She’s a clicker trainer’s dream.
This little foal I wrote about earlier would be just a dream learner for any clicker trainers out there.
As we marveled at her courage and curiosity, we couldn’t help but think of all the training opportunities this little foal would bring us. I mentioned that we’d considered, fleetingly, foal-napping her so we could do just that — train this little girl up as a clicker mini horse.
It would’ve been grand fun, capturing and shaping behaviors.
Look at all the behavior she’s offering in the video! Imagine all of those little things (the head dips, the hoof movement, the mouth and nose targeting…) we could put on cue!
You’ll notice that I frequently withdraw my hands from her.
The reason is that I want to be certain that she’s interacting with me voluntarily and that I’m not scaring her or coercing her to stay if she’d rather leave.
If you have a dog, consider this test.
Stop petting your dog and see what he does. Does he move away? Does he just stay still? Or does he solicit more interaction from you? This is a great test to teach kids: allow the dog the time and space to leave if he chooses. Then respect that decision.
This girl clearly wanted more, more, more. Which, naturally, we were happy to oblige.
Have you ever had an unusual encounter with an animal in it’s home territory?
Jennifer Thomas says
I was chased and knocked over by a cow while hiking in the Oakland hills. I was also chased by a moose in Alaska. Both times I had a dog with me. The dog did not help me either time.
Laurie Luck says
WHAT?! Knocked over by a cow?! Eeep! That’s scary! I always thought cows were relatively docile. I guess they can get up and move! The moose would’ve really terrified me — they’re *huge*! Yikes! Sorry to hear the dog didn’t help, although I think I’d rather worry about just myself (and not have to worry about the well being of my dog WHILE I’m being chased)!