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Why you think I need a credential to teach simple behaviours to my pets?
I can't speak for anyone else here, but to be very clear, I didn't say you need credentials. I said there's no real utility or benefit for this type of thing on a hobby level.

If something stuff like weighting,
Haven't had to weigh a frog (or a snake, or a monitor, or a gecko, or a chelonian, etc.) in many years of keeping these animals. That's a solution looking for a problem.

[...] head count, visual health checks, and stimulus to the captive animal don't convince you guys, I don't know what will, maybe because would be fun? Interact other than just watch them maybe?
Both unnecessary. As for 'stimulus', that's an interesting point, but how do you gauge what's stimulating vs. what's stressful for a small neo-tropical dart frog? Honest question. What follows is another question:

How can you provide stimulation for the animal's built-in, evolved suite of instincts?

These things come to mind immediately:
  • Providing a lot of space in multiple dimensions
  • Providing a variety of prey items, novel situations to forage and hunt for those items (e.g. heights, in leaf litter etc.)
  • Simulating wet and dry seasons and weather
  • Simulating fresh deadfall -- the frogs will investigate novel items
All of which seem less fraught than trying to run operant conditioning on them.

As for fun and interaction, I get plenty from daily maintenance and feeding of the little monsters. If I wanted more interaction in a more traditional "pet" sense, I'd probably just get a budgie, a cat or a chipmunk or a rat...all of which make better "pets" in the traditional sense than a dart frog ever will.

I didn't expect you guys, in a group of frogs, would be so close minded to teach frogs things
So if someone disagrees with you and provides reasons for doing so, they're "close minded"? LOL....come on. You may want to re-think that last bit.
 

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Dendrobates Tinctorus “Azureus”, Epipedobates Anthonyi “Santa Isabel”, and also myself.
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As for fun and interaction, I get plenty from daily maintenance and feeding of the little monsters. If I wanted more interaction in a more traditional "pet" sense, I'd probably just get a budgie, a cat or a chipmunk or a rat...all of which make better "pets" in the traditional sense than a dart frog ever will.
These guys are entertaining in a way that you don’t seem to fully understand, @Ruiqlav. They aren’t an animal that you can play, touch, or interact with you. There an animal that can be silly or entertaining without interaction. It’s like watching a show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
what's stimulating vs. what's stressful for a small neo-tropical dart frog? Honest question.
How do you do otherwise? For a small neo-tropical dart frog locked in a glass cage so meticulously built by you? The non hypocritical argument would be "let them to the wild" don't you think?


These guys are entertaining in a way that you don’t seem to fully understand, @Ruiqlav. They aren’t an animal that you can play, touch, or interact with you. There an animal that can be silly or entertaining without interaction. It’s like watching a show.
I got it man I don't go about cuddling my fishes and all that... Anyways I just wanted to find someone that tried that I could chat with, I don't want any beef
 

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I prefer them to teach me.
 

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I got it man I don't go about cuddling my fishes and all that... Anyways I just wanted to find someone that tried that I could chat with, I don't want any beef
If you want to train your frog, you should realize that training your frog will have the same outcomes as cuddling your fish, the latter having more serious results though.

I think you get the point though. This thread has spiraled out of control.
 

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How do you do otherwise?
I already addressed that in the same post you quoted, by pointing out they come with a suite of built-in instincts that can be engaged, with the reasonable expectation that it's unlikely to cause them stress or discomfort, vs. a completely novel input.

Note that I said "reasonable expectation" because I don't pretend to know all the answers, I just try to work within a safe margin for error.

For a small neo-tropical dart frog locked in a glass cage so meticulously built by you? The non hypocritical argument would be "let them to the wild" don't you think?
Where do you see hypocrisy? I've stated more than once on this forum that we keep these animals for entertainment. I've also stated that from an ecological standpoint captive dendrobatid populations in the hobby are null, that is to say effectively 'dead' because they will never be part of a re-introduction program.

I also think that setting up operant conditioning with novel inputs they may not be reasonably expected to encounter in the wild, is not equivalent to maintaining a suitable habitat within a confined area.

To recap, the scenarios you suggested are either unnecessary or accomplished via less intrusive, observational means.

The 'entertainment' scenario is dubious at best. (EDIT: the idea of training them for fun) And I don't see how non-intrusive rearing and maintenance of these animals in confinement, is actually equivalent to possibly stressing them out to condition them in unnatural ways, which seems to be the position you're taking -- quite a methodological leap at best, a logical fallacy at worst.
 

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Really? Elaborate, please.
If you’re going to bother the frog a lot in a theoretic situation, the frog will experience stress. We all know stress can sometimes lead to death.

Handling a fish can cause short-term stress if it isn’t already dead from being out of water for so much time. (yet again, I’m not really in the aquarium hobby.) Furthermore, you can spread pathogens to the fish or the fish can spread pathogens to you if you have a cut.
 

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If you’re going to bother the frog a lot in a theoretic situation, the frog will experience stress. We all know stress can sometimes lead to death.

