Some horses are afraid of everything and every horse seems to be afraid of at least something! Plastic bags on the ground, a rain jacket or poncho, leaves blowing in the wind, water bottles, tarps, umbrellas, bridges, a new jump in the arena, his own shadow….the list could go on forever! This can be extremely […]
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How can research and science help improve animal training? In this section, you’ll find information about research studies that have explored different animal training techniques and how animals learn. By studying learning and behavior, we can learn more about how animals learn and develop more efficient and effective training techniques.
Stereotypical behaviors (abnormal repetitive behaviors) are commonly seen in animals kept in captivity. Polar bears and other large carnivories are notorious for repetitive pacing type behaviors. Grazing animals kept in unnatural or confined environments often resort to chewing on bars or fences or obsessive licking. Other animals rock back and forth, obsessively groom themselves or engage […]
I’ve just started reading Temple Grandin’s lastest book, Animals Make Us Human. I’ve read other books by Temple Grandin, and enjoy her writing style and insight. In the first chapter, she talks about what an animal needs for a good life. This is an incredibly complex question, which has enormous implications for how we manage […]
We’ve been talk about shaping in class, which is one of the neatest things about clicker training. (Actually, there are a lot of neat things about clicker training!) Shaping is teaching a new behavior through successive approximations. Basically, you start with a very low criteria and gradually increase your criteria until you reach your target […]
How do we train our dogs? Do we need to be the alpha dog, the most dominant member of the pack, and insist that our dogs obey us, even if we must use force or punishment? This is the view still advocated by many trainers, but is it a scientifically sound way to train our […]
I just finished reading an interesting article from The Horse about the disease Strangles. I had always been told (and had read in at least several places) that the strangles bacteria, Streptococcus equi, stays in the ground for years and years and years. This is why many people are quite afraid of Strangles, not only […]