The training terminology dilemma

I read a lot of training information, particularly the science-based operant conditioning stuff. As with many “new” areas of discovery, our language did not come pre-populated with words that fit the new concepts. Old words have been given new, specific meanings in order for the scientists to communicate effectively. Imporant examples are the crucial terms “reinforcement” and “punishment”. They have very different usages in common speech and when discussing operant conditioning.

This poses a big problem when someone tries to explain the science to someone who isn’t in on these secret code words!

The dilemma is in how to handle this issue. A lot of hands-on animal trainers just ignore the discrepancy when talking to their peers, and hope they are understood in light of the context. They may either hope that new people will take the hint, or they dumb down their language and oversimplify. Neither of those sit well with me.

I particularly like Jakk Pankespp’s approach to the use of common words as scientific desriptors.

New digs for dog training help

We’ve had an offer accepted and are looking forward to our own home in Swan View. Not too many swans around, but there’s a park across the road, which we have a nice view of.

We’re looking forward to settlement and hoping for a smooth move for Perth Raptor Care and Raptor Presentations. In between setting up temporary mews and the hospital, I’ll be doing lots of habituation and counter-conditioning with Amika, the German Shepherd featured in my profile pics.


What is clicker training?

Here’s an awesome short tutorial on how to get started.

If you are having trouble finding a clicker to buy, let me know. I keep spares on hand, and sell for less than $10.

I love learning about dog training

I’m stoked, Susan Garrett has decided to offer a free course. I’m in! 🙂 (It’ll help offset the $100+ I spent on a professional animal training text a few months ago.) Susan does good online courses.

New dog training class at Billy’s

I’m adding a new level to my Sunday class schedule. Starting 19th of July, 4 weeks of clicker fun and learning advanced training techniques. Held at Billy’s Day-Care for Dogs. billys_logoAll dogs with basic obedience skills welcome to apply. 🙂 Phone the girls during business hours on 9478 2000 to book a place.