Many facilities have a strict hands-off policy. At Indigo Mountain we have a strict policy of hands-on with the canines and work closely through the fencing with the bears. Regardless of their backgrounds each and every animal receives a lot of one on one attention with its caregivers. Our volunteer program requires a strict time commitment to insure constancy in the volunteer’s relationships with the animals.
We do not believe in training animals to perform tricks, however, we do basic training such as sit, stay, down. We work with the bears to teach them “Wide” which is a cue to open their mouths to look at their teeth or inject medication. We also teach “No bite” “No strike” and “No claw”.
Training the animals in this manner increases the intellectual focus of the animal in addition to the bond with the caregiver. The socialization to humans throughout their lives is a necessary ingredient in maintaining happy, healthy animals.