Lizzie has been spending a lot of time locked up, and she’s BORED. So we’ve been doing some trick training. She’s learned ‘spin’ (and ‘rinse!’ which means to spin the other direction. :P), and we’re working on wave and roll over.
I posted over on Dogstar Academy about what I *don’t* like about clicker training, so I guess now it’s time to rave about what I *do* like. I like how it engages dogs, especially dogs who get bored with a lot of repetition. And I think it’s a really, really powerful tool for behavior modification, especially when it comes to conditioning. There’s some research (I don’t have a citation but I will try and figure out where I read this) that suggests that the click- as a short, sharp noise- is just the type that is easy to condition a critter- human or canine-‘s neurological response to, so that you can actually CREATE a positive feeling (increased neurotransmitter production) to that sound- an emotional response, not just a learned ‘food’s on the way’ reaction. (I would see if it worked in people, but alas, I am not food motivated, nor particularly toy driven, so I would be very hard to clicker train.)
I love how shaping games make my dogs think. Not all dogs like freeshaping- Mal doesn’t care for it. Kaylee hasn’t figured it out yet. But Wings ADORED it and Lizzie thinks it’s a pretty cool game, too- you can just about hear the little wheels turning in her head.