On the way home from The Ranch Cindy Benson and I stopped to visit our friend, Kathy. Cindy trimmed Kathy's dogs' nails and got some much needed dog snuggling time, after a week away from her own dogs. I love the way Cindy always gets right down on the ground with the dogs. If I end up on the ground it's usually an accident! 😁
The views here in Oregon are beautiful!
We had a lot off great demos on Thursday but I'm having trouble uploading them to Weekly. Below is the goat recall demo. I'll try to add the others later.
The goats and alpacas enjoy their enrichment and browse time. This gives me lots of great ideas of things to build for my goats!
Some of the students had an apple catapulting contest. Apples are shot into the pastures to attract the elk. I watched. This map depicts all the places students have come from to visit The Ranch. More places will be added after this course is over.
Wednesday morning started out rainy, which made learning the lecture difficult but was a great break for me, coming from the drought ridden California Central Valley. We did end up moving indoors to finish the morning session, but things dried up in time for the first animal lesson.
After the morning lecture we went out for another goat session. We had a visitor for the pre-lesson briefing. ☺️ Corgi was as cooperative as usual. He's a smart boy!
In the afternoon we had our first donkey training session. The black donkey is Sillouette, my training partner. She was a good girl.
We had dinner at the ranch that evening, where Ken Ramirez shared stories of all the amazing adventures he's had training all kinds of animals all over the world. He once even trained thousands of butterflies to do a synchronized flying routine!
Tuesday morning the goats were ready and waiting for their training session!
We also had an alpaca training demo by Ken Ramirez, on Tuesday. This was a great lesson in how to work with shy and skittish animals, as well as how to train multiple animals at once.
Tuesday afternoon Ken Ramirez gave us a donkey training demo.
Monday, August 8th, 2022, was my first day at the Training For Professionals: Across Species course at the Karen Pryor National Training Center (The Ranch) in Washington state. I attended this course with my good friend, Cindy Benso, of Benson Maremmas, who was taking the course for the second or third time. The weather was nice enough that most of the lectures and videos could be held outdoors on the deck, with the beautiful view of the pastures and barn with Mount Rainier (sometimes) visible in the distance. This was a great environment to learn in with breaks in the morning and afternoon for live animal demos and hands on animal training practice. Lunch, snacks and drinks were also served every day, with dinner three of the five nights, as well. Considering everything that is included in this course and the sheer breadth and depth of the learning it was well worth the $1200 price tag for the 5 day course. And the entire course and trip is a tax deductible business expense!
On the way out to the barn for our first animal sessions we were greeted by the Alpacas and Llama. While they don't like to be touched they are very curious and came up quite close to get a look at the new students!
Our first live animal demo was a Goat Training Demo given by Ken Ramirez, starring Kelpie.
Monday afternoon we had our first try at Goat Training. I was assigned Corgi, a Nigerian Dwarf wether who is very smart and was usually waiting for me on his training pedestal when I arrived. Corgi already knows a lot of skills but I quickly discovered that I needed to keep moving at a fast pace and keep things interesting so he wouldn't decide to wander off!
The first day ended around 6 or 6:30 PM. It was a long day but we covered a lot of ground and learned a lot. By the time we got back to the hotel we were ready to crash!
Training for Professionals: Across Species at the Karen Pryor Academy National Training Center (The Ranch) in Washington State
I have just spent the last week (August 8-12, 2022) enjoying a "working vacation" (tax deduction, yay!) at the Karen Pryor Academy National Training Center (The Ranch) in Washington State, where I attended the Training for Professionals: Across Species course with my good friend, Cindy Benson, of Benson Maremmas Training, and 11 other students. It was a wonderful week filled with hands on training sessions and live demos with various types of animals, in class lectures, videos and much more. I myself worked with goats, mini donkeys and alpacas and saw demos with those animals as well as dogs.
There were students from as far away as Colombia and Hawaii. Among the students were dog trainers and breeders and trainers that work with marine mammals, zoo animals and even chickens! Besides the coursework itself it was very educational just talking with all the students about what it's like working with these various species. It was also a very positive, encouraging and uplifting environment for humans with everyone supporting and inspiring each other to learn and grow in their skills so we can all go out and make a better world for animals and humans.
Before I was even halfway through the course my wheels were spinning with ideas I could implement at home, especially with my goats, which I had always wanted to clicker train but hadn't tried. While working with my training partner, Corgi, a Nigerian Dwarf wether, I quickly saw the value of using dog training platforms to train goats and I went back to my hotel and ordered 6 of them from Blue-9 Training to use with my goats and Maremma puppies. They arrived before I even got home so I will be setting them up and trying them out ASAP.
Previously to going to this course I had never been north of California so being able to visit Washington as well as Oregon was a wonderful experience, especially in August when the California Central Valley, where I live, is an oven!
What a great view for class. If you look in the photo on the right you can see Mount Rainier in the background. We got to see that view whenever the conditions were right and it's breathtaking!
On the way home from the Training for Professionals: Across Species course at The KPA Ranch I got to visit Benson Ranch. This was a dream come true and equally as exciting as the course. I met each and every one of Cindy's 27 Maremmas, as well as her other dogs, her donkeys, goats, cattle, horses and mules. It was a great day!
Doing a little grooming table training with dried chicken. The dogs love this game!
There's so much to see on the ranch, and so many wonderful dogs and other animals to meet!
Hi I'm Kim. I have been an avid animal lover all my life but goats and dogs are my favorites so I built a business around them, breeding registered Mini Nubian & Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats and MSCA registered Maremma Sheepdogs. I love sharing my passion and knowledge of these amazing creatures with others.