I think the clicker can be just as good as a well timed and consistent use of a praise word. ... I just say "good dog" in the same tone and pitch pattern and give the dog a treat, and they catch on to that. Then the praise sooner or later is just as rewarding as the treat was at first
Yes, you can desensitise the animal to the noise & then use it if you like, but yes, any consistent sound/signal will work as a bridge.
While I agree that *after the behaviour is learned/established* you can/should stop reinforcing all the time, that *random* reinforcement will actually further strengthen the behaviour you want, and that the animal associates the signal with the actual reinforcement, I don't believe it becomes 'just as rewarding' as the treat/reward. To prove this, try never reinforcing a dog with anything more than the word 'good' - it will lose it's meaning once the dog realises it doesn't... mean anything.
but I rarely give my horses treats. I don't ever want them to become pushy or search for treats, and with dogs I don't really mind.
OK, if you have a good read of the previous posts in this thread, you will hopefully get to understand it's not the treats that cause an animal to be 'rude'. Again, it's not so much the tools you use as how you use them. I personally don't like anyone being rude to me, regardless of their size or species - I do my best not to allow it from kids, dogs, friends, horses.... & I definitely strive to NEVER reward that behaviour. Often people may not realise what they're inadvertently rewarding, so they unwittingly actively teach the animal to be 'rude'.
Before doing any clicker training, it's important to "load" it first. ...I reserve the first 3-5 days to do a few 2-3 minute sessions each day, when all I do is click, treat, click, treat, click, treat.
This is the 'recipe' for 'loading' the clicker, aka giving it meaning. I think doing it this way can also be the easiest for people just starting out too. But you don't have to ask nothing of the animal for it. You can, for eg. Click & treat every time the horse does anything else aside from attempt to 'mug' you, thereby killing 2 birds, so to speak.
I think keeping sessions very short & sweet is definitely important, especially early on in training, but if you have the time for a few to many sessions in a day, that's fine & maybe even more effective, rather than only once daily. So long as 'sessions' are short & has stress free, pref. Relaxing periods in between them, you can do one every 10-15 minutes if you like. Could have that clicker 'charged' within the hour rather than taking 5 days.
what I really don't understand about clicker training is why your horse has to expect that its getting a treat. I want my animals to do something because I told them to, not because they think they are getting a treat for it. Don't get me wrong, I feed treats and love on my horses and they love working and doing their job. I understand how positive reinforcement training works, I incorporate it into all my training, but I don't think pure positive reinforcement training is all that useful.
TBH Gypsy, not sure I understand this post, as you seem to contradict yourself. You say a horse 'should' work just because you tell them to, but then you say you understand how PR
But perhaps it's about the last bit, about 'pure' PR
training. Perhaps you're thinking it can't be used without excluding any other way of communicating? If that's what you're getting at, then I tend to agree that I personally have no desire to do away with negative reinforcement, etc, & use those kinds of 'tools' in conjunction with PR
. I think it's throwing the baby out with the bathwater not to. But there are those 'purists' that claim to use solely PR
& find it very useful.
I do get that some people have the attitude that a horse 'should' do what the owner says because... they own it & it's 'disrespectful' or some such if the horse doesn't. I disagree with that attitude. An animal(whatever species, human or otherwise) will do something, be that a new behaviour or otherwise, because it works for them, not just because someone said. Whether it's because something Good eventuates or because something Bad goes away or is avoided, it's because there is a consequence. In human terms, you could say it's the difference between employment & slavery; if your boss never paid you, only made your life a mysery whenever you didn't perform for him, would you call it a good working relationship & have 'respect' for the guy, or would you think him a slave driver?