There are many different ways a bunny can jump. She can jump over a pole, through a hoop, onto a platform, or into a basket. This trick teaches your bunny to jump over a pole, but with some creative baby steps, jumping can easily be generalized to jumping in other situations.
Cues and Cueing
Editor's note: Debi Davis is an innovative, skilled clicker trainer, who writes well to boot. Whenever one of her keen observations comes our way, we're delighted—and hurry to share it with visitors to clickertraining.com. Recently, Debi wrote to tell us a story about her service Border collie, Finn. As with all of Debi's stories, it contains an insight: clicker training provides true learning, and behaviors taught through it are not forgotten. Therefore, we asked Emma Parsons, KPCT's training director and author of Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog, to add her comments on the light that Debi's piece sheds on the durability of clicker trained cues.
A trainer can poison the process of learning without poisoning individual cues (that is, despite using positive reinforcement exclusively). This comes about unwittingly—and ironically—because of the trainer's expertise, focus, and purposefulness.
Here's something people often don't get, and not just in agility training: cues—the signals you give your dog to tell it what to do—can be clicks. If your cue tells the dog to do something it understands, and something with a guaranteed positive outcome or reinforcer as a result, it becomes a potential reinforcer in itself. And you can use it to shape behavior.
At ClickerExpo last season, Karen Pryor talked about paired or "opposite" cues, and gave the "bark/be quiet" pair as an example. This is an easy pair to train as a demonstration if you happen to have a very barky dog handy. The concept of teaching cues in pairs is new to many dog trainers, although a familiar tool to some marine mammal trainers.