Imprint Training Part 3: Minimally Invasive Neonatal Interactions

Because of potential harm through the creation of states of flooding and learned helplessness in foals, imprint training represents a serious equine welfare issue and is not a recommended practice.  Hands-off methods, like gentle handling of the dam and exposure to a motionless person, are minimally invasive and more widely accepted from a welfare perspective. […]

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Imprint Training Part 2: Less Invasive Approaches

While Miller’s methods are extreme, there are less invasive variations of imprint training, which omit the insertion of fingers into the ears, nostrils, and anus, with interactions spaced out over a longer period of time. In one example, the foal receives gentle patting on the head, shoulders, back, hindquarters and legs, and lifting of the […]

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Imprint Training Part 1: Perceived Benefits & Welfare Issues 

Imprinting refers to the process by which a young animal establishes a primary social bond with another animal (usually its mother) shortly after birth, from whom it will receive information about its environment and learn specific behaviours at critical periods of time and stages of development (Williams et al., 2003; Henry, Briefer, Richard-Yris, & Hausberger, […]

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