Click and create
One subject that crops up frequently in training circles is the side effects of various training techniques. We caution against the harmful fallout of punishment-based methods. We debate the relative merits of luring, shaping, and capturing. We examine studies that compare the rate of behavior acquisition using various marker signals. And, of course, we love to talk about the added benefits of clicker training—engaging the dog's mind, the respondent conditioning of a positive emotional state, the fostering of creativity in both trainer and trainee.
Many people are familiar with the heroic stories of the search and rescue dogs that have helped victims of disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. However, few people know about the canines that are still helping victims and families long after disasters have left their devastating impact. These canine heroes are the specially trained canine crisis response teams of HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (HOPE AACR).
When I was four, my mom, perhaps in response to nagging from my sister and me, bought us goldfish. We came home with eight goldfish in a tiny one-gallon tank. They all died within 48 hours, due to overcrowding in the tank. I remember realizing that we must have been doing something wrong. I was left with the important lesson that pet ownership is something to take very seriously and to learn to do properly.
I'm part of a group that runs a 4-H dog camp each summer called The Ohio 4-H Teen Dog Experience. A group of teens from all parts of Ohio spends several days with their dogs and new friends in an intense dog-training environment. Eleven 4-H'ers and their dogs attended the four-day camp in June, 2009.