Trainers don’t always take “trick” behaviors seriously, but trick behaviors are a powerful method of motivating handlers and learners of all levels.
Ask anyone what a “trick behavior” is and the response will likely be similar to:
- “Behaviors that are fun to train!”
- “Behaviors that are fun for the learner.”
- “Something entertaining to watch.”
- “An unusual behavior put on cue.”
- “Behaviors not taken seriously by the trainer.”
Successful trick training requires the same effective skills that more commonly trained behaviors require. In many cases, training a trick behavior can require handlers to use tools they have never (or rarely) used before. This often increases the handlers’ overall skills.
Michele Pouliot began training trick behaviors when she first discovered clicker training in 1999. Although her career prompted Michele to develop a very serious use of clicker training for guide dogs for the blind, she believes that her deep experiences with training tricks are most responsible for her personal development as a positive reinforcement trainer. Why? Trick training provides variety for both the trainer and the learner. Variety prompts more creativity in training decisions and keeps training sessions more interesting.
Trick training is not “assembly-line training.” It continues to bring something new and stimulating to a learner’s repertoire and expands the training skills of the teacher. The intrinsic results are eagerness from the learner and continued enthusiasm for training in general for the trainer.
Join Michele for this enjoyable presentation to learn how trick training can help motivate trainers and learners and result in more joyful training sessions for everyone involved.