From Karen Willmus: All this last year my children, (boy age 7 and girl age 5) have been taking Suzuki violin lessons. We've had pretty good progress even though I never push them to practice every day. (Mom usually doesn't have time to supervise and forgets.) Well, as you all can imagine, kids that age don't practice on their own. Anyway, as the year's gone on, the kids have been more and more resistant to practicing. I don't like to fight, so the practice is becoming less and less. (Classical conditioning, you say!)
We avoided the whole subject of getting a dog for a long time. There were good reasons not to get a dog: we can't because we're moving, because we will be in a rental, we don't have the time. But logic lost, "Angel" won, and an adorable puppy joined our family.
Liberty was born here to an Arab mare named Sky that I got for $300. Sky was an abuse victem. She was beautiful, and only 10, but she was unbroke, and unmanagable, terrified of people, and bred. By the time Liberty was born, I could manage Sky well enough to do foot care, etc, but I was then in the midst of a terrible divorce, and didn't do much more than toss feed to the horses during that time. Incidentally she adopted her dams attitude of dislike and disdain for people, but not the fear. When she was about 6 months old, I started attempting to create a relationship with her. And I did, unfortunately it wasn't a good one. She was completely out of control, and although it burns my pride to say so, I was afraid of her.
From Sophie S.: Last week I noticed another situation in which there is a distinct difference between clicker training (using a marker signal!) and giving goodies without a clear-cut signal: calming a stressed dog.
Let me give you an example. I've been a clicker trainer for about three years now, but I never clicked my aunt's shepherd-Doberman mix (now 10 years old). Mascha's history is this: My aunt saved her from being put down, because her previous owner wanted to get rid of her. She was then six months old. He also probably hit her.
I wrote you months ago when I first read Don't Shoot the Dog. I wrote then that I would be a "clicker maniac"...guess it was an understatement.
Since then, I'm working towards my CPDT with Animal Behavior and Training Assoc., became a member of APDT, acquired an extensive Positive library, signed up on some really great online groups, and volunteer at the local shelter.