SSC Pacific Marine Mammal Program

Ever since the Navy realized the amiability of dolphins and sea lions and their potential for working in the sea with human partners, the Navy Marine Mammal Program has relied on the proven techniques of operant conditioning, emphasizing the use of positive reinforcement (correct responses are rewarded while incorrect responses are ignored) to train its animals. The early history of the NMMP coincided with the adaptation and growing use of those techniques among marine mammal trainers and has made a large contribution to pioneering and developing methods commonly used in the industry today.

Training is an important element of a Navy animal's life. In addition to achieving the remarkable behavioral feats the animals perform in the open ocean, training also supplements husbandry and care practices, and provides the mental and physical stimulation that contributes to overall health and welfare.

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Updated: 1/19/2011 11:54 PM EST   Published (1.0)