In this lesson you will learn:
- Learn what it is like to shape a behavior
- A fun game of how to clicker train a human
- What it is like to be in the dogs shoes when you clicker train them
One of the best ways to learn how to clicker train is to have a friend clicker train you to do a desired behavior. This is a really fun game, and it can help you understand what it’s like to be in the dog’s shoes.
Here is the basic idea of the game. Your friend will pick some arbitrary ‘goal behavior,’ and he or she will train you to perform that behavior only by using clicks. Some examples of the goal behavior might be you patting your head with your right hand, or touching a lamp with your elbow.
Here are the rules for the game
1. Your friend will give you clicks when you are ‘getting warmer’ to the goal behavior, and you will get no clicks when you are getting colder. Again, think of it as a hot and cold game.
2. You are not allowed to talk to one another, and you may not give any body language clues as to what the goal behavior might be.
3. You cannot train the other person to do anything dangerous, and the behavior you are training cannot involve touching each other.
This game usually takes about 3-5 minutes to play. If it takes much longer than that, you may have picked too hard of a goal behavior. In this case, just pick a new goal behavior, and start over again.
When you play this game, you get to see clicker training from the dog’s perspective. It’s difficult to figure out the trainer’s goal behavior. Playing this game also helps you become a better clicker trainer, because you can really gain some insight and empathy for the dogs you are training.
There is an entire field of study around clicker training. For more information and further study, I linked a few resources to get you started off on the right foot.
You can also check out the book “Don’t Shoot The Dog,” by Karon Pryor. These links will also help get you started.