I’ve always liked to learn, so I wasn’t the kind of person who would simply discover one method and devote everything to it. I believe that each horse is different and different methods work better for different horses. I want to have more than just one tool in my toolbox. So I didn’t stop when I discovered clicker training. I kept searching for new methods. I discovered that Rainy excelled at clicker training while Breezy hated it. At that point I was told that I was wrong – one of my horses could absolutely not hate clicker training because all horses loved it since it was the only humane way to train. I disagreed, and that’s when I started noticing the darker side of the clicker community.
(Emphasis added by me.)
Terrific piece that I strongly identified with. I stopped doing a shaped retrieve with Bosco since he was so stressed and miserable that I thought: “Fuck. I’d rather just go get the dumbbell myself.”
I can identify strongly with this as well. I have not quit clicker training and continue to use it, but I do not consider myself a “Clicker Trainer”. I have experienced many of the same things that this author has.
I would like to highlight this paragraph, as it especially illustrates what I have experienced:
“Unfortunately, what I also discovered once I got past the “honeymoon” phase, was that a lot of the people who trained with the method did not practise what they preached. As I got further into it, I discovered that a lot of the people were incredibly judgemental about other types of training, and had an attitude that their method (clicker) was the only humane method of training out there and anyone who did anything different was abusive. That never sat right with me because I know a lot of trainers who use different methods and are not abusive at all. I found myself getting judgemental, unable to enjoy watching other trainers because I was constantly judging and picking apart what they were doing. I honestly did not like who this method was turning me into. This is something I’ve discovered in not only clicker people, but also in people who religiously follow one person or type of training. It takes on a cult-like feel and gives people a “holier-than-thou” attitude toward others.”