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Off the Beaten Path

The Nurse Trap: Operant Conditioning for Hospital Staff

I am a hospital volunteer. One day I arrived and was told immediately that the patient in 4B was giving candy to anyone who came into her room. Well, you can imagine the rapid response she got when her bell rang. Indeed, staff and volunteers began to offer behavior by sticking our heads in just to see if she needed anything. Since that day, I have called it a "nurse trap."

Clicking: The Call of the Wild?

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.

Test Your Timing with These Online Tools

Improve your clicker training skills online. There are a few places tucked away in the ether of the world wide web that can you help you improve your clicker training, or help you see what its like. Here are a few with our comments. Know additional sites? We'll let people know!

Agility Competitions...for Cats!

There's now a national agility organization and competition for cats. The cats learn to run across obstacles around the house, sometimes for clicks and treats but more often for clicks and chasing a feather lure or some other toy through the course. Cats love it and take well to running new courses in new places. The courses are set up inside an area fenced with special wire net panels that cats can't climb, so there's no risk of contestants going AWOL. The first major competition was won by an eight month old Himalayan kitten (a long-haired breed you'd expect to be a couch potato, but not this one.)

Children's Novelist Discovers Clicker Training

When I got Josey, my first horse, I was thirteen and she was six months old. I trained her myself, without any experience or experienced help. How on earth did I do it? I wonder now. I had some books, but they were much farther down the road of understanding than I was. As I say in my new novel, Shaper, it was like trying to read Shakespeare without even knowing the alphabet. Josey and I survived.