equine clicker training

using precision and positive reinforcement to teach horses and people

Notes from the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference (ORCA): Dr. Paul Andronis – Adjunctive Behavior – So What Else Is Going On?

Dr. Paul Andronis is a professor at Northern Michigan University where he is an expert in the experimental and applied analysis of behavior.  In his presentation, he shared some information on “adjunctive” behavior both from an academic and a practical viewpoint. He discussed several varieties of adjunctive behavior, how it differs from other types of behavior, and the necessary conditions under which it occurs. He also talked about how it should […]

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Notes from the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference (ORCA): Barbara Heidenreich on “Maintaining Behavior the Natural Way.”

Barbara Heidenreich is a professional animal trainer who does extensive consulting with zoos and also works with individuals training many different species.  In her work as a consultant, she often finds herself in situations where she has cannot rely solely on food for reinforcement, so she has learned to identify and use non-food reinforcers of many different kinds. In her presentation, she shared some tips on finding and using non-food reinforcers.  This was a great follow-up […]

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Notes from the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference (ORCA): More on The Premack Principle

In the last article, I wrote about the Premack Principle which states that: • Behaviors are reinforcers, not stimuli • More probable behaviors reinforce less probable behaviors. • Less probable behaviors punish more probable behaviors. What can I do with information? First, the idea of behaviors as reinforcers opens up many new possibilities for ways to reinforce behavior. And second, it means I need to pay more attention to the […]

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Notes from The Art and Science of Animal Training Conference (ORCA): Dr. Peter Killeen on “Skinner’s Rats, Pavlov’s Dogs, Premack’s Principles.”

Dr. Killeen is a professor of psychology at Arizona State University and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Texas, Cambridge University, and the Centre for Advanced Study, Oslo.  He gave the keynote address on Saturday morning.  Here’s the description from the conference website: “Reinforcement is a central concept in the enterprise of training, and yet it remains a controversial one. Much of the opinion about its nature is […]

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Notes from The Art and Science of Animal Training Conference (ORCA): Duration

This year (2017) the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference had a theme for each day. On Saturday, the lectures focused on the Premack Principle and how reinforcement works. On Sunday, the focus was on how to effectively maintain behaviors. As you might expect, there were some interesting connections between different presentations, both across topics and between topics.Because of this, rather than write about each presentation separately, I am […]

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Marker Signals: Thinking Beyond the Click

Clicker training gets its name from the use of a clicker (or click) to mark behavior, but that doesn’t mean that a clicker is the only effective way to mark behavior. A clicker is just one of the most frequently used options because it is short, salient, and produces the same sound every time (mostly…). It also has the advantage that it’s a novel sound for most animals, so there are […]

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First International Conference on Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare: Theory of Change

I had a little spare time the other day and started checking out the website, http://www.hbcanimalwelfare.com/hbcaw1–2016.html, which is the home page for the First International Conference on Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare. The conference was held in September 2016 in the UK. The conference brought together a wide variety of speakers from both the professional and academic fields, and they shared their ideas, experiences, and research on how to improve animal […]

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