Animal Training Strategies

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"Ask the animals for they will teach you..." Job 12:7

Working with animals is much like working with children.  In fact, I have often compared veterinary medicine to pediactrics--- both practices must consider what is unsaid by the patients to figure out what is going on with their health.

There are many different ways to  train animals and modify their behavior.  Every animal and every trainer comes to the table with different experiences.  It is important to understand the innate behavior of a species and how they communicate and think.  It is equally important to understand how your own body language is just as important as what you say verbally and how to get your message across.   This takes years of practice. The best trainers can adapt their techniques to fit the animal in front of them because they understand the subtle clues.  They also know how to get the animals to WANT to do what is asked of them.  Anyone who has worked with horses knows that you can't MAKE a 1000 lb animal pick up its feet or stop if it doesn't want to.

Trust is crucial to the learning process, fear shuts it down.  As Barbara Woodhouse said, there are "No Bad Dogs"  and misbehaviors are just signs that something is amiss with your training technique or an animal's ( or child's) mental outlook.

    The methods of the people listed below were developed by close observation of animal behavior and maximizing the "human-animal bond" to modify behavior.  We use their techniques in working with the animals at Phoenix Ranch and highly recommend their books and websites. 

Dr. Chan offers an hour session with you and your dog for $75 to address behavior issues that are affecting your relationship and household. 





Temple Grandin. Ph.D.  author of   Animals in Translation & Animals Make Us Human  Also good article on teaching social skills on her website

Gincy Self Bucklin    author of How Your Horse Wants You to Ride  Good information on training and riding

Frank Bell   "Gentle Solutions / Dances With Horses" 7-step Safety System

Marv Walker  "Mind Meeting Mind in Minutes Horsemanship"  An eccentric fellow with some gems on body language in the videos he produces.

Bud Williams   "Low Stress Livestock Handling Methods"

Linda Tellington-Jones      "T-touch" Using touch therapy and exercises to influence the mental state of animals.

Allen Pogue & Sue DeLaurentis---Trick Horse Training "by building relationships through understanding each other as individuals while still maintaining the proper herd hierarchy"

Carolyn Resnick & Waterhole Rituals--connecting with horses through body language


Klaus Hempfling "Dancing With Horses"

Carol Lea Benjamin " Dog Training in Ten Minutes"


Dr. Sophia Yin  “Perfect Puppy in 7 Days,” “How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves,” and “Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats.” 

Emily Larlham  Excellent Youtube videos on dog trick training and behavior modification using clickers 

Read more here:

Cesar Millan Excellent Youtube videos on working with problem/aggressive dogs, how to interpret their body language and modify their behavior.  Also, the Cesar Millan Foundation provides a curriculum ("Mutt-i-grees")for interfacing dogs and children to teach empathy, which "is essential to raising kind, compassionate citizens"