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What is clickertraining?

Training with rewards and a marking signal (a bridge) is not just an ethical way of training, but also the most efficient choice. Why? Because the animal (in this case a horse) loves to be trained.
by

Inge Teblick

on 3 September 2016

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Transcript of What is clickertraining?

This is Oscar.
Oscar is a perfectly healthy, happy horse.
He has a girlfriend...
He has grass.
...and a human
who pays the bills...
...and who wants to ride.
Oscar didn't ask for that.
So it's up to his human
to
motivate
him
into letting him ride.
Yes.
Training is
all about
motivation.
You can train,
or motivate, in
two
ways.
You can
discourage
behavior you
don't
want.
You can
encourage
behavior you
do
want.
Now,
if you were Oscar,
what kind of training
would
you
like?
Precisely.
Although...
Horses remember best
what they were doing right
if you reward them
right away
.
That makes reward training a bit impractical,
especially when you want to ride your horse.
Suppose you want to
jump obstacles at the next Olympics...
Hmmm...
Naah...
Ummm...
...but - wait a minute!
Don't they train dolphins with rewards?
Indeed.
Horse reward training
and dolphin training
look quite the same.
So what's their secret?
the whistle
Yup, a whistle.
To be more exact:
i
ts
clear, short
s
ound.
So how does that work?
The trainer tells the dolphin
what to do, with a
cue
.
The dolphin does
what the trainer asks.
At that
exact same moment,
the trainer whistles.
Now the dolphin
swims to the trainer
to get his reward.
The dolphin learns that
every time

he does what the trainer asks,
he'll
hear the
whistle
,
which means he'll
get a
fish
.
The whistle

sound
bridges
the time gap
between the moment that he did it right
and the moment he actually gets his reward.
And of course, this works with horses too.
In fact, it works with
all
animals.
The trainer tells the horse
what to do, with a cue.
The horse does what the trainer asks.
The trainer
bridges
the horse.
The horse gets a carrot.
You can bridge for small things.
...like only if he lifts
his left front foot a bit more
when clearing the jump.
You can bridge for big things.
Like clearing a show jumping obstacle course,
fetching an object or performing a dressage test.
(they call that microshaping)
"Wait a minute", I hear you say,
"that's all
fine and dandy
,
but my horse does that already
without bridges and carrots, so
why should I change what I do?
"
Well, because...
It
feels
better, so it
works
better.
The horse is
happy
with the
carrot
.
Because the bridge always leads to the carrot,
the horse now already gets
happy

when he hears the
bridge
.
The trainer only asks things the horse can succeed in,
so every cue leads to the bridge which leads to the carrot,
so the horse now already gets
happy
when he gets a
cue
.
(horse people call cues 'aids')
And that is why clickertraining works so well:
happy horse, happy trainer
.
...like hitting your horse
because he doesn't want to move.
...like taking away his food bucket
because he forgot his manners.
...like taking away the pressure from your legs
when he moves forward.
...like giving him a carrot when he runs to you.
You can
add something

that your horse
doesn't like
.
You can
take away something

that your horse
likes
.
You can
take away something

that your horse
doesn't like
.
You can
add something

that your horse
likes
.
(punish)
(reinforce)
+
+
-
-
(and those two ways
also each have two ways)
or
What is clickertraining?


by Inge Teblick
www.ingeteblick.be
(through loopy training and chaining)
(That's why this sound is called a bridging signal,
or simply 'a bridge'. The 'click' from a clicker is
also a bridge. So is saying "ex!", "yes!", "zop!" or "moo!".)
Questions? Ideas? Want to try?
It starts with one click:
http://www.ingeteblick.be
by adding something
by taking something away
by taking something away
by adding something
The horse will have to do
more and more
before he earns his one carrot.
(through clear, consistent
step-by-step versatile
training called 'shaping'.)
After all, your horse is your best friend,
and he deserves the best trainer.
You.
Full transcript