animal training with Wendy Jeffries

Phone: 951 926-2277 

 P.O. Box 730, Hemet, CA 92546 




Mid 1970s - Puerto Rico was a lot warmer and as the trainer, Wendy didn't have to swim.  Staying dry was still a joke though.  Delfi offers a handshake during the show at Ocean Life Park Sea Aquarium in Pinones near San Juan. 

Delfi and Lila were best friends and swam together daily.  They had to be watched carefully because when Lila tired of swimming the dolphin would not let her climb out. 

Lila would do anything to get close to dolphins.  That included climbing vertical ladders to get to the stage dressed in various costumes.   She loved biting at the splashing water the dolphins eagerly produced.  She would get so excited she usually fell in which amused the audience and the dolphin greatly.



Training Scrapbook- 1970s

Wendy has had a unique animal training career.   Her experience in a variety of species have given her a broad understanding of animal training and behavior modification.  You can't put a choke chain on a dolphin or a parrot but they can still learn to be highly reliable partners in training.   She considers herself lucky to have started her career with various species that can not be forced to cooperate.  Now those same techniques, applied to dogs, birds and house cats, build mutually respectful relationships between pets and their handlers.


How did Wendy get started in animal training? 
Synchronized swimming was her sport in high school and college.  One thing led to another and she spent several years traveling the world with water shows and dolphin shows.  "I froze my tootsies off in more foreign countries than I care to remember," laughed Wendy.  "Ah, the things we do when we are young!"
Here, Wendy enjoys a free ride provided by two dolphins in the "Aquarama" show, based in Argentina.  She performed in El Salvador, Costa Rica, and other exotic South American locations in the 1970's.

(click photos to see larger versions)

When Wendy wasn't  touring with a water or dolphin show she worked as an animal portrait artist.  Photographing, then painting clients' pets drew on all her abilities with dogs, cats and horses.  Here, Wendy's boxer named Lila poses beside her puppy portrait while at a Miami art show.   

More artwork by Wendy

Training wild or aggressive animals:
Wendy didn't know a thing about sea lions and stories about their dangerous bites were not encouraging, but the aquarium where she  worked had three untrained animals.  She gave it a try.  This is where she first began to appreciate the value of teaching tricks to problem animals.  Now Wendy counsels parrot owners to do the same and not worry about taming them.  By simply teaching a few parlor tricks, aggressive behavior will no longer be an issue.

In the photo at left, Flaco taps Wendy on the rear to say, "Hey you forgot this ring on my neck."

He was the most aggressive of the three sea lions before training.  No one would get near him!  Training behaviors turned him into Wendy's best buddy and favorite performer.  She was never bitten and all three became very trustworthy.



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