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Mindful Partners: The Zen art and science of working with animals

What does mindfulness have to do with animal training?

Take a transformative journey to a deeper level of connection, and discover how to train animals through compassionate wisdom.

Mindful partners cover
Dr. Zoolittle

 Many of us dream of being like Dr. Dolittle, able to speak joyfully with animals. Now you can bring that dream to life! This book will guide you and your animal to be your best selves: peacefully, joyfully, creatively, mindfully—together!

Mindful Partners is a must read for any compassionate animal lover. Dr. Zeligs combines breakthroughs in behavioral sciences with centuries of contemplative wisdom, guiding readers to see behavior as it fundamentally exists and how actions and reactions are born, practiced, and altered. She teaches the reader to use mindfulness to develop a special kind of partnership in which both parties share a mutually beneficial connection. The architecture of her message is built on the psychological sciences, but its heart is told through story, analogy, and introspection. The book is filled with intimate and amusing accounts of Dr. Zeligs’ 40-year history of partnerships across the animal kingdom—from improving the welfare of horses and dogs to filming wild whales using trained sea lions. This is an empowering guide to connecting with animals, drawing on the best of science, as well as traditions of inspirational wisdom.

Whether you your animal friend is a dog, a cat, a horse, or even a porcupine, this book will offer simple and practical insights to help you solve some of the most persistent and difficult behavior questions such as:

• How do I get started training my pet?
• What approach should I take?
• How do I create a strong connection with my animal friends?
• How can I establish genuine interspecies communication?
• How can I learn to read my animal’s behavior and needs?
• How can I teach my animal to be calm?
• How should I best respond when things go wrong?
• How can I reduce aggression?
• How do I build confidence while overcoming fears in my animal?
• How do I handle my animal’s frustrations and urges?
• How do I decide what steps to take to teach something to my animal?
• How do I reduce unwanted behaviors without punishment?
• How do I motivate without causing stress?

Each chapter includes color illustrations, questions for personal reflection, and practices to enable you to master the concepts.









Want to put the concepts you learn from Mindful Partners into practice? Sign up for the 4 week online Mindful Partners course taught by Dr. Zeligs. Click here to learn more.

To order a paperback copy go to:
Amazon Kindle version $9.99

Also available at Amazon in your country of origin and Barnes and Noble and other book retailers.

About Dr. Jenifer Zeligs "Dr. Zoolittle"

"I consider Dr. Jenifer Zeligs a good friend, talented colleague, and wonderful mentor. Her generosity in sharing her knowledge and training advice has positively impacted my success with horses as much, or more, than any other influence."

- David Lichman, 5-Star Parelli Natural Horsemanship Instructor

Jenifer Zeligs, Ph.D.—internationally acclaimed author of Animal Training 101— is a behavioral consultant and the founder of the Animal Training and Research International Center. She has taught advanced care and training of both pets and exotic animals at California State University, Monterey Bay, for more than 20 years. Dr. Zeligs is a world-renowned psychobiologist with more than 40 years of experience, award-winning presentations on animal behavior modification, and numerous publications to her credit. She has been featured in documentaries and television shows, including National Geographic Explorer, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Dateline. Jenifer is also a Buddhist with decades of meditation experience. This experience has brought new joy and perspective to all areas of her life and work, eventually culminating in this newest book.


"After reading the book ‘Mindful Partners’, I finally understood everything. I was a bit confused. Now, after reading your book, I know there is not one way: it’s the Middle Way. Your book is so inspiring. One of my colleagues told me that now she sees the horses as beings, instead of ‘utensils’."

- Martine Liefstingh Horse Trainer for disabled individuals at Manege zonder Drempels (Riding School without Boundaries, Netherlands)


"The mindfulness philosophy and practice is really working well for me as I find myself frequently heading toward what would normally feel like chaos managing this litter by myself. Puppies are really good at breathing practice and relaxing so I let them help focus and slow me down, one on one. The more nuanced reflections about your approach have helped fine tune my connection and understanding with my equine partner. I can tell he appreciates what I learn from you. I highly recommend this book to all my animal loving friends."

- Sally Tweston


"Mindful Partners teaches how to build an attentive, thoughtful relationship with your animal partner and to train behaviors while keeping the animal’s individuality in full focus. Containing many insightful anecdotes from Dr. Zeligs’ work with various species, it details many useful training techniques while giving entertaining accounts of how those methods have come into play. It is an inspiring, entertaining read!"

- Erin Geddie


"Mindful partners is both a practical guide to animal training and a spiritual journey to understanding how animals think, feel, and communicate. I feel more able to work cooperatively with my pets to give them the best life possible."

- Kali Prescott

"Dr Doolittle revisited. And more."

- Ewa Rumistrzewicz, Common Language

"I LOVED her book “Animal Training 101” and I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding “Mindful Partners” to the “every horse owner should read” list!!."

- Kathy Baar, Raising the Baar Horse Training

"I really enjoyed it, it made me think about what I do, and (Dr. Zeligs) writes so well that a reader wants to keep on reading."

- Rob Pearce, International Liberty Horse Association freestyle champion