Many animal trainers, veterinarians and pet owners highlight the importance of controlling animals. Controlling them, as in restricting the animals’ movement, their choices and their opportunities to control their environment through their behaviour.
Sometimes you have to, for safety reasons.
But often you don’t – and more often than you might think. Actually, the trend in modern animal training is to deliberately and strategically shift control from the handler to the animal, while still staying safe. Continue reading “Does your animal have control?”
Training using a clicker is very popular, and is gaining ground amongst animal trainers, but here’s what may come as a surprise to you:
When scientists compare the effectiveness of using a clicker when training to training using only treats as rewards (or reinforcers, to be more precise) outside the laboratory, the results are inconclusive.
One study found the clicker led to faster learning, one that it led to slower learning, and four studies found no difference between the two treatments. Continue reading “Why clickers work”
You might not be aware of that rift, but it’s there. It took me some time to catch on to it, myself. Basically, there are two animal trainer camps, and they’re hardly on speaking terms.
Actually, there are at least two camps. Camps within camps, perhaps, even. It’s not the purpose of this blog post to define or analyze all the potential animal training fractions, however. Continue reading “WTF?”