Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
4:00 AM 14th August 2021

Clicker Training With Hannah, Little Alf And Friends

Have you ever seen sheep being trained?

Over the past few days, I’ve been clicker training my new arrivals Izzy and Ida and they are loving learning something new.

The Valais black nose sheep are described as the friendliest sheep around. I noticed when training Alf last week that they were watching through the fence so I thought I would bring them into the training paddock and see what they made of the jumps and blocks I have set up for the ponies...

They loved it and spent a full afternoon running around the paddock and wanting to learn more… (I had to put them to bed in the end as they were getting very tired!)

Here is a video so you can see Izzy and Ida in action –

I’ve clicker trained all my pets for as long as I can remember. I find it such a positive method to train my pets and also very rewarding. The method is mainly used to teach animals something new and then reward them with a treat, so they are working for a reward. I use treats to train with but find that I don’t always need to have a treat to hand as my pets are usually very willing to learn and excited to learn something new.

Over the years I’ve also found clicker training a great method to re-teach some of my pets.

For example Paddy my black and white pony is a rescue pony. He is greedy when he sees fresh grass and used to drag you to the nearest patch of green grass. I’ve taught him to stand still and lead nicely by the side of you.

Now when he does pass a lovely field of grass he stays beside you, which is very rewarding and it’s also nice for you to see the positive change in your pets whilst enjoying time with them.

Alfie has always loved to learn something new, and loves being the star of the show.

When I was training him yesterday, Pepper started whinnying through the fence. He’s never been that interested before and always been a little shy of the standing block, but I brought him into the field to see what his thoughts were and before I knew it he was standing on the block and going over the jumps which was so lovely to see.

Over the next few weeks, while the lighter nights are still here, I’ll be practicing more and more training ideas and I’m hoping to put together a small demonstration which I’ll make into a video and share online.