Recently, Alexandra Kurland, author of Clicker Training for Your Horse, Clicker Training Your Horse, Step-by-Step in Pictures, and a series of videos corresponded with Jim Wiltens, co-leader for the Camels Over the Himalayas Expedition. Jim came to ClickerExpo to get his first exposure to clicker training and met Alexandra Kurland at her sessions. Immediately, he set out to use his education in the field. The piece is a great example of the transformative nature of clicker training and how people and animals learn quickly together. The log of Jim's training adventure begins below.
Daniel J Radziej - Animal Ambassadors - South Africa
Here is a remarkable story of a leopard, a desert, and a clicker trainer. It may suggest a brand-new tool for track and study animals in the wild-and the National Geographic was there to film the whole thing.
Many zoos are now using operant conditioning to improve the wellbeing of their animals. Targeting enables keepers to move animals around without frightening them. Clicker training provides mental and physical stimulation, enriches the animals' lives, and can even save lives. (Once upon a time zoo animals had to be immobilized with a dart gun to get medical treatment. There's some risk involved-it's hard to judge the dosage-and the animals universally hate the experience, and often exhibit extreme stress which of course skews the results of any blood tests you might want to take). Now clicker training enables zoo vets and keepers to weigh the animals regularly, and to perform annual physicals, vaccinations, pregnancy exams, blood draws, hoof care, and treatment for illness, with the calm cooperation of their patients.
From Elisabeth & Piccolino: Is there anything published about clickertraining with minipigs? I'm experienced with clickering dogs and horses, but I found a lot of things very different with minipig Piccolino. We'd be very grateful for any support.
Steve Dale, nationally syndicated pet writer and radio host, recently interviewed Navy representative Tom La Puzza, on Animal Planet. Navy dolphin trainers use operant conditioning and positive reinforcement, exactly as clicker trainers do-with fish, patting, and social attention for rewards, and a whistle or other sounds for the clicks and cues. Steve Dale writes: