Do you ever wonder if you’re teaching your camels the right thing when you’re training & handling them?
Hey It’s Tara and today I’m going to share with you one of the most common mistakes made when training and handling camels.
The most common mistake made when handling & training camels is….Follow through! …. Not that kind!
Listen to Episode #21 now…
Or Play Below….
The most important thing that you can you teach yourself and your camel is that when you ask them to do something, that you [and the camel] follow that instruction through right to the end.
Here’s a scenario that we see all too often….
A camel has been asked, to sit (or stand or walk or any command in general). Maybe the camel knows how to sit under instruction, or maybe the camel has never sat under instruction. The main point here to remember, is that this camel has not been asked the impossible. Camels are VERY good at sitting down. They’ll do it all day long, no problem!
But…Then the camel doesn’t sit (or stand, or walk or whatever). Here lies a big problem. You see camels are VERY smart, intelligent creatures. If you say something, but don’t follow through they have already learnt that they don’t have to do it.
Now, let me express the importance of having a trained camel.
A trained camel, is a safe camel, regardless if they are simply a pet or not.
A camel that you’ve build trust & mutual respect with is also a safe camel,
A camel that has not been trained at all can be dangerous camel.
Now, back to the follow through.
If you ask your camel to do something they must do it. There are 2 main points to consider here:
ONE: Choose your timing.
If you have to rush off somewhere, but you quickly need your camel to sit so you can groom him. Don’t ask in the first place. Camels operate on “Camel Time” and they especially feel ‘pressured’ and react with fear when they sense rush. They are incredibly sensitive creatures. Your job as a cameleer, camel handler, camel trainer or the every important job of being a camel lover, is to eliminate a camel’s fear.
For us, we have a Go To technique for when a camel is in a state of fear. For instance it could be things like large crowds, strangers, people patting them where they don’t like, loud nosies, a piece of strange grass moving … the list can be endless and of course depends on the individual camel, but having a Go To technique to reassure the camel works without fail every time – we teach in our in-person courses.
Now, the second point is to set aside a day for camel training and or re-enforcement.
When asking your camel to do anything for the first time make sure that you have the whole day to do it, otherwise you can put yourself in a position where you’ve asked the camel to do something, you’ve ran out of time and gotta go… And suddenly the camel has learnt that an instruction isn’t in fact an instruction.
Main message here is don’t stop until you get what you’ve asked for and probably one of the most impotence messages is DON’T LOOSE PATIENCE and result to dominate behaviour.
Think of camel training & handling as ‘The Art of Learning Patience’. We always say in our in-person courses that if you think you don’t have patience you’re about to learn that you do have it.
Patience is learnt behaviour and you get the opportunity to Learn with your camel.
Along with patience, also don’t be tempted to use treats to encourage the camel to follow through with an instruction (unless of course the situations are emergencies). In episode #5: Treat Training Camels Why It Works & Why We Don’t Do It – we talk about the psychology of the camel when using treats in training.
If this is the only thing you remember about listening to this episode, remember this, etch it into your memory bank of camel knowledge….
“Your job, as a Cameleer / camel handler / camel owner / camel trainer / camel lover, isn’t to be forceful or dominate with camels. Your job is to be THE respected and loved leader, guiding the way gently with compassion and a whole pile of patience with a ‘see it through’ approach. “
Camel training and handling is not about quick fixes and quick results.
For the rest of your lifetime, with your camel, you’ll be learning and re-enforcing all that they, and you, know, the learning is endless. They will challenge you and test boundaries, that’s for sure, but they’ll love you for your consistency and leadership. This is what we see everyday when we work with our own or other people’s camels.
Thanks for tuning in again and don’t forget that if you’d like to improve your camel skills this year or start off your camel journey on the right foot, or in this case – camel pad, be sure to check out our Cameleer Academy for all new and up-coming in-person camel courses & events with us.
If wanna to dive deeper into our Camel Connection Trust Based Camel Training® method, you can get instant access to our online course and personal support from us (which we don’t offer anywhere else), along with weekly LIVE training videos alongside our community be sure to head over to our Camel Shop to join us and other like-minded, camel loving people by clicking on our Online Camel Training Course.
We’ll see you there!