Today’s Peregrine Story: #10 Standing Up For Our Horses

Dog owners, cat owners, all animal caretakers – we all need to advocate for our four-legged friends as described in Alexandra’s blog.

The Clicker Center Blog

I was at a horse expo watching a trainer crack a bull whip over a horse’s head. She first warned the audience to cover their ears because the crack was going to be loud. The horse couldn’t cover his ears, and he couldn’t get away. Over and over again she cracked the whip around his body. Each time you could see his belly tighten. You know the expression tied up in knots. That’s how this horse was clearly feeling.

This isn’t training. This is learned helplessness.

We know about learned helplessness from some terrible laboratory experiments that were done with dogs. The dogs were restrained in harnesses and given electric shocks through electrodes attached to their foot pads. For the experiment two dogs were yoked together. The first dog could stop the shocks by pressing a lever which also stopped the shocks the second dog was receiving. The second dog…

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