Horse trainers like to say, “Make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy.”
I embraced the strategy with my dog, Kip, during our most recent training session.
In this case, though, weather lent me a helping hand.
As previously noted, Kip has had a hard time restraining her herding impulse. More than once, this 10-month old Aussie has left me breathless and frustrated as she’s attempted to gather her half-ton charges.
It’s not just a matter of obedience, of course, but one of safety and welfare. Read more.
Our goal during today’s session was simply to hang out in the pasture, have the horses move around us, and be calm. (Simple, you say, but no easy feat for us!)
First, we toured the pasture perimeter. It was hot and humid. With her black, thick coat, she warmed up quickly.
We moved closer to the horses, who were grazing lazily. I asked Kip to lie down and stay in the shade while I hacked at weeds. Being naughty, then, meant getting overheated through movement and sunshine.
For what seemed like the very first time, Kip had an added incentive she could really feel. By doing nothing (against any Aussie’s nature), she was successful.