Don't miss this terrific interview with clicker trainer Samantha Martin in the Chicagoist. Samantha works with cats and small mammals, using all-positive training with amazing results. (And if you can't get enough of Samantha, check out our own profile of this dynamic trainer: Herding Cats in Hollywood.) An excerpt from the new interview:
C: What is the most fascinating/surprising thing you have learned in your studies, and have you found anything in your studies that substantially contradicts what you've learned from your own experience observing animal behavior?
SM: It's fascinating how much the animals crave training time. My cats are constantly watching me and waiting for a chance to learn something new. Tuna actually gets crabby if I don't spend time training her. I also love watching the animals try to figure out something new, and when they finally get it, you can see it in their eyes (lightbulb moment). It's one of the most rewarding moments.
There is controversy about whether an animal can learn from watching another animal. I think they do watch and learn. I recently found Pinky (my guitar player) sitting on the main training set in expectation. She has never been worked there -- her only job has been to play the guitar. Obviously she wants to learn more.
You can read the whole article here.