I grew up with horses and the terminology of “breaking” a horse in. When I became a professional horse trainer I loathed the word “breaking in,” to me it just felt wrong and went against my method of training a horse and my natural instincts. I used to dream of being part of the land with wild horses all around me, they were wild by nature, but they respected me as I respected them. Although this dream never turned into reality it was always with me and had a profound effect on how I trained horses.
Same is said for camel training. They are all wild by nature – they are animals and their natural instincts will always be alive in them, unless they are “broke”. When an animal is broke a part of that animal dies. Yes the end results may be a camel that can be handled and or ridden, but they are not interested in you, they only fear you. There is no relationship, not real trust, just fear of what might happen if a ‘wrong turn’ or god forbid a mistake is made. There is nothing like building a trusting relationship with an animal. It never surprises me when I see some video footage of a ‘wild animal’ like a Lion [link] or a crocodile [link] care for, bond with and trust a human. It seems so normal! Although society has lead us to believe that we have to be dominate over animals in order to make them do what we want them to do. When you really think about this last statement isn’t it also true with human to human contact (think big companies)? DOMINACE is everywhere. Lack of relationship building is everything. UNLESS of course you’re looking elsewhere, which is what we encourage our camel training clients to do. We don’t proclaim that our Trust Based Camel Training is the only camel training that works – it’s not! But for the right people to them it is the only way because they crave that relationship with the animal rather than dominance and ‘I’m better than you’ type of thinking. When I say ‘relationship’ I don’t mean feeding your camel treats to connect with them, I mean deep, heart to heart, true bonding experience. Once you’ve experienced such a thing you’ll see animals from a difference perspective forever! The truth is that us human’s need the training to understand the animal better, to make that connection so both animal and human can work together rather than against.
Mutual resepct and trust is a must. Often people mistaken a trust based training approach as ‘spoiling’ or allowing the camel to run all over you with out any boundaries. Nothing can be further from the truth. Trust Based Camel Training always includes boundaries for both the animal and the human. It’s a process of learning to understand each other and what is acceptable and what is not through gentle methods without ‘shocking’ the animals into leaning. Camels, particularly, are ‘thinkers’. They need that time to think about what has just happened in their training. They always come back better once they are given time to think.
5 Reasons Not to Break a Camel In:
1. There is no camel and human relationship, there’s just dominance.
2. When you coerce a camel to do what you want you’re creating fear rather than a trusting relationship.
3. There’s more fighting. The camel will try to protect itself (might lash out and bite/kick etc) while dominance is trying to be achieved.
4. It can be dangerous for future handling. ‘One day’ the camel might drop it’s fear of humans and allow it’s instincts to take over again.
5. Apart of their spirit will die and the camels full potential might never be revealed.
One of our biggest passions at Australian Camels is to help show other passionate camel people/owners how to achieve a long lasting relationship with their camel(s). We’re not interested in ‘breaking in’ camels nor are we that interested in training camels just to sell them on as a ‘trained camel’ what we’re interested in is teaching people how to bond with a camel and develop a trusting relationship. We’re so passionate about this that we have declined to work with people who just want us to train their camels. That’s not what it’s about! Camels are such sensitive creatures that they need to be understood and especially they need to understand their handler(s). It’s not for everyone, but those that understand It’s importance have a beautiful bond and trust relationship with their camels that no words can describe. If this sounds like you and you want to learn more about this camel training experience get in touch with us HERE.
If you like the idea of training a camel through mutual trust, respect and kindness CHECK OUT OUR TRUST BASED CAMEL TRAINING CLINICS RAN REGULARLY
You might like to purchase our Trust Based Camel Handling ONLINE Course
Written By Tara Lea
Managing Director & Co Owner/Operator Australian Camels