The question of how we interact with horses, whilst at the same time ensuring horse and human safety and good welfare, is central to all who work with horses. The incidence of equine related accidents is rising, and there is serious concern over the welfare of horses, particularly as a result of some handling and training methods. Equine welfare charities are overwhelmed with the number of horses and ponies being given up for rehoming, with 25% being labelled unmanageable due to behavioural problems.
To the owners that refer to, or view, my lovely Timon terrier (pictured right) as that “horrible little barking dog”
Terrified, vulnerable, unsafe, scared, frightened, are all words that describe my little on lead terrier Timon when approached by a ‘keen to interact’ dog.
We saw you coming, we tried to escape but rather than help us you continue to approach. Frustrated, trying hard to avert a meltdown is what I, the human at the other end of the lead, am trying to do.
Most horses find the taste of anti-endoparasitic pastes or de-wormers - which are often administered by oral syringe - pretty disgusting and will do everything possible to avoid it. They find it aversive. Evasive tactics your horse may employ include raising their heads out of your reach, attempts to move away or even bolt. Some, when restrained, may even try to bite or kick you when they find there is no escape. De-worming can not only be very tricky, but dangerous too!
This is a slightly tongue-in-cheek blog about just a few of the common myths that deaf dog owners are confronted with on a regular basis. Before we get into dispelling these, it’s worth remembering that one of the fastest ways to irritate the owner of a deaf dog is to ask us if we’re sure they’re really deaf – and then snap your fingers behind the dog’s head. Because we definitely have never tried that one!
It is with horrible irony that whilst the press were reporting another fatal dog attack on a baby, I was in Court all day, explaining why a five year old collie that had never before shown any aggression to anyone, had bitten the face of a two-year-old girl.
This article is aimed at people adopting a cat who already have a dog (or dogs) at home. The information is also useful for people bringing a dog into a home with a resident cat (or cats). In my experience, having a resident cat first makes for an easier introduction. Cats and dogs can learn to get along but may not ever be best friends! Don’t expect too much, too fast and eventually they should be able to at least tolerate each other.
As an equine clicker trainer, I am always disappointed to hear negative feedback as to why we should not use positive reinforcement with horses. It appears that horses can become a lot more frustrated when training with a food reward than most dogs and which may be partly due to the fact that they forage/graze for up to 19 hours per day and so the ‘seeking’ system (Panksepp) is nearly always activated and which needs to go through a phase of consummation.
APBC members supporting PAWS at Dogs for the Disabled!
Stephanie Hedges, Justyna Ratczak, Ingrid Haskal, Tara Bates and Rebecca Heyworth spent a successful day learning about the unique new project by Dogs for the Disabled with Katie Bristow-Wade and Amy Davies (and of course India the dog!)