Written by Russell Osborne
CEO Australian Camels & Head Cameleer/Camel Training Mentor
Just like many new camel owners, I discovered that there was very little accurate and concise information from credible sources about effective camel training methods. Believing I could “go it myself”, I soon discovered that a camel didn’t think the same way as a horse, dog, cow or any other animal I had previous experience with.
Realising that the camel is a very distinctive creature in their own right, I was at the beginning of changing my views of what makes up the camel. It was MY thinking and behaviour that needed to change to become more in alignment with the camel, NOT the camel to change it self to become more aligned with me.
Trust Based Camel Training Method isn’t just a bunch of words for clever marketing, it has history and years attached to learning an ‘alternative way’ of training camels. Here’s a snippet of that history and how and why the method was created…
Many years ago, after having made all of the mistakes of attempting to train camels off my own bat with very little knowledge and understanding of the psychology of camels, I discovered the Phil Gee’s Wild Camel Handling Course. This method took camels directly from the wilderness in Australia’s outback and used a set series of procedures to train a camel from wild to being halter led in a matter of days. The results were outstanding, but had left me with even more questions about the camel in terms of their spiritual and soulful makeup:
– WHY did they react so well to this method?
– HOW come they behaved in such a manner?
– And WHAT elements of their personalities/psychological makeup was involved in their learning of the procedures they were engaged with during these training sessions?
These questions came naturally to me as I had studied Psychology at University and had applied much of what I had learnt during my previous 15 year teaching career before entering the world of camels.
I had to ask myself…
“How can the study of the camel’s psychological attributes along with my own soul searching of human psychological be combined to assist the training procedures I had learnt during the Wild Camel Handling Course to create a method of camel training that is not only effective but has an everlasting, positive impact upon the camel and human and their ability to combine for growth and learning?”
Call me sentimental, but I just had to develop this method!
I had to share this with the world once I found out…
1. If it would be well received by camels and
2. If I could break it down in order to easily teach others this method.
Living with my own herd of camels 24/7 (yes, I slept near them too) during the two year, 6,500 km journey across Australia and the following years of working with these and other camels -both wild and domesticated – the picture of the camel’s psychological attributes had become clear through intensive observation of behavioural patterns, discovery of the camels thought processes and the camel’s reactions to stimuli. What was more interesting was the discovery of the changed patterns of thought and actions of my OWN behaviors for effective camel handling and co-existence.
Living with camels 24/7 was life changing for me and gave me deep knowledge of the camel and it’s behaviours. I call myself ‘lucky’ to have created this opportunity for myself. I made it a priority and made the most from it.
I then began to develop the process of combining what I had previously learnt, the camel psychology I observed, the camel’s natural behavior and then using the camels qualities to help alter the HUMAN perceptions and behaviors to form…. The Trust Based Camel Training Method.
Developing the Trust Based Camel Training Method meant that I felt I could ask my camels to do the impossible and I knew with confidence they truly would try.
Since then, our company – Australian Camels – is able to offer the Trust Based Camel Training Method to anyone, new or old to camels, that wants to work WITH the camel rather than having the camel work FOR them. The people that complete our in person course have developed the critical elements of the method: Trust, Understanding, Compassion, Empathy, Bonding and Love of the camel along with the highly efficient step by step procedure of camel training that now enriches their camel/ human journey together. It’s an honor to witness this every time!
Certainly, there are a variety of other camel training methods which a camel can be trained effectively to ‘do what the human asks of them to do’. All of these methods most probably work and work well, some even claim that they use Trust Based Training in their procedures, however, the ‘consumer question’ needs to be asked:
– Does the camel training method have a specific step-by-step procedure in combination with Trust, Understanding, Compassion, Empathy, Bonding and Love of the camel?
– Is the study of camel psychological taken into account?
– Is the procedure of changing human (not camel) obvious and in place?
– Is the fear of the camel taken away, not used as leverage to get the camel to do what’s being asked?
– Is the development of trust obvious between camel and human (trust doesn’t simply mean the camel is doing something for the handler – look deeper and read the animal)?
Every step of any camel training procedure should be largely based on the growth of the camel and handler and creating a bond between human and camel without the use of coercion or treats. Trust Based Camel Training can only be achieved with such a method that also includes the development and understanding of the very deep (and at times, emotional) connection between animal and human.
If a camel training session is emotion-less, then the question needs to be asked “what can I do better to understand this animal”.
The Three Main Steps of Trust Based Camel Training
The Trust Based Camel Training Method has been developed by us combining different techniques and pedagogies, philosophies and patterns into a series of:
1. Understandings of the camel – who they are.
2. How a camel thinks and how they behave.
3. Step by step procedures where the results have a positive, lifetime effect on the camel and handler.
Camels are great learners. They learn very quickly, which is a brilliant attribute to have, so long as the three main steps above are reinforced by trainer/handler. Because the camel is a fast learner, there is even greater importance that the three main steps are learnt through a reputable and reliable source, most importantly by One You Trust [link].
The camel’s training regime needs to be positive (without treats), done with kindness (from a camel’s perspective), is logical (for camel and handler) and has taken the camel’s individual personality into account and blended with the trainer/handler’s personality (very important step most miss – if you don’t gel with a camel, it’s just not going to work out).
Other things you might like…
Trust Based Camel Training Course – In Person (Australian Based)