Working with Fearful Horses

This is my contribution to #Train4Rewards challenge. Ollie is a fearful horse.  I’ve said for years that he’s afraid of air or that he’s neurotic, although the word “neurotic” can’t really be applied to horses and that word is also … Continue reading

Gallery | Leave a comment

Breather Behaviors

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Originally posted on zoomdog:
No breather behavior here! Pony loves to tug for her reward. We all have seen it, even though we might not have realized it at the time. A dog that doesn’t out a toy when asked,…

Gallery | Leave a comment

In Defense of Education

Well written. Straight and to the damn point!

Fearfuldogs' Blog

cartoon of shrugging dog with questionsThe dog training industry may be among the few professions in which people with a lack of understanding and limited or no education are glorified, even given their own TV shows, while those who have chosen to become educated are held up for ridicule. Heaven forbid you know a few big words and have the temerity (temerity: excessive confidence or boldness; audacity) to use them. Chefs probably have a deeper and broader understanding of the science of cooking than many dog trainers have of learning.

Imagine sitting around with a group of pilots and one saying with a sneer, “I don’t know what all this wind sheer and lift is you’re all going on about, I just fly the damn plane,” and the other pilots raising their glasses in a toast and high fiving. Or a physician boasting that they’re not even sure what blood pressure is, they just take…

View original post 391 more words

Posted in Clicker Training | Leave a comment

Lumping and the Environment, Part 4

Recently, I have been traveling and co-teaching with my friend and co-conspirator, Peggy Hogan.  She had flown to the east coast from her home in California to do two clinics – one in Greensboro, North Carolina, and one in Pennsylvania … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ollie, Splitting the Environment, Body Awareness, and Impulsion, 5-10-16

Many of my blog posts have been updates on the boys’ training.  This is one of those.  But it is also related to the “Lumping and the Environment” series because Ollie and trailering skills is what got us to look … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lumping and the Environment, Part 3

In my last two blogs, I talked about lumping and the environment – how I woke up to the phrase and how it made me look at what I was already doing with a fresh perspective. In this blog, I … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lumping and the Environment, Part 2

What does it mean to “lump the environment”? Most of us who practice “clicker training” already know about splitting the behavior into smaller pieces when shaping a new behavior.  What would be easier than this behavior?  Was that a tiny … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Release: Giving Your Horse Dignity

Another great one from Anna Blake.

Relaxed & Forward: AnnaBlakeBlog

WM Clara eye.heartDo you remember the very first time you heard the term Natural Horsemanship? I loved the sound of those words together. It felt holistic and honorable, and well, natural.

And there was a gap between what I thought those words should mean and what the work looked like in real life. The concept of pressure and release was supposed to be an improvement over traditional methods. Not some much; my favorite training quote from Xenophon in 430BC,

For what the horse does under compulsion… is done without understanding; and there is no beauty in it either, any more than if one should whip and spur a dancer.

Instead there were frantic horses running in circles or horses so shut down that their eyes were dead. The human had an arsenal of signature halters, whips and ropes. Extreme tack designed to make up for our shortcomings. To be fair, we…

View original post 855 more words

Posted in Clicker Training | Leave a comment

Splitting and Lumping and Reinforcers and the Environment

I’ve been working with Ollie on his trailering skills a lot lately.  His challenges, as I may have mentioned before, are quite different from Atty’s.  Ollie’s have more to do with generalized fear and anxiety.  He’s afraid of air, really.  … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Lives of Streeties – The story

Very interesting study.

Nishi Diaries

Cloud 1 Click on image to back this project

“Lives of Streeties” is an ongoing study that I am conducting on the street dogs of Bangalore, India. Streeties is a term of endearment that Bangaloreans use to refer to the dogs that roam free on the streets of the city.

The whole thing started when a question was raised in class “How much exercise do dogs need?” We figured that studying free ranging animals in their natural habitat yields such answers. After all, animals in the wild do not need to be told what the optimal exercise is for them. They just know. But observing wild dogs (Cuon alpinus & Lycaon pictus) would not answer the question for our domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). That’s when I realized that studying the street dogs of urban India would be a close approximation of studying free ranging dogs in an…

View original post 1,223 more words

Posted in Clicker Training | 1 Comment