Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Showed Indian River yesterday
Not a good day here for A.O's
Our fridge went on the fritz
It is a "dead issue" as my father inlaw would have said
Working on replacing it
Till then it is coolers and ice
Hopefully tomorrow

Any how
Here are a few videos of Radar learning to work the act

First I will point out that Radar is doing great
However here are a few things on movement
I feel tigers move similar to horses
You body direction and speed will make them move
Tigers also have a set distance of fight or flight
In other words
Flicking a tiger with a whip from outside a certain distance
Will make it flight or run
The same flick from inside that distance will make it turn
To defend itself
Because it feels fleeing is not the safest move
This distance is not exactly the same with every cat
So it comes with feeling
And both should be used
For instance
He starts by pushing the first cat off its seat
The cat turns to go, then stops
Radar backs up and hesitates
Then a second later decides to apply pressure
To late, the cat was already in motion to go
And was corrected for making the correct decision

The second cat go fairly easy
But also at her own pace
Not really paying any mind to what Radar is doing or where
This is good in this case because the moving left then right
Then left again, would have confused her if she thought about it

Third cat is even better
She doesnt even look, just goes rite to the spot and drops
Radar did at least stand still and let her do her thing
Sometimes less is more

Fourth cat
This is not so good
I try to never ever walk behind a cat walking to a set spot
I tell it to go
Then make it go at my speed
If you follow behind, inside the fight distance
Then it stops and you flick it to go
It may turn around to argue with you
And you never want them to know they can argue

The sit up itself is ok
He is standing a little too close putting un needed pressure
Causing the one to back out a little

Now I don't want anyone to take any of this wrong
This was Radar's first week
And he will obviously improve
I am just trying to explain movement and pressure
So as we all might have an idea of what we are seeing later
Not that I am an authority
I just have a little cat act on a little mud show
And these are just my theories on the subject
There are surely many trainers out there
With many different styles

Valerie took this picture yesterday
I feel it is the best picture I have of me and a cat



Anonymous said...


Tejano said...

Casey, thanks for commentary on the question I had earlier. I have rerun the video several times to follow what your comments were. Control is important, from what I gather, but to a point, never pushing a tiger, a feel you must develop. Posture, important, you have to show the cats confidence, no fear. Getting in a cage with four large creatures who can turn you into an ala carte meal can be a bit intimidating. Thanks for your post on this subject! Oh..on the music end, going to go see Tommy Emmanuel next week in Austin. Hear of him?


Casey McCoy Cainan said...

Control with out fear is the key. An animal is only really really dangerous when it is scared. If we could eliminate the fear factor completely the tigers would be harmless to any one bigger then what the considered prey. Pushing the cats is needed, but must be done from far enough away they feel they can get away from the pressure.
On Tommy Emmanuel. I had not heard of him, but I will check him out. If you get a chance while in Austin, try and see my amigo Shad Blair play. Great songwriter from Paris, but he has been livin and giggin in Austin for a few years now.

Casey McCoy Cainan said...

Thanks Lauren!

Dion said...

Obviously the kid hasn't learned the proper footwear for practice yet.

john herriott said...

It is interesting that you would take "green broke act". Yes I believe any act that has parts "still in training" would be green broke and try to turn it over to another person to me would be very confusing for the animals and for what purpose? I always preferred to have the act "well in hand" before someone else showing them. Unfortunately that has not always been the case and it happens that alot can get lost along the way. Especially if it be a noive to start with, as seems to be the case. I guess you know what you are doing. Also I have found that elevating the groom intro a trainer-presenter can go backward in many cases. So be it.

Jack Ryan said...

Agree, Casey. That's the best action shot of you and a cat that I've yet seen. You should consider letting KM use it for publicity purposes.

Enjoyed reading your play-by-play while watching Radar in the video. Taught me things I never knew about tiger training. And, yes, he's really doing well and will just get better and better.

Casey McCoy Cainan said...

Mr. Herriot,
Those are all good concerns. First I will say Radar came here with the intentions of learning how to "train" animals. I told him I would teach him. His father has been an elephant man since before he was born, so I think he knows about "groomin" for someone. And he does a fine job of it for me. As far as confusing the animals. This act will never "not" have new things being trained. I will continue to add new things on these cats until I run out of ideas (no worries folks I got a million) however Radar puts the cats through the first 8 or 9 behaviors which the cats are solid on and very push button. I think so far it has been great for the cats and Radar. They are learning to accept someone else working them, and he is learning how to make them work.

GaryHill said...

Casey, who is Radars dad?

Ryan Easley said...

He has worked at the Dickerson Park Zoo and Grant's Farm. He replaced Donn Gibson at the St. Louis Zoo as the third and final elephant trainer for the institution. He was the first elephant manager at Riddle's Elephant Sanctuary. That is in addition to private work, consulting, etc in the zoo, private and circus fields for thirty years.

Steve said...

Tejano/Casey - Tommy Emmanuel = Aussie!

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