Chicken Camp For Dog Trainers?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Hi! Anybody heard of this?
    Chicken Camp
    Someone (a dog trainer) wanting to buy chicks brought it up in our phone conversation, so I had to look it up. It doesn't seem logical or reasonable to me. Maybe I'm missing something.

  2. lishah2000

    lishah2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens are less forgiving than dogs, so they force you to be more accurate in your training and timing. Dog tend to figure out what we want even when our timing is completely off.
  3. Jackie B.

    Jackie B. Paris Mtn. Eggs

    May 13, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    Wow. Just wow.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Oh yes, that was started by Bob Bailey and his wife, sort of the major parents of the positive-training (-> clicker training) thing. The Baileys trained animals professionally since forever, including wartime animals used by the Navy, a whole bazillion different species using mainly operant conditioning. When positive-based training got popular "with civilians" so to speak, they started offering chicken camps because supposedly if you can learn to clicker-train a chicken you can do it on pretty much anything else either. Chickens being quite fast in their reactions, requiring very good timing of marking and rewarding, and being generally easy to handle.

    I've often wondered why this never seems to be mentioned here on BYC [​IMG]

    I wish I had been able to do a chicken camp thing back when the Baileys were doing them (he is retired, she is passed), they are said to have been very intense experiences but very educational.

    Every now and then I think about going out and bothering my own chickens. But, then I decide to sit on my butt and be lazy instead LOL

  5. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    It's actually very logical and reasonable. As someone else mentioned, dogs are very forgiving and can often "guess" what it is we want even if our timing is way off when we are training them. They are extremely adept at reading our body language and when people are working with dogs they are often subconsciously relying on this fact as they are training. This can result in sloppy timing, which can result in less effective clicker training. Also, many people get caught up in the idea that dogs are in it not only for the reward, but also to "please" us (it's not that they don't want to please us per say, but past experience has taught them that when we are happy good things happen to them). People have no such expectations of chickens, and chickens do not naturally read our body language nor do they usually grow up in an environment where they would see a significant amount of it to learn it (they use a new batch of chickens with each camp). Clicker training chickens requires you to master the skill of the clicker, exact timing, and shaping in a way that you can not learn working with dogs. These exact same skills can then be used to make you a more effective dog trainer.
  6. GalloFino

    GalloFino Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2010
    I did chicken camp with Bob Bailey doing the chicken part of the day and that guy that had the book about clicker training for obedience competition (sheltie guy) doing the dog part of the day. I think this was back in 2000...2001...or so.

    When working with chickens you learn pretty quickly exactly how much your timing sucks.

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