Milton & I have a new project.
As soon as I ordered a set from clickertraining.com, I found my stash of old, box-style clickers.
The new design has a quieter click, “for classes or sound sensitive animals.” The new shape, “is always in a clickable position no matter how you hold it.” (ibid). I like the fact that you can’t hold it backwards, but am having trouble getting used to smaller click. Milton hears it just fine.
Yes, I’ve tried clicker training before, both dogs and horses. They’ve done great. I’ve been a mess. Having read Karen Pryor’s Don’t Shoot the Dog [S&S 1984, revised Bantam 1999] and Lads before the Wind [Harper & Row 1975, expanded edition Sunshine 2000] multiple times, I had theories playing bumper cars in my head. What if I reward the wrong thing? What if I reward the right thing at the wrong time? Should I be shaping? What if …?
This time, no books, no DVDs. Just a pile of carrots, a clicker, and a horse. What is the worst that could happen? I turn him into a carrot mooch? He already is. I derail his show career? He doesn’t have one. We spend time together? As long as he gets treats out of it, Milton’s happy.