Interaction During Training

I have seen some criticize clicker training as impersonal and artificial — what do you mean, I’m not supposed to talk to my dog? He’s supposed to work for food instead of me? Hands-off? I’m not supposed to touch my own dog?!

Of course this is a skewed view at best, and occasionally outright wrong, but it can be propagated by well-intentioned but confounding directions from some clicker trainers. Let’s clear this up! Continue reading

Interaction During Training — Pirate Edition

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

(In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day, today’s post is in that vernacular. Tomorrow will show a translated edition.)

I have seen some criticize clicker trainin’ as impersonal and artificial — what do you mean, I’m not ‘posed t’ talk t’ me dog? He’s s’posed t’ work for food instead o’ me? Hands-off? I’m not s’posed t’ touch me own dog?!

Of course this be a skewed view at best, and occasionally out-starboard wrong, but it can be propagated by well-intentioned but confoundin’ directions from some clicker-ers. Let’s clear the decks! Continue reading

Don’t Hook Up With Your Mistakes. (No, it’s not a dating post!)

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We emphasize focusing on the positive in clicker training — not pointing out  a mistake, but determining a concrete, alternate behavior instead. In dog manners training, this often appears as replacing “don’t jump” with “sit to greet.”

But really, what’s the harm in pointing out a mistake? Sometimes we have to know what’s wrong so we know to avoid it, right? And surely we humans are smart enough to think through the big picture?

Eh, not so much.

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Killing Creativity, in Dogs & Trainers

creativity

(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I happened across this video a couple of months ago and bookmarked it.  I enjoyed it at the time, but even as I was watching, I was thinking of clicker training.

I really like shaping, and I love the results I get with a dog who has learned to offer and vary behavior.  I hear frequently from clients or trainer friends who don’t enjoy shaping or don’t get satisfactory results, and while it’s true that not every dog adores it, I think that most of the time their failure to love it isn’t that they have the wrong dog — it’s that they, or their dogs, are diligently following this checklist.
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