In January 2016, I had an idea for a “little project.” I thought I would take some of the most useful articles from my website, blog, and Facebook page, organize them into a logical format and publish them as a set of “collected articles.” I organized the material into four volumes (beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, and ridden work) and got to work.
But, I quickly realized that just doing the first one would be a challenge, and I had to consider how much time and energy I could spend on this project. In the end, I decided to focus on the material for beginners and save the rest for later. Even though I decided not to cover more “advanced” behaviors, my hope is that the book provides a good foundation and trainers can use the resources and references that I have included if they wish to learn more.
Now, 2 and a half years later, I am finally publishing my set of “collected articles,” which has evolved into something more like a book. I chose to publish the book as an e-book because I wanted it to be searchable and easy to update. At the current time, the book does not contain any photos or video links, but there is a link to a page on my website where I will be adding photos and video links as I have time. Eventually, I will incorporate some of those into the book itself, but I thought it made more sense to publish the book now, instead of waiting another year for me to finish that aspect of it. I will post an announcement when an update becomes available.
My hope is that the book will be useful for new clicker trainers who are just starting, or need a few more details about how to get started successfully, as well as provide some in-depth information for people who have already done some clicker training, but are eager to dig a little deeper into it. If you are interested in learning more about the book, you can find the book on Amazon, which will let you look inside. The Table of Contents, listed below, will also give you some idea of the content.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 3: A LITTLE BIT OF SCIENCE
Taking Another Look at the Click
How Neuroscience Can Help us with Training
Reinforcement and Bribery
A Little Review of Key Points
CHAPTER 4: TRAINING STRATEGIES
An Introduction to Cues
Choosing A Training Strategy
A Closer Look at the Process of Shaping
A Shaping Plan to Teach Whales to Blow Bubble Rings
CHAPTER 5: TRAINING SESSIONS
Preparing for Training Sessions
Reinforcement Schedules and Variety
Unwanted Behavior and Errors
How to Introduce Your Horse to Clicker Training
What Behaviors Should You Train First?
CHAPTER 6: TARGETING
An Introduction to Targeting
Teaching a Horse to Touch a Hand-Held Target
Teaching a Horse to Touch a Stationary Target
Adding a New Cue to the Behavior “Touch the Target”
Teaching a Horse to go to a Target
Building Duration: Waiting at a Target
Teaching a Horse to Target Your Hand
Teaching A Horse to Follow a Target