Clicker Training Blog

Clicker Training Horses on the Trail

This is an email sent in by Teresa Jessee, a reader who wanted to tell us about her successes with clicker training horses on the trail. These are great examples of how clicking can work out in the real world, outside of "training" scenarios.

Doggone Crazy! Board Game Creators Win International Awards

The creators of the family board game Doggone Crazy! and the Clicker Puppy dog training DVD, Joan Orr and Teresa Lewin, were recognized with several awards from the International Positive Dog Training Association for their work in 2005 promoting positive dog training and public education for dog bite prevention.

Broad Institute Unleashes Dog Genome

An international research team led by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has decoded the DNA of the domestic dog and pinpointed millions of genetic differences that distinguish dog breeds. The study also includes the first comparative analysis to encompass three distinct mammalian genomes, revealing important DNA elements common among them. Such shared genetic signatures offer crucial insights into genome organization and function, particularly in humans. Their efforts, described in the December 8 issue of Nature, shed light on the genetic similarities between dogs and humans as well as the genetic differences between dog breeds, and may guide future discoveries that improve the health of both species.

Sound of Dog's 'Laugh' Calms Other Pooches

We have our own ideas about how to quiet dogs in a shelter, but here's a great new one ... play a recording of a dog laughing!

Fido's First Cell Phone

Well, cell phones do everything else these days, why not use them to call and track your dog? The new PetCell allows you to literally call and speak to your dog, but more importantly it includes several features that could very useful for management and safety with no aversives:

Licking/Chewing=Learning? -

More studies showing the "aha" moment that comes with operant conditioning, this time when clicker training horses: Years ago we studied punishment in horse training. In that context, when subjects "figured out" how to avoid the punishment, they usually showed the lowered head, lip licking, chewing, and sighing. They then responded correctly and avoided punishment, so they had learned. But they usually showed signs of anxiety and mild depression. The end of a training trial seemed like relief, "Thank goodness that's over," and they became reluctant to do the trials.

Clicker training cats enriches their lives

The Gilsdorfs note that some folks believe teaching tricks to cats is unnatural or should be limited to circus animals.

But Sue finds that training increases her rapport with the pets and offers them needed stimulation.

Depressed? Swim with dolphins

Does this explain why so many dolphin trainers have such pleasant dispositions?Paris - Taking a dip with dolphins can be a tremendous therapy for people with depression, according to a study published on Saturday in the weekly British Medical Journal (BMJ).