Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm not a Clicker Trainer ...

Although I do use the clicker as a training tool.

Why am I not a clicker trainer?
Because the clicker is an inanimate object and doesn't need me to train it.

I'm not being obstinate here. Well, maybe I am. Language is important. It is my belief that the language, especially when we are working and playing with other species, needs to be as clear as we can get it.

What I'm trying to do is match my intent to the language that I use. If I'm clear, then there is a better chance that will come across to the animal. And that's one of the main reasons I do use the clicker as a training tool: to establish crystal clear communication.

This congruity of language is also why I don't use the word command when I ask my Ellie for a behavior. I am not interested in an obedient dog. Obedience implies a relationship that isn't very interesting to me. What is much more interesting to me is a happy, socially-skilled canine companion.

Ellie, by the way, does enjoy her practice. That's what we call our training sessions whether it is clicker training or meditation walk or happy-hip vinyasa. "Let's practice!"