Clicker Training - Targeting

I hope you had fun practicing your food delivery skills. You will be happy to know we are almost ready to get your horse started on targeting, but first I want to give you the final skill you will need before you try this with your horse.

Up until now you have been presenting the food pretty much directly in front of your human horse. You should be getting very fluid and confident in your basic technique.

Here’s a quick review of the steps:

You present target

Your human “horse” touches target.

You click, change hands on target (removing the target from sight), and reach into your pocket with the correct hand to deliver the treat.

Now we are going to add in the next step of turning into your human “horse” as you deliver the treat and unfolding your arm towards her shoulder. This will cause your “horse” to move backwards to get the treat. It may take a couple times for your human “horse” to figure out she now needs to move her feet to get the treat.

It is the stepping into your horse and unfolding your arm into her shoulder that will send the energy needed to encourage her to move back. Why is this step important? When your horse moves back out of your space to get his treat, it helps develop the polite, safe manners we expect to see in our clicker-trained horses. You’ll practice this with your human partner until you have things smooth. Two YouTube videos will show this final step in the process. They are titled November Targeting Video 1 and 2. When you feel confident in this last step you are ready to get your real horse.

What is wrong with regards to food delivery in this photo?

E-mail me your guesses at mgwynne@xplornet.com.