Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meet The Honkers

Bianca, 15, and daughter Fiona, 12

In late September of 1997, Bianca was a two year old pregnant wild donkey rounded up by the US Department of the Interior as part of their "Adopt A Living Legend" program.  A home was quickly found for the young burros and for the next decade mother and daughter lived happily in their small donkey world. 

Sadly, two years ago the poor economy forced a major change upon their lives. I met the girls at Bend Equine Outreach and on September 15 of this year life changed for the pink honker's yet again. They now live on a fenced acre with my three Nubian goats, Donatello, Lucciano, and Peppino.

It became abundantly clear after a veterinarian visit to my home that both donkey's must accept a halter (and handling).  While Bianca moves well on lead and is very calm and gentle, daughter  Fiona on the other hand is...well... a bit skittish. She has never worn halter that I know of and rarely leaves her mother's side. Perhaps it was more convenient to simply halter Bianca and have Fiona follow, all their lives.

This week, Bianca had a nice tooth treatment while Fiona lurked just out of reach. Not wanting to sour Fiona to future veterinarian care, we chose to wait until she was more easily handled before attempting an examination.

I quickly ordered "The Click That Teaches" by Alexandra Kurland to help this equine newbie out and kicked our training into high gear! I had taught both burro's to target my hand and had just begun to shape Fiona to touch the halter. Today: success as Fiona stepped into the halter and stood still as I lifted it over her nose and behind her ears.

Training Goal: Fiona to accept a halter

Fiona's third training session with halter:

Step 1: Touch halter

Step 2: Place nose in halter

Step 3: Stand still as halter goes over nose
Step 4: Yay! Allow halter to slip over ears

The power of a tiny carrot and a well timed click!

The ladies watch the proceedings closely
We have a long way to go, but I am so looking forward to the journey!

Happy Training!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

If only it were this easy!

If you are like me, you are very skeptical when it comes to advertisements.  “Secret” methods to train your dog, and “magic” tools that will solve your particular dog's behavior problem overnight make me very skeptical. Why?

Because I know from experience that dog training (and dieting, sadly) requires consistency and work. Rare is the behavior problem that can be permanently solved in just minutes.

Now, I don't know if the dog training claims below are true or not; I have not tried any of the products they were selling (and selling hard), but most of us know the following diet claims are just too good to be true. I thought it would be interesting to place the 10 most common diet advertisement claims side by side with dog training ads-they are remarkably similar.

The dog training advertisements are all real, I did not make them up or change the wording:

Lose all the weight you want without dieting or exercise!
Secret dog training method makes YOU the master of your dog and not the other way around!

 Eat whatever you want and still lose weight!
A "dream come true" revolutionary leash stops pulling for good!

Lose 10 pounds in a day
You Can Cure 19 of Your Dog's Worst Behavior Problems in Just 6 Days!

A weight loss formula for everyone
Use Dog Whispering For Amazingly Fast Results - Any Aggressive Dog!

Lose weight with the miracle patch/pill/cream
Revolutionary leash/collar/stops pulling instantly!

Money Back guarantee
 Eliminate Frustrating Walks Forever in Only 15 Min/Day- 100% Guaranteed

100% safe
Train any dog using this method!

Patented method
 Do You Make These Mistakes When Training
 Your Dog? Find Out Today!
(Hint: it’s a “secret” method)

Never diet again-lose the weight forever
Train Your Dog In Three Days! Easy, Fast & Effective Dog Training System Trains Any Dog Permanently!

A miraculous breakthrough!
Your Dog Will Never Pee or Poop Inside. Works in 6 Days!

Happy Training!
Chris Waggoner

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's pretty simple, really


Dogs go over fences. You must choose a bigger, better fence.
Dogs dig up gardens. You must enclose your beautiful plants so your dog cannot get to them.
Dogs bark if they are alone all day. You must hire a dog walker or change your schedule.
Dogs chew items you would prefer they not. You must place such items out of reach.
Dogs pull while on leash. You must teach them that being beside you is a very good thing.


Remember that you chose to bring another species into your home.
Remember that you have the bigger brain.
Remember that you are obligated to treat this creature with kindness and respect.
Remember that you are your dog's protector and advocate.
Remember that your dog feels pain and fear, just like you do.