Handling a fish can cause short-term stress if it isn’t already dead from being out of water for so much time. (yet again, I’m not really in the aquarium hobby.) Furthermore, you can spread pathogens to the fish or the fish can spread pathogens to you if you have a cut.
There’s a branch of different outcomes caused by handling a fish and training a frog correctly can work explained by the videos (I don’t know what happens behind the scenes though.), but if the training fails, training can have the same outcome as handling a fish, albeit with more of a straightforward outcome.
 

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First video: "Finally the frog understood" -- the frog was investigating because like a lot of captive frogs know, the presence of humans often = food. It didn't 'understand' anything initially. The rest is not really so different from my terribilis instantly looking upwards at me and approaching the door if they hear the tap of a plastic fruit fly container. The claim about 'weighing them for health' is unnecessary outside of a lab setting.

I don't think anyone here will look at that video and really think the frogs are stressed, but pointing out that it's essentially useless and has the potential for going quite wrong, is just responsible input from keepers who know these animals.
 

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First video: "Finally the frog understood" -- the frog was investigating because like a lot of captive frogs know, the presence of humans often = food. It didn't 'understand' anything initially. The rest is not really so different from my terribilis instantly looking upwards at me and approaching the door if they hear the tap of a plastic fruit fly container. The claim about 'weighing them for health' is unnecessary outside of a lab setting.

I don't think anyone here will look at that video and really think the frogs are stressed, but pointing out that it's essentially useless and has the potential for going quite wrong, is just responsible input from keepers who know these animals.
The videos never show the frogs being in any kind of stress but if you train them in the wrong way or do it way too often, it can be stressful for the frogs, especially shyer frogs.

You’re right. If it isn’t stressful, it’s utterly useless.
 

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The claim about 'weighing them for health' is unnecessary outside of a lab setting.
Sorry if I’m hijacking the thread but isn’t it clear to the regular hobbyist to just read off the image of the frog for its weight? Maybe it’s not clear for some frogs (example: female anthonyi and tricolors) but you can still clearly see if the frog is thin or even obese.
 

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Maybe the experiment (such as it is) was for a class project or something, so they needed to make it sound relevant for marks. Who knows.
 

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People new to keeping exotics often become motivated by many ideas and plans. Animals are exciting. There is often a vulnerability to absorb influences and concepts that a person - maybe even the same person - would recognize as a flawed goal when they have gained some discernment. Hopefully.
 

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Zookeeper here. I don't train my frogs; I would make the case that several of the frogs I've worked with have been conditioned to tong feed, etc, but I don't train them with clickers or operant conditioning, and I don't really know any other keepers that do either. I just don't see the point, most herps do not need or desire human interaction, they want to sit on a log or under a leaf all day and be left alone. It has been my experience (easily 20+ years at this point) that the less you bother and mess with herps, the better they do.

I've never trained my personal frogs either, nor needed to get weights as a visual assessment of their BCI is all I've ever really needed to know if something was up or not. Plus, with darts, whatever scale you use will not be accurate considering they weigh a paltry amount of grams, and scales are just not that accurate unless you're getting lab grade scales, which, why?
 

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There is a real concern with the notion of "Training my Frog" becoming a part of motivation for getting dart frogs. People like to copy things.

The weighing and other specious "reasons" are not even actively relevant. Like a dart frog is a pregnant ibex or something that needs to be trained to step up on a scale rig.
 

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The frogs are being applied novel stressor input. Its not beneficial to the frogs. It fuels no benefit of fitness because it is a novel stressor according to the biology of stress.

Many examinations and experiments have used novel stressor designs to find out things. But it rings unethical in 'pet' circumstances.
 

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The rest is not really so different from my terribilis instantly looking upwards at me and approaching the door if they hear the tap of a plastic fruit fly container.
Technically speaking, this is already some kind of conditional (you could say unwillingly trained) behaviour. Same for my frogs. My mantella tend to gather in a half circle each morning around the spot where flies are usually dumped. My auratus come hopping when they hear the tank door slide open and closed again looking for food in the usual spot where I feed them. All of these are following Pavlov's training to some degree. There is a cue, followed by a reward.

I don't want to encourage the "click" or "get on a scale" type of training, but technically we are all already conditioning our frogs by following a certain routine. And the frogs are tuned in on it, which is what we like. You feed the frogs and they come out. You see the frogs and they can feed and do other froggy stuff within the boundries of their instincts. Everybody is happy.
 

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novel stressor inputs are not the same as averse stimuli although they can often be. I had to habituate a vieled chameleon to a simple novel stressor action once because of a procedure i knew was necessary in his near future. It was a simple action of placing my hand behind his casque and shoulder area, and then reaching over with my other hand. When he no longer had a strong reaction to this action, which I did quietly and without fanfare daily when he was in a reachable position on perch, he was ready to have the procedure with a portion of the initial stress response to being approached and touched, mitigated.

But it was necessary. Imo. I liked him very much and wanted it to be less unpleasant, fear wise.
 

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The hand over brief clasp described may not actually fit the criteria for a novel stressor (otherwise termed unnatural stressor) it may have actually replicated a predatory event, ie, close call encounter which would be considered a natural stressor - that which there is an evolutionary precedence for, with a consequence of hardwired neural and biochemical responses.

I am not sure and would appreciate an animal behavioralist opinion on it.

What I am sure of, is that it wasnt gratuitous.
 
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