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Gem Posts

Creative Gorillas?

The "creative" game, an application of operant conditioning, was first developed with dolphins at Sea Life Park in Hawaii. This procedure for teaching animals to invent new behaviors was reported in a study funded by the Office of Naval Research. (See "The creative porpoise: Training for novel behavior," Karen Pryor, Richard Haig, and Joseph O'Reilly, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 1969, 12:653-661.)

Clicking an Attack Cat

From Mara Windstar: I have been clicker training my service dog "Freely," a golden retriever, for about one year. While we were coming home from a walk last week, a white cat whose house we pass daily lept at me and grabbed onto my side... CLAWS EXTENDED! It was terrifying.. I looked at the cat for an instant and it screamed and showed its pointy teeth--and that was it for me! I looked away immediately! I was trying not to panic... Freely started barking and lunging but he was not trying to attack the cat back. Fortunately the owner saw and heard the commotion and came running over and screamed to the cat and it lept off me.

ADI Inc: Top Dogs in Reinforcement in the Workplace

From Brian Snarr: I read Don't Shoot the Dog many years ago and became an immediate fan. It has helped tremendously with training and having fun with our two dogs and one cat. I was also very interested in sections that talked about dealing with people. As a teacher, I implemented some positive reward systems in my classroom. It has been great!

Tracking with the Clicker: A Cocker Spaniel

From Carolann D'Agostino: I train with my lively cocker in agility under wonderful instructors using your clicker training methods. I am shortly going to attend my 1st tracking seminar. I have read a beginner's tracking book. In your book Clicker Training for Dogs you say clickers can be incorporated into tracking training. Since I am olfactorally challenged by dog standards could you give some insight how I can start with clicker training in tracking? I don't want to be reinforcing the dog for following the wrong scent and thus off the laid track. I understand that tracking training is different than training in obedience in this regard.

Ferocious Feline: Biting and Scratching

From Deborah Lutz: My cat, Esme, is around two years old. I adopted her at 5 months from Bide-a-Wee Shelter here in NYC. She is a Snowshoe Siamese, so I am told, and has a wide range of 'personality attributes'. She is smart, feisty, vocal,affectionate and energetic!!! and I enjoy her immensely...for the most part. Unfortunately she does bite and nip at me, particularly at my face. She has awakened me often this way. What concerns me most is that she goes for my face without warning even when I am holding her and she appears to be comfortable in my arms. She also takes swipes at me, aiming towards my face if she is angry. She has broken the skin with her teeth and claws but thus far superficially.