for your cats. In my second segment, dogs take the center stage as we find out how dancing dogs learn to do those fancy moves as we speak with Anna Schloff from The World Canine Freestyle Organization.
Episode Segments:
Wild About Pets: The Acrocats
Samantha Martin, owner & trainer for Amazing Animals by Samantha talks about how she was able to train her cats, and gives some simple ways to teach your own cat to obey commands.
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Wild About Pets: Training Your Cats
Samantha talks about the simple, yet effective use of clicker training in teaching her animals. She also talks about some of the animals she has trained for film, and how you can use training to discourage negative behaviors in your pets.
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Wild About Pets: Dancing With Dogs
Anna Schloff talks about how dogs can be trained to dance with a human, how she got her start in this unusual category of dog training, and what we can expect to see when the dancing dogs take to the floor at the Great American Pet Expo.
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Look While You Listen
Click here to view the photos Susan and her guest are discussing

Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Samantha Martin
Samantha Martin has been training animals for decades, beginning with her family dogs as a child and growing into a full time career and company located in Chicago. As owner and trainer for Amazing Animals by Samantha, Ms. Martin provides animals for award winning documentaries, short films and commercials. She has worked with a wide variety of animals ranging from wrangling a tarantula for a Megadeth music video to training chickens to perform natural behaviors on cue for The Natural History of the Chicken. The main focus of her company and her work is with domestic cats. Samantha owns over 20 cats and performs a one hour show called The Acro Cat show. The cats perform and impressive array of tricks, from one cat pushing a barrel while another cat runs through the barrel to an all cat three piece band called The RockCats. Samantha uses training as a positive and fun way to interact with her cats, giving them an activity that is both entertaining and healthy for them to do. She speaks with her audience at shows, encouraging training as a way to change negative behaviors cat may perform, such as clawing up furniture or knocking items of shelves, into something fun and interactive for both pet and owner. Samantha has a degree in small animal husbandry and has been certified in clicker training through several well known seminars in the U.S. She also trained under the tutelage of the late Moe DiSesso, a world renowned animal trainer. She has been interviewed for two books on animal training and is a well respected animal behaviorialist. Samantha’s animals have appeared on The Tonight Show, Animal Planet, PBS and in both local and national commercials. Just recently, she provided the animals for “Witless Protection Program”, a major film released in February of 2008.

Click here to learn more about her amazing cats

Anna Schloff
Anna Schloff started dancing with her dog Lacey back in 1996 as the first freestyler from Michigan. She became a member of the famous Puperoni freestylers and went on to become one of the founding members of the Freestyle Fanatics that is a World Canine Freestyle Organzation Club One of the first board members for World Canine Freestyle Organization, she helped founder Patie Ventre create the now world wide titling organization for freestyle. She is a WCFO Judge, a Proficiency Judge and K9 Dressage Judge in training. She has taught workshops, classes and judged freestyle in several countries around the world. Anna is now President of WCFO, Judges Advocate and Junior Advocate, Anna has titled 3 labs in freestyle, and many more in obedience, field, breed, and agility. Lacey her first freestyle dog received her WCFO dance dog title as well as Louie in both HTM and MF. Along with obedience and field titles Danny, one of her other dogs, is the youngest dog to pass MF Proficiency at 4 months old and has won many other awards. Anna and Danny have just earned their beginner K9 Dressage title to be the second dog to earn this title. They are also competing in Pro Stars at the WCFO International Conference in Colorado in July


Samantha's Martin's Acro-Cats and the Rock Cats Perform

An Example of Dancing with Dogs. This is the famous duo, Carolyn Scott and Rookie, a Golden Retriever