clicker training books

Marusenka

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Aug 10, 2006
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I don't know of any specific books per se- i have just started some clicker training with my youngster as he does not like picking up his feet; i was finding it very hard to reward the slightest try on his part and using the clicker just meant that he had that clear cue instantly that he had done something good.

I went onto some sites on the internet- just googled clicker training horses and they recommended just starting out clicking and treating a few times so that the horse gets the idea and then teaching the horse to touch a target and moving on to other things from there once they have the idea.

My little lad caught on very quickly and will now touch whatever and look away before he gets his treat and he is getting much better with his feet- will let me hold up the front ones now for about 5 seconds before the click and treat- when he snatches them away i just let him and he doesn't get anything- he has soon learned what i am asking him to do- we are still working on his back feet but he is getting there!

I have just used the clicker much as an additional part of training, where before i would tell him he was good and give him a rub i now click while telling him he is good- he knows that distinctive click now means that he has done a good thing and he gets very excited when i bring the clicker out waiting for me to ask him to do something so he can get his treat.

I believe the Alexandra Kurland book "the click that teaches" is meant to be good at taking you through starting clicker training step by step- i taught my dog clicker training years ago so just thought i would try it with my horse and see how we got on but it has been fab- i highly recommend clicker training- it has got him focused and he gets a clear signal that he has done something good and a reward for his good behaviour and although to start with he did mug a bit for treats he has stopped this totally now that he knows he never gets a click and treat for doing that!!!

Good luck with your horse :)
 

capalldubh

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May 26, 2006
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If you want a book about clicker training (and the science behind it) Karen Pryor's book "Don't Shoot the Dog" is amazing (and has superb examples about how it applies to everything - dogs, horses, people :D ). But it's not a step by step guide and isn't specific to horses.

For horses, "The Click that teaches" by Alex Kurland is great. Aimed specifically at horses, good examples, and a clear, step-by-step approach. Has stuff about trick training - but also lots of problem solving if there are behaviour issues you want to deal with. She has a slightly NH background (uses more Negative Reinforcement than I do) based sort of on John Lyons techniques - but overall very nice and clear. There is a second book - Riding with the Clicker, that I'm working through just now with my youngster. It's proving very helpful too.

Good luck whatever book you go for - it's great fun and I have yet to find a horse that didn't take to it enthusiastically :)
 

Jiouxles

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Nov 25, 2005
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'Clicker Training for Your Horse' by Alex Kurland is good too. I'm planning to start Mayoral again with this in the New Year. I tried last year but managed to lose 3 clickers in as many weeks, and I have to get them sent from UK. I have discovered that some jar lids that have the pop up 'safety button' work pretty well too, they're just not very loud. Keep us posted, I'd be interested to know how you get on.
 

svenja

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Jul 28, 2006
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thanks! I ordered the kurland book a couple of weeks ago and it got lost in the post....
Apparently it's out of print and I'm finding it really hard to get another copy. Clicker training was suggested to me by a couple of people on this board to resolve pielena's issues with the farrier and I thought it sounded like a great idea.... I'll have another browse on the internet, in the meantime thanks for all your helpful suggestions! And happy new year!:D
 

izzy18

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Aug 21, 2004
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I'd echo capalldubh's recommendation for 'Don't Shoot the Dog' by Karen Pryor. It's a great book. I did a lot of clicker training with my rescued GSD and it worked wonderfully. He was really nervous and had been badly mistreated, and it was great for 'hands off' training and building a relationship with him. Made him realise that human hands were not just for beating him up....:(

I've never used clicker training to train a horse though. A couple of people I suggested it to said that it can make horses mug you for food and makes you seem subservient to them?? :confused: Not sure how this works, as presumably other than their grazing, most horses must have figured out that their feeds come from humans?!!
 

Jiouxles

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Nov 25, 2005
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They only mug you for a while, once they learn 'no click, no food' they start waiting for the click and offering behaviour to try and get it. That's when you can start shaping them. Works both ways tho', if you click by accident you have to treat or it all goes to pot - be careful not to click if you don't mean it. Also, if you're serious about it, don't treat without clicking - even if you are just saying 'hello' to them in the stable etc. That way they know where they stand. (On your foot usually :D )
 

izzy18

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Aug 21, 2004
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That's really interesting Jiouxles. It's great to hear it works for horses, as I have seen it used with so much success for dogs in the past. My dog offers all kinds of 'behaviours' he has been taught when I get the clicker out - he has a little repertoire he tries before actually listening to what I am asking him!

Re: losing clickers, I had similar problems when training the dog, and now I ride, I seem to lose whips with the same kind of frequency! :eek: Have you seen the clickers that come with a kind of plastic springy wristband? I have this one:
http://www.doggiesolutions.co.uk/erol.html - clicker with wrist coil!
 
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