Poisoned cues at tax time

As some of you know, I serve as the president for the Art and Science of Animal Training. In addition to organizing the annual ASAT conference, I take care of all of the behind-the-scenes administrative duties, including managing the website, answering emails, and paying the bills.   Even though nonprofits don’t pay taxes, they still […]

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Reminder: You’re always training

Several years ago, Ken Ramirez gave a talk at the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference which was called “Training when you’re not training.” You can read my notes from Ken’s talk in this post. One of Ken’s main points was that training is always going on. We have many informal interactions with our […]

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Offered behaviors and unwritten rules

On the Thursday before ClickerExpo, Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and I gave a one-day PORTL workshop to an excellent group of about 40 Karen Pryor Academy trainers.  Here’s one interesting idea that came up during our discussions. As we interact with our animal or human learners, the patterns of behavior we reinforce can sometimes unknowingly create […]

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Grown-ups and initial training environments

Apollo and I have been working on Alexandra Kurland’s “the grown-ups are talking” exercise. This is a polite manners exercise that teaches the horse to stand calmly next to you for an extended duration of time with his head straight ahead. (Note: If your horse is new to clicker training, please start your training with […]

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ginger sleeping on the rug

Making alternative plans

When you are training an animal, you are working with another living creature. What happens during training is an interaction between this particular animal and your training plan. In some cases, the animal does something that you didn’t anticipate.  I’ve been thinking this week about what happens when things don’t go as planned. What happens […]

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