Monday, November 30, 2015

Challenges to Harmony Hall's 'Move the Pig' Philosophy

We think that Frances has stopped listening to us. She has discovered the 'move the pig' training philosophy and that has somehow pitted her will against Rebecca's. The show down takes place on the front door step once or twice a day. Rebecca is a very determined young lady and wants to stick her snout through the cat flap and get a result. Frances has the hole, where the cat flap was, boarded up with tape. She doesn't want to fit the new cat flap until some ground rules are established that it's out of bounds.
Note the Cat Flap still intact!

So with light pressure from the brush end of a broom, lent against my chest and the word Back! I quickly understood and wandered off to the stable. Not so Rebecca! She tries to dodge the broom and persevere. She squeaks in such indignation that on two occasions I raced over to protect her. Frances, obviously found this quite intimidating. 
This was the last time Frances was a bit intimidated by me; when I turned up in her neighbour's field out of nowhere!

She explained to me, through the window, that she wasn't harming Rebecca, she was just gently trying to get her to take one step back. Every time even one step away, she said she can return to the Good Boy! Good Girl! and we can return to wagging our tails in a contented fashion.
This is like the very first Parelli, natural horsemanship, training she did where you must teach that pressure is an indication of direction that can be submitted to, rather than resisted. 
Windy & The Parelli Finger Signal!

Frances had been told that sometimes matters get worse before they get better, so she is persevering. From my point of view it has been detrimental to our friendship as she is getting so assertive and confrontational, always saying Back! and No! rather than Hello! which she used to say when we came to the door. We get louder, she gets louder. So today, we are collectively back to the drawing board to decide a way forward, a happy training regime. We're all agreed that the 'move the pig' training works, we just want to find a way that involves positive reinforcement of the edible kind! Love Legend xxx 
What a beautiful snout and ears my Rebecca has!
Advice for other pigs and pig keepers? Always keep the respectful communication going. Frances said to me yesterday, 'What the hell, I look after your house, Legend, you have to stop trashing mine' I understood that and apologized. Unfortunately, so far, any constructive criticism of Rebecca is met with complete shock and horror. Maybe she's got bad memories, I must remind Frances to clear those!

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