The realities of our current economy are becoming all too real for many small business owners. If you're an independent animal trainer or the owner of a training business, you may be understandably anxious about the headlines. The good news is that there are several things you can do to maintain and even improve your bottom line despite the challenges of today's fiscal landscape.
Just for Professional Trainers
A few weeks ago, I gave a short teaching demonstration for a Karen Pryor Academy workshop. The lesson had me teaching students to train their dogs to target to the students' index fingers and then follow the finger. It's a handy behavior that can be used to teach heeling or any number of great tricks. I looked forward to teaching it, as it's one of my favorites.
By Lindsay Wood, MA, CTC. Abstract: Acquisition of a multiple component task, such as approaching and touching a target apparatus on cue, plays an important role in animal training and husbandry. Experimental training of two groups of 10 naïve dogs (Canis familiaris) to perform the target task differed only by the assigned bridging stimulus: a clicker or spoken word "good." Although both types of bridging stimuli are used in the training field to indicate the precise instance of correct behavior, this study represents the first systematic comparison of the efficacy of these two types of bridging stimuli.
Dog Bite Prevention week is May 19-25, 2008. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the American Veterinary Medical Association, most dog bite victims are children, and most bites are by the family pet or another dog known to the child.
I had my first experience with animal training more than 20 years ago, with my own dog. I attended a traditional training class, which used a method I called "yank and thank." We waited for the dog to "get it wrong," then yanked on its choke collar and promptly "thanked it" by offering praise. This method makes as little sense to me now as it did then, but at the time I knew of no other options.