Nothing is more annoying than a dog that doesn't come when you call it, or a horse that doesn't “obey” you and goes its own way.
By practicing and training, (read: by working with it), we teach the animal to understand us, and we also understand the animal (or animals) themselves better.
BUT HOW DOES THIS WORK WITH OUR CATTLE?
“Just get started and then push them in the right direction.
Forcing, sooner or later they will obey ”...
I hear that very often.
TRAINING, "GROUNDWORK" AND HANDLING
The importance of groundwork in horse training is well known.
By working with the horse you build confidence, show leadership, and create control over the animal (or group of animals).
Once the horse has accepted this leadership, the follow-up training continues.
Have you ever wondered why the horse, the pony in the pasture, or your dog is taught all kinds of things, and you just let the cattle go?
"Cattle farmers don't have time for that", it is often said.
Take the time to ask yourself which cattle you always lose the most time with ...
Bet it's those animals that have a different way of thinking or walking than you.
These types of animals lack confidence, do not accept leadership and have no control. Resulting in problems handling the cattle.
Another annoying side effect is that when you have problems dealing with animals, you usually don't teach them anything good.
A downward spiral is the result.
HOW DO WE CONTINUE NOW?
Work WITH, not AGAINST, your livestock.
In this way, build up a degree of confidence, leadership and control before you try to do anything else with them.
Driving in the claw treatment box, the milking robot or the (cattle) truck will then be discussed later.
Through cooperation between the cattle farmer and the cattle, both learn that they can move in a controlled manner.
Being able to slow down, accelerate, stop, change direction and so on, all in a controlled manner.
During my introductions and practical training at cattle farms and schools, I always compare the handling of herd animals with driving a car.
Competent driving means timely and correct anticipation of the situation that has arisen by, (among other things), steering, accelerating and braking. It is exactly the same when dealing with cattle and other herd animals.
In fact, we (by doing the “groundwork” with the animals), teach them a basic skill.
Cattle learn to behave the way we want to. The result is that we control and keep the animal or group of animals under control.
Leadership through training, respect and trust.