Clicker training is one of the most effective methods of training your pup. As Jurassic World showed us, it’s also one of the most effective methods of training your pet dinosaur.
What? You don’t have a pet dinosaur? I don’t either. I’m very sad about it about.
It’s also sad, or maybe not, that Jurassic World doesn’t actually exist. Another falsehood? Chris Pratt’s character, Owen, isn’t as adept at clicker training as the film leads us to believe.
Savvy dog trainer Molly Sumner wrote an open letter to everybody’s wannabe boyfriend/BFF advising him on how to improve his, and your, clicker techniques.
1. Attend a Chicken Clicker Camp.
Yes, these are things that are real. Chickens respond to clicker training just like dogs do. If it works on chickens, it will obviously work on raptors. Duh.
Chicken clicker camp workshops give you the chance to practice and hone your mad clicker skillz before you try them with your pup, or dino, whatevs.
2. Don’t click so close to your pet.
Dogs and dinos have great hearing. You don’t need to click so close to their ears for them to get the message. In fact, it might upset them. Who wants an angry raptor-dog? No one.
3. Chillax on the amount of clicks.
Chris Pratt went a little clicker-crazy with his raptors. Too many clicks confuse your pup. Consistent timing is critical to the clicker. You only need to click once for a specific behavior. Then you follow up with a treat.
You can’t expect a confused Dogesaurus to listen to you.
4. Give your Indomipup Rex lots of enrichment and stimulation.
Molly says that a bored pup is a “creative” pup. If you keep your pup appropriately occupied, like with a treat ball, she’ll be more cooperative during training sessions.
5. Don’t train the pack all at once.
Add this to the list of things that could confuse your pet. One of them might perform the behavior, while another one does not. They won’t know which behavior you clicked for. Was it the right one or was it the wrong one?
6. Harness that natural prey drive.
Riling up a raptor’s prey drive is a little scary, but harnessing your dog’s instincts is an asset when clicker training. These instincts keep them task-oriented, that is if you follow up your clicking with some yummy noms.
7. Add some nose power to your methods.
In addition to clicker training, Molly suggests that some nose work would’ve been helpful to train the Jurassic dinos. Nose work also capitalizes on a pup’s natural instincts for tracking. Plus, it keeps them occupied. We already covered the dangers of a bored Dogesaurus.
8. Avoid serious trouble by ditching the alpha pack mentality.
In the film, Chris Pratt got into a bit of trouble during the end of a tracking exercise. Molly guesses this is due to his character’s belief in the alpha pack mentality. This myth has been debunked for domesticated canines. Even if it was true, would animals be inclined to let another species dominate them? Probs not. Positive reinforcement is your best friend when it comes to training your Frenchiesaurous.
Films are fun, but tested and effective training methods are better. Also fun: dogs. Not so fun: dinosaurs who escape from parks and eat your friends.