Wow, didn't know that I hit such a hot button topic on this one.
I can understand and appreciate the reasons FOR clicker training, but still,...I see that "ideal" as a minority, not the average, so I still say "neigh" LOL
And Loosie, more BRATTY horses are ones that get treats. Scared, abused or just not trained doesn't count as bratty to me. Bratty is deliberate "wiggling" or beligerance because they are never MADE to do anything they don't want without cookies in hand, and the treats that usually are doled out are sugary cookies and fruits, not pellets. Again, yes, the training method is usually not done right, thus the negative view. If it's too complex for the general public to do right, is it really that successful?
As for postive/neg reinforcement...the cessation of a cue is not "negative" in my mind. Hitting/striking etc is because it can create fear oftentimes and horses that recieve "neg" reinforcement dont' want to be near you. However, cessation of a cue is POSITVE in my view. Another horse asking a herd member to move doesn't even say thanks..he quits pinning his ears and takes the food away, he doesn't offer up a cookie to share, so I feel just the "stop pinning of ears" or not having the negatve follow up of a kick is plain and clear for the lower member, even if he has to give up a delectable nibble of grass or wait to get a drink. He's not abused, he understood, and he's not resentful. My horses still come like a dog, I say "good boy" and my hands are free to offer up a good scratch or the reins AND a bucket, whatever. The food/pushy issue just never comes up that way in the first place. I don't have to go out of my way to carry any in my pockets and it's completely free, no gadgety clicker or extra treats to buy or keep up with.
And for the comparison to a human working. Yes, a nice "thank you" goes a long way (translation-good girl) but if my boss is nice when asking (cueing) I don't mind doing it at all-it's my job. I work for a paycheck that pays my housing/food/clothing costs, but horses ultimately are cared for overall so that's the tradeoff-their paycheck. Yes, a bonus/tip is a wonderful reward, but if it's expected everytime, then it's no longer a bonus or treat..it's my paycheck just broken down into smaller, more frequent portions. Treats are just that at my barn. An occasional apple in the bucket, just because, is fun.
I don't even give my dog treats.
as a general rule.unless I just feel like a little something fun. He sits because I tell him to, and he doesn't pee in the house because I tell him NO, but I never give him a bribe for that behavior. Just a "good dog" and he's content to do as I say. I might use a treat as a way to get him to posture a certain way and I use the voice to "cue" at the same time,but after he gets the idea, the food goes away, and I rarely do that.
So...overall, I don't like clicker training. For most people it turns out wrong. It complicates a simple process by adding more "props" and ties up one's hands. If you like it, go right ahead. I don't have a problem with it. I won't partake and when I'm too busy to trim all the horses that I get calls for, the bratty, treat trained ones are the first to be knocked off my list, becuase they make my job a lot harder. I'd rather work a spooky, untrained one. That's just me, and you won't change my mind, and I won't attempt to change yours.