I have a dear friend who is a skilled Clicker Trainer of many different species, most commonly known in the KPCT crowd for her rabbit agility prowess. "Andrea" has been gracious with me and let me assist in some of her puppy classes. From Andrea I've learned many things, but it's one of her "pet" phrases that has sparked this most recent blog entry. You all know what it's like to have a behavior "thrown at you" while you're getting it on cue, however my most recent experience of this phenomenon has me giggling every time it happens. You see this trick involves one of my miniature horses, McKee, and his "trick of the week" is to sit like a dog. Yep, my horse first lies down, then props himself up to a sitting position, a very UNnatural horse behavior.But as a Clicker trainer, it's one of my proudest moments, because he actually learned this trick in ONE click. That's a first for me. He already knew how to sit in a beanbag chair, but he hadn't learned to lie down as a trick. Then one lucky day I was next to him when he decided to roll and I clicked and paid off BIG TIME. At that point he decided to add the sit, and BINGO, another jackpot (OK...I guess it was 2 clicks).He looked at me with his big brown eyes as if to say "You're kidding, you're going to PAY me for this?" Then he got up, turned a circle and laid down again, followed by the push to a sit. A click, lots of praise and food again. Believe it or not he repeated the process 6 times just to "test the validity of the click."This video that's isn't good quality but you can clearly see his trick.
So all of this puts us in our current situation, that being my horse who now offers his "trick of the week" at the strangest moments LOL. But that's OK, we've got a cue now (I shuffle my feet) and I'm having to ignore his non-cued efforts, but that doesn't mean I can't giggle when it happens.