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Why I Don’t do “Clicker Training” by Helen Spence PhD

As many of you realize I also tend to veer away from the term “Clicker Trainer”. It is a loaded and inaccurate term. The people that are familiar with the term are very opinionated one way or another-they either love it or hate it. So the term may drum up interest or disdain. If they are familiar with the term than they typically know what the term positive reinforcement training indicates. However, plenty of people have obviously seen some not so great “clicker training”. For them the term has been poisoned. Teaching them will first take prying their minds open so that proper teaching can happen. But if we don’t start with that term we may start fresh with an open mind. Then we can help them to develop a true understanding of the science behind positive reinforcement training. For me, that is where we should focus, not on a label but a concept. In the marine mammal world (where the training was first put into action) we never called it “clicker training”. Most marine mammal trainers don’t use a clicker. It is a term that started many years later in the dog world.. Anyhoo, as usual, Helen can teach us a lot through her wonderful insight and knowledge. So here is her Blog post:

Ask Shawna Clicker and Target Issues On Target Training

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