Here is the long awaited YouTube link for Sugar showing everyone her new trick – taking a bow. My friend, Toni, had a conditioning assignment for her psychology class, involving training animals with a clicker, and asked if she could use Sugar. Of course I thought that was a great idea. Sugar needs to lean as much as she can!
I tried my hand at clicker training when Jake became sick; I figured if I couldn’t work his body, at least I could work his mind. I ordered some books on Amazon and went to Karen Pryor’s clicker training website. Her site is mostly for training dogs, but I found some useful stuff there for horses too.
From what I can tell, the theory is to get the horse to do a desired behavior and then click and give them a treat. Supposedly the clicker indicates they performed correctly and the treat reinforces the behavior. I taught Jake and Kobi to pick up an orange traffic cone. I started by clicking and reinforcing when they showed interest and touched the cone with their nose. Once they were doing that consistently, I would only click and treat when they would mouth the cone, and then pick up the cone.
But enough about my attempt at clicker training – click on the link below to see Toni and Sugar’s successful training!
BTW – the kitten’s official name is now Cricket, but Les might be allergic to her, time will tell.