Karen Pryor wrote a great piece on being a change maker:
Here's a biologist's look at the process of making changes.
- Ignore you
- Pretend to agree, but actually do nothing
- Resist, delay, obstruct
- Openly attack you (the dangerous phase, but also a sign that change is starting)
- Take credit
What people say in the process of accepting the change:
- "That might work for your population but not for mine." (absorbing)
- "I can use it, but not for anything important." (absorbing and utilizing)
- "Some of my people can use it if they feel they need to." (utilizing)
- "Oh yes, we've been doing that for years, it's quite good." (utilizing and taking credit)
- "We've come up with a really incredible program; you should try it." (taking credit and proselytizing).
A few days ago, I read an email from a very good trainer who said that Labs could learn with the clicker, but it doesn't work so well with big, slow dogs like Danes. It would never work for a Dane, she said.
I'm not sure where to start discussing the inaccuracies of that statement. The clicker isn't a gadget, a fad, or a newfangled method. It's pure, undadulterated behavior science. It operates on the rules of behavior. People who say things like the trainer did in that email simply don't understand the science of behavior.
What does that mean for me (and Talos)? That means I'm considering the gauntlet thrown! I'm always up for a challenge and I always need motivation, so I took that statement as a challenge. Of course I use clicker training. And of course I'm training the Great Dane, Talos exclusively with clicker training.
So over the next few weeks, I'm going to document (with video) just how slow and pokey Talos is (shouldn't come as any surprise to regular readers of this blog!) and then document just how well the click works to speed up behavior. Yes, even in a slow poke Dane.
Should be fun – I love a challenge!