Clicker Training Accomplished

18 09 2009

The old saying, “practice makes perfect” clearly applies to our clicker training with our furry friends. After about a full week of everyday hour long sessions, Brooklyn is now clicker trained. When she is hungry she will respond to to the sound of the clicker by feverishly locating her treat. Upon obtaining her treat she hears the second click, so that a clear association is made with the sound of clicker and food.

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Setback

9 09 2009

Going into this past weekend the clicker training was well. Brooklyn was responding to my clicker and was also taking the food every time. Problem issues were decreasing and I began to feel that I was beginning to get Brooklyn under stimulus control. However, I had to leave for New York on Friday and was not able to work with Brooklyn all weekend. This proved to be a bigger issue than I had originally though. It is true that practice makes perfect, and the lack of practice hurt my progress with Brooklyn. The old issues of her not taking the food and her returning to the wrong area after the initial click came back into play. I was disappointed, but realized that the only way to get on back was with more practice. I got back in the lab on Tuesday and trained. The training was frustrating, as I was used to much better performances from Brooklyn, but hey I went away, not her, so cant put it all on her.





Training Continues

9 09 2009

I saw progress with Brooklyn as my clicker training continued. She would no longer flinch when she heard the clicker, which was a noticeable change in her behavior. The hardest part of clicker training was gaining the rat’s full attention with the initial click. One issue that I was aware of was that after the secondary click, Brooklyn would take her food and carry it away from the dropping point to eat it. This caused some confusion with the initial click. After hearing the initial click she would sometimes report back to the area she ate the food at and not where I was dropping the food in. With more trials this problem seemed to decrease. The training is going well.





Training Begins

9 09 2009

In lab we began to learn more about getting our rats under stimulus control. One aspect of proper clicker training that I underestimated was having your rat be hungry when you train her. It proved to be very important. Brooklyn was not responding well to the food at first. It turned out that she was not hungry enough. She began responding to the food once I implemented a more structured feeding/training schedule. I used the double-click method in my clicker trainings with Brooklyn. Once she got over the initial shock of the clicker, I saw progress with the clicker training. She was now eating the food every time it was presented, which was a good start after my initial troubles.





Brooklyn

9 09 2009

My rat’s name is Brooklyn, which is a cute name for a girl and fits because I am from New York. In the first couple of days I felt it was best to allow myself and my new friend to get used to each other. I visited the lab daily where I would take Brooklyn out of her cage and just hold her for a while. Within the next couple days I began to let Brooklyn explore the training box in the lab, aswell as other cardboard boxes. I thought this would help with later clicker training. Her growing accustom to the box would eliminate unnecessary “exploring time” during later training.