Do a little research on dog and horse training, and you’ll find an
almost intimidating amount of information, advice and tips. Some
information may be simple, some very complex, and some may
contradict others. Everything from traditional to clicker training, to
positive training, natural training, and “whispering.”
No matter what type of training you use, there are some basic
“training truths” which will help, whether training a dog or horse
(or cat, or chicken, or whatever animal you are working with).
1. EVERY interaction with your animal is training. Make sure you
use any time you spend with them to reinforce and instill proper
training. That goes for leading your horse in or out of the stall,
feeding your dog, or just hanging out and spending quality time.
They and you are always learning with every interaction.
2. Be consistent. Always reward or correct for behavior every time.
Even if you are in a hurry, don’t “let it slide” or you could confuse
animal and undue what you taught. If you expect your horse to
stand quietly as you mount, make sure they do that every time
(even if you are in a hurry to get out on the trail or arena). If you
expect your dog to sit before giving him the food bowl, make him
sit … every time.
3. Never lose your patience or temper. Losing your temper or
being impatient and/or nervous around an animal you are training
can result in conveying nervousness and unsurety in the animal. A
true leader is one with confidence and control. Losing your cool
can also cause you to lose your focus, and can cause mistakes or
injuries. So if you find yourself becoming angry or impatient, stop,
take a deep breath, regain focus, and start over. If you must, end
the session right then and there and try again next time, when you
are feeling better.
Good luck in your training endeavors!
In upcoming blog posts, we would like to feature some guest writers of
horse and dog training articles. If you are a trainer and would like to
be featured, send me an email and/or your article to feature.
Featured writers will have their contact and website information
linked on their article.