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Should Beginners Come to ClickerExpo?

Absolutely! If you're a beginner, just starting clicker training now, the most important reason to come to ClickerExpo may be to enjoy the huge advantage that position offers. The clicker technology “revolution” began among dog owners in 1992. Since that time the clicker community has made enormous strides. We've discovered a ton of shortcuts and have much faster ways of shaping and of adding cues. Techniques that save a lot of time have been developed, such as teaching targeting as the default behavior, an idea pioneered with horses and now standard with cats, birds, and many zoo animals. We've dropped some clunky laboratory procedures that we don't need in our work (laboriously conditioning the clicker, for example). Better and easier ways to teach people to click are always being developed. We've learned to manage difficult species and difficult situations, like aggression, with positive tools. And we can use cues in ways we didn't even imagine 10 years ago.

It's like computers. Maybe you had an awful time with your first computer. “Word processing” was not easy to learn! Did you plow through some terrible software learning curves, with some truly terrible software? Even the games could have you kicking the walls. But, people growing up today start off where we are right now, doing research on the Internet, throwing graphics into their e-mails, playing amazing games. What was hard then is easy now.

It's the same with clicker training. You, the newcomer, are the beneficiary. You don't have to struggle through the same learning curves many others did. You start at the top of the escalator, starting at the level that we early-adopters have just reached. That's why we host ClickerExpo—so everyone can race ahead no matter where they begin.

See the courses we recommend for new trainers at ClickerExpo Stamford 2017